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Young Dubai businessman behind unique SDaaS for SMEs



A Dubai-bred young serial entrepreneur is disrupting the local Software as a Service market with a unique AI-driven platform for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, launched at the start of the year.

Called Zoftware, it is “Software Democratisation as a Service, where software products of the people (companies) are recommended by our people (the team), for the people (B2B clients) for any problems they face in their businesses,” says Aayushman Dalmia, 29.

Within the first quarter of operations, Zoftware already has arrangements with a growing list of over 6,000 companies – including the Microsoft and Zoho suites, Google, Adobe and others.

“You can find a packed suite of software just with a generic search, but do you require everything in that or can you customize it? Maybe not. Zoftware is free for the customers while we work with them to understand their needs and even do the work for them in customising solutions from the software companies. Consider us as the Zomato or Tripadvisor for the software industry.

“Avoiding wastage of resources by reducing the gap between the capability knowledge of any software’s offerings and solving the problems of the end users is core to Zoftware’s mission,” says Dalmia, who came up with the idea when he could not find such a solution while searching for his needs himself.

“Zoftware is about marrying software with the best of customer experience. We make it easy for customers to navigate the ocean of software to find the right tools for their business and purpose. We offer deep insights on software and match organisations to the right product, be it for accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, IT, payroll and many more,” says Dalmia, confident his idea will revolutionise the convenience of running a business.

Aayushman Dalmia set up Zoftware after getting stuck with the wrong software as a choice for his family business. Supplied

Zoftware is a unique startup offering a choice of business tools in software with a personalised touch, using Open AI’s ChatGPT, for SME owners and companies. There are plans to take this to India, a huge market for SaaS providers and consumers.

“We have raised 500,000 dollars as a convertible note. And there are plans to raise another $1.5 million in the next round,” he says. “We are aiming for a revenue of $1.5 million by end of 2023.”

The rise of ChatGPT has only become an enabler for the Zoftware team. “Our technical analysts have been nimble to stay ahead on the transformation curve. We are in the process of setting up an AI bot with whom people can converse with, we understand what the customers want from the platform and give them the relevant output data while connecting with the vendors.

“If they want, we can also onboard it for them. With ChatGPT, it can give you out the names, but it cannot do comparisons and the prices that are out there. It cannot help you come to a decision, while we can help find the best value for the clients.

“According to studies, 75 percent of businesses fail in their software implementation. We want to make it to zero, because it is a waste of capital and resources such as time, effort and money. In the SME section, that is not something one can afford. We want to reduce the wastage cycle as much as possible. And we want to build the trust of our customers.”

Zoftware is Dalmia’s latest fruit of labour, coming from his own personal experiences when he saw a gap in the market. He set up Yalla Referral, a referral and benefits platform, is co-founder of an online diamond-purchasing platform Carat Finder and Director of Growth and Innovation at Data Direct Group.

“I remember, in 2018, when I wanted to implement CRM for my sales team, I ended up putting so much effort and money only to realise a year later that I had a complex setup which wasn’t needed at all. Several dollars went in waste apart from the time and effort. Many startups and SMEs may not be able to come out of the wrong direction taken.”


DP World ILT20 match tickets for Season 2 launched at Virgin Megastore



The DP World International League T20 Season 2 tickets for all 34 matches – the biggest cricket league in the Gulf region – are now available online as well as on all 14 Virgin Megastore outlets across the UAE.  The tickets start at an affordable 20 dirhams for all General spectator stands at the Zayed Stadium Abu Dhabi, Dubai International Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

The month-long tournament will be an incredible opportunity for cricket fans in the UAE and those from around the world to watch some of the biggest stars of the game represent the six DP World ILT20 franchises in the month-long cricketing extravaganza that begins at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium with a clash between defending champions Gulf Giants and Sharjah Warriors on Friday, 19 January.

The big hits, wickets and catches on field will be complimented by off field entertainment for fans of all age groups. The DP World ILT20 will be a memorable occasion for all, the tournament final will be staged at the iconic ‘Ring of Fire’ Dubai International Stadium on Saturday, 17 February. 

Fans can choose their seating spots through a wide range of enclosures and boxes across the three venues. The tickets are available for premium and various hospitality categories. Tickets for children aged six to 16 start at 10 dirhams while under five years of age will get free access. There are a wide variety of early bird discounts available for matches at all three venues.

The first offer begins on Friday, 24 November – Buy One Get One Free Offer.

Season 2 will feature present-day household names like David Warner, Andre Russell, David Willey, Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Alex Hales, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Jordan, Trent Boult, Nicholas Pooran, Chris Woakes and Maheesh Theekshana. More than 100 international and 24 UAE players will feature in the tournament.

DP World ILT20 CEO David White: “We are delighted to launch the match tickets for DP World ILT20 Season 2. For the second year in the running, we are bringing a world-class cricket tournament at our three world-class venues. The cricket fans in the UAE and those travelling here in the tourist-friendly months of January and February have a real treat on offer as the world’s best cricketing talent showcase their skills in the action-packed T20 format.

“We have kept the tickets at an affordable price. The fans will get to watch their favourite cricket stars play for their favourite team while enjoying the festive offerings, carnivals and entertainment at all three venues. The DP World ILT20 Season 2 is all set to be bigger and better and we can’t wait for the action to begin on Friday, 19 January 2024.”

DP World ILT20 Season 2 Schedule:

Friday, 19 January – Sharjah Warriors vs Gulf Giants – Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Saturday, 20 January – Dubai Capitals vs MI Emirates – Dubai International Stadium

Sunday, 21 January – Desert Vipers vs Abu Dhabi Knight Riders – Dubai International Stadium

Sunday, 21 January – MI Emirates vs Gulf Giants – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Monday, 22 January – Dubai Capitals vs Sharjah Warriors – Dubai International Stadium

Tuesday, 23 January – Abu Dhabi Knight Riders vs MI Emirates – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Wednesday, 24 January – Gulf Giants vs Desert Vipers – Dubai International Stadium

Thursday, 25 January – Dubai Capitals vs Abu Dhabi Knight Riders – Dubai International Stadium

Friday, 26 January – Sharjah Warriors vs MI Emirates – Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Saturday, 27 January – Abu Dhabi Knight Riders vs Desert Vipers – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Saturday, 27 January – Gulf Giants vs Dubai Capitals – Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Sunday, 28 January – MI Emirates vs Abu Dhabi Knight Riders – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Sunday, 28 January – Desert Vipers vs Sharjah Warriors – Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Monday, 29 January – Sharjah Warriors vs Dubai Capitals – Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Tuesday, 30 January – Desert Vipers vs MI Emirates – Dubai International Stadium

Wednesday, 31 January – Abu Dhabi Knight Riders vs Gulf Giants – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Thursday, 1 February – Dubai Capitals vs Desert Vipers – Dubai International Stadium

Friday, 2 February – MI Emirates vs Sharjah Warriors – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Saturday, 3 February – Desert Vipers vs Gulf Giants – Dubai International Stadium

Saturday, 3 February – Abu Dhabi Knight Riders vs Dubai Capitals – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Sunday, 4 February – MI Emirates vs Desert Vipers – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Sunday, 4 February – Gulf Giants vs Sharjah Warriors – Dubai International Stadium

Monday, 5 February – Sharjah Warriors vs Abu Dhabi Knight Riders – Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Tuesday, 6 February – Dubai Capitals vs Gulf Giants – Dubai International Stadium

Wednesday, 7 February – Abu Dhabi Knight Riders vs Sharjah Warriors – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Thursday, 8 February – Gulf Giants vs MI Emirates – Dubai International Stadium

Friday, 9 February – Desert Vipers vs Dubai Capitals – Dubai International Stadium

Saturday, 10 February – Gulf Giants vs Abu Dhabi Knight Riders – Dubai International Stadium

Saturday, 10 February – MI Emirates vs Dubai Capitals – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Sunday, 11 February – Sharjah Warriors vs Desert Vipers – Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Tuesday, 13 February – Qualifier 1 – Dubai International Stadium

Wednesday, 14 February – Eliminator – Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi

Thursday, 15 February – Qualifier 2 – Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Saturday, 17 February – Final – Dubai International Stadium

*All single-headers (evening matches) begin at 6:30pm local time.

*Afternoon match on double-headers day begin at 2:3opm local time.

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This season cricket fans can watch Abu Dhabi T10 for Dh10



The much awaited seventh edition of Abu Dhabi T10 is just around the corner and cricket frenzy fans in the region will be delighted to know that the tickets for cricket’s fastest format are now available for sale for just AED 10. Tickets can be purchased online via:

Abu Dhabi T10 is partnering with Q-Tickets as their exclusive ticketing partner for the upcoming edition. Q-Tickets will also be running co-promotions with 360 Play in various malls across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Fujairah to sell tickets and other bundled offers. 

In Abu Dhabi, the tickets will be sold at the Jumpo Trampo in Yas Mall, and at the Beanstalk at the Marina Mall. In Dubai, the tickets will be available to purchase at the 360 Play Jumpo Trampo at the Spring Souk Mall, Adventure Land at the Al Ghuriar Mall, and at the Trampoline at the Century Mall. Tickets for Abu Dhabi T10 Season 7 will also be sold at the Spider Tower in the Century Mall in Fujairah.

Abu Dhabi T10 2023 will take place between November 28th and December 9th with 32 matches set to be played between eight well-rounded teams namely Deccan Gladiators, New York Strikers, Northern Warriors, Morrisville Samp Army, Delhi Bulls, Bangla Tigers, Team Abu Dhabi, and Chennai Braves.

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A Dubai institute teaching next-level entrepreneurship to business scions



Those wanting a traditional global MBA programs to support their family business growth or boost entrepreneurial aspirations rather than be directed towards the job market now have an option thanks to a brand new institute in Dubai.

Midas and CS Institute of Management is all set to offer a first of its kind curriculum titled ‘Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Management’ catering to this specific niche. Crafted for the scions of business families, this new program will offer the knowledge, skills, and exposure to take family businesses to their next level or launch independent ventures on a global stage. Brainchild of Chandrasekhar Singh and Pooja Shah, the co-founders of this institute, this course has accomplished business coaches, global faculty from leading business schools and cutting-edge topics imparting knowledge and expertise on how to take one’s business global.

This is designed for individuals between the ages of 21 to 30 who hail from business family backgrounds. To be eligible, applicants must have completed at least a recognized bachelor’s course. Students will get almost 350 hours of classroom coaching besides a significant amount of experiential learning and onsite trainings. Upon completion of the program they will be awarded a certificate from the institute that is duly recognized by Dubai Government’s Educational Quality Assurance and Regulator – Knowledge & Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Singh feels that the program will be particularly beneficial for Indian business families looking to bring in a global perspective in their home-grown businesses through their next-gen successors. In fact both of them have a ‘first-movers advantage’ in this unique mix of education and entrepreneurship.

Before helming this institute, Pooja successfully ran the Midas Institute of Entrepreneurship in Pune, India for the last 10 years creating and enabling 250+ successful new-age entrepreneurs. Her prior involvement as the Dean of Student Affairs in her family founded Flame University also adds to her experience and acumen. Armed with an M.Sc. degree in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Management from the Nottingham University Business School in UK, Pooja feels that many promoters are actually facing this genuine problem. “Either their children are not interested in the business or are not experienced enough to take it forward. We want to tackle this issue with the best possible approach as every family business must take its step ahead with a new generation taking over and I can understand that deeply being from a family business background myself where I started my association in any and all my father’s business ventures from a very young age,” she says.

Chandrasekhar on his part has a seasoned corporate, entrepreneurship, and higher education background. He worked in leadership positions for global banking majors such as Standard Chartered and Citibank. He was a prominent Director for Corporate Relations at SP Jain School of Global Management and a Co-Founder of Sunmaya Fashion – an upcoming ladieswear brand in Dubai. He says, “We understand that every entrepreneur’s journey is unique. That’s why we want to offer programs tailored to suit their needs. Our aim is to offer a global platform for aspiring entrepreneurs and successors of business families. The institute’s positioning and approach will help them propel their business forward.”

Pooja being an acclaimed Transformation and Impact Coach also stressed on the importance of developing the right mindset for the students. She said, “We will be definitely be teaching them the new forms of learning along-with data science, Artificial Intelligence and Design Thinking but our main focus is towards building ‘the right mindset of an entrepreneur’. Bring a critical thinker who is creative and ready for challenges in life. We are not only working on getting them ready for their business but overall for life. They must be ready to taste success by facing challenges and failures”.

CS further elaborated that right from the selection criteria to the final certification, the approach is dynamic and completely customized as per market requirements. “You will have to present your case to enroll for this course. After the six months of rigorous coaching by some of the best global business minds, you will have to make another presentation on your business plan. The best new venture idea of the batch will be funded the entire course fee as an investment to start your own venture,” he added.

They both feel that this could be an unparalleled opportunity as there are currently no international entrepreneurship programs catering to students from family business backgrounds in India. “Dubai’s strategic location, business-friendly policies, and safety standards make it an ideal destination for both learning and business establishment,”

The participants are all set to gain valuable experiences such as diverse peer learning, cultural understanding, global perspective, industry insights, and international expansion. They will be assisted on coming to Dubai on an investor visa for the course and can explore business expansion opportunities in other Gulf Co-operating Council Countries (GCC) such as Saudi Arabia and Oman along-with handpicked European countries by being taken there for experiential learning during festival and course breaks.

About Midas and CS Institute of Management
Located in the global business hub of Dubai at a most strategic location of Dubai Healthcare City right next to Wafi Mall, the Midas and CS Institute of Management offers tailor-made, cutting edge programs for aspiring entrepreneurs and family business successors. These market-oriented, practical programs are poised to provide the students with the tools necessary for their global journey, setting them on a path towards success and innovation in the ever-changing world of business. Currently there are two courses. One is called ‘Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Management’ for 21 to 30 year old graduates from business families or aspiring entrepreneurs. Another upcoming program is for business and startup owners who are 30 years and above. This intensive one-week program will provide a global exposure to them for transforming their business and also show them how to start a business in Dubai.

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