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Q-com startup promises to address SME gap with Amazon, Noon and others

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Q-commerce-startup

Kumar Shyam

A new e-commerce marketplace startup is promising to fill “the gap” it sees with giants such as Amazon, Noon and others as it prepares for a launch on August 27.

Veppy.com will be a Q-commerce (Q for quick), the faster version of an e-commerce operation, and promises delivery for certain categories of products in less than three hours.

According to the top brass, founder-chairman Moustafa Banbouk and vice president Praveen Kumar, a large part of SMEs are “not yet on the digital platforms” for sales. And small and medium enterprises constitute more than 80 percent of UAE’s economy.

With Veppy, which takes its name from the company motto “very happy”, sellers can look forward to connecting with buyers over 14 categories to start with. Most of the focus will be on products, which are gift ideas mostly.

“Imagine we have an occasion we forgot and need to buy a gift – flowers, cakes, any tech product – urgently and we are at work … with Veppy we can address that,” Mr Banbouk told Headline at a hotel in Dubai.

His deputy Mr Kumar, who has built a career out of focusing on digital transformation for his clients, explained that the company will not be investing in warehouses and will directly connect the buyer with the seller to ensure the quickness of product delivery.

“There will be no fees for registering for the seller, and we will offer a consultative process during the onboarding of the seller. However, there will be a fee with each transaction involved for the seller,” Mr Kumar said.

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Mr Banbouk, a property developer in a family business in Lebanon, is excited about succeeding with his q-commerce model in UAE, the land of opportunities and where digital growth is the best in the region.

Q-Commerce – sometimes used interchangeably with ‘on-demand delivery’ and ‘e-grocery’ – is e-commerce in a new, faster form. It combines the merits of traditional e-commerce with innovations in last-mile delivery.

It is one of the fastest-growing businesses in the world. Driven by the changing consumer behavior dominated by last-minute shopping trends, the Q-Commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is expected to grow from US$9 billion in 2020 to US$20 billion by 2024, according to Statista.com, a global market intelligence provider. Globally, the Q-Commerce market for food and grocery delivery is expected to grow to $72 billion by 2025, according to a report by Forbes magazine.

An analysis by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed during the Gulfood Breakfast Briefing event at Gulfood 2021 that as per Euromonitor’s data, online sales within the UAE’s food and beverage market surged 255% year-over-year in 2020 to reach $412 million.

The analysis predicted the value of online food and beverage sales in the country to reach $619 million by 2025 and record a compound annual growth (CAGR) of 8.5% over the 2020-2025 period.

The latest estimates from Visa Middle East have forecasted the total MENA E-Commerce market size, including all categories, to be worth US$48.6 billion in 2022.

Journalist for 25 years with leading publications in India and UAE such as The National, Mumbai Mirror, DNA, Indian Express and former Sports Editor of eIndia.com. Now managing editor of Headline.ae, part of MEMc (https://www.memc.co)

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e& life joins Dubai FinTech Summit as a Powered By sponsor

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: e& life, the business pillar of e& that brings the next-generation digital world to the consumer’s fingertips, has joined theDubai FinTech Summit (DFS), organised by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global Financial Centre in the MEASA region. As a Powered By sponsor, e& life is dedicated to supporting innovative and future-thinking businesses on a global scale.

e& life leverages cutting-edge technologies to offer fintech, entertainment, retail, and mobility services through its smart platforms and apps.  Their fintech arm, e& money, has become a regional powerhouse, known for its user-friendly mobile financial services and its position as the UAE’s fastest-growing issuer of Mastercard debit cards.

Mohammad Alblooshi, Chief Executive Officer at DIFC Innovation Hub, said, “The path to true innovation lies in collaboration and the Dubai FinTech Summit strives to bring together global leaders, innovators and disruptive start-ups to shape the future of finance. The alliance between the summit and e& life demonstrates our mutual commitment to fostering a dynamic FinTech ecosystem to strengthen Dubai’s existing reputation as a leading business destination. Transforming challenges into opportunities, our goal is to create the most advanced, inclusive and technologically empowered financial community.”

Khalifa Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer at e& life, said, “The Middle East is at the forefront of a major transformation in financial services delivery, driven by technology shifting from traditional to innovative solutions. As a pioneer in the region’s flourishing FinTech sector, e& is driven by a bold vision to lead this change.

“Through strategic partnerships, we aim to fast-track progress and take the region’s FinTech potential to new heights. This partnership represents a valuable opportunity for both e& and its FinTech portfolio under the business pillar e& life to collectively imagine new possibilities, inspire breakthrough ideas, and catalyse impactful innovations. By bringing together the talent and resources within our ecosystems, we can accelerate the journey toward a future where financial services truly empower people across societies. We look forward to contributing our expertise to shaping discussions that will steer the direction of the industry and play a role in realising the UAE’s aspiration to become a global hub for financial innovation.”

In line with the Dubai Economic Agenda (D33) to position Dubai as the top four global financial hub by 2033, the 2nd edition of the Dubai FinTech Summit is designed to encourage cross-border collaboration and innovation, pivotal to transforming the global FinTech sector. It presents a unique opportunity to explore emerging FinTech trends and their potential to drive financial progress in the MEASA region.

The Dubai FinTech Summit, scheduled for May 6-7, 2024, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, will see an unprecedented gathering of over 8,000 decision-makers, over 300 thought leaders and over 200 exhibitors showcasing cutting-edge technologies.

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SkyPower and ZETDC Sign landmark power purchase agreements for Zimbabwe’s largest solar project

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In a historic event at the World Future Energy Summit, SkyPower and the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company (ZETDC) have signed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), marking a significant milestone in the development of the largest solar project in the history of Zimbabwe. The agreements pave the way for the commencement of the Green Giant project, set to deliver 500 MW of solar power, capable of energizing approximately 2 million households.

As previously stated by His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe: “My presidential commitment is to enhance our energy sustainability through renewable energy by collaborating with world-class companies like SkyPower. Today’s signing is a landmark achievement for our nation, setting a robust foundation for our sustainable future.”

The signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi was witnessed by eminent personalities including the Honorable Edgar Moyo, Minister of Energy of Zimbabwe, Lovemore Mazemo, Ambassador of Zimbabwe to the UAE, Eng. Abel Gurupira, Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company, Mr. Mazambani Edington Tapera, Chairman of ZERA.

“This is a momentous day for Zimbabwe, demonstrating our commitment to transforming our energy sector and ensuring reliable power for our people”, stated by Eng. Abel Gurupira, Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company. Kerry Adler, President & CEO of SkyPower, highlighted the project’s importance, “We are proud to kick off the initial phases of the Green Giant project at this prestigious summit. This partnership exemplifies our dedication to promoting sustainable energy development globally.

Upon completion, this project will stand as a testament to Zimbabwe’s commitment to renewable energy and economic growth.”

“The significance of today’s event cannot be overstated. As we align our efforts with global energy transitions, this project underlines our strategy to integrate renewable energy into our national energy mix significantly,” remarked the Honorable Edgar Moyo.

This accomplishment highlights the country’s favorable environment and underscores the exceptional teamwork and dedicated efforts from both parties.

This initiative is expected to boost Zimbabwe’s economy significantly by creating thousands of jobs and fostering infrastructure development. It is aligned with global efforts towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and enhancing the quality of life for millions of Zimbabweans.

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UAE announces Eid Al Fitr holidays for private sectorUAE announces

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The UAE government has announced the official holidays for private sector employees across the country on the occasion of Eid Al Fitr.

The break will begin on Monday, April 8 and last till 3 Shawwal (or what is equivalent to it in the Gregorian date). As per the Islamic calendar, Ramadan lasts 29 or 30 days, depending on when the Moon is sighted. Eid Al Fitr is celebrated on the first of Shawwal.

The UAE Cabinet has confirmed a week-long public sector holiday to celebrate Eid Al Fitr. This aligns with the earlier announcement from the UAE Federal Authority for Government Human Resources. Government employees will be on paid leave from Monday, April 8 to Sunday, April 14, returning to work on Monday, April 15.
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