Guest Contribution By: Ethan Naluz, ASU Student
Mohammad Khoori, Business Entrepreneurship student at ASU, is the founder of Vendors.ae, a multi vendor e-commerce service designed to help small businesses in the United Arab Emirates carry out sales and ultimately develop a stronger online presence. Khoori came up with the startup idea while home in Dubai when he realized there was a huge need for a platform like Vendors.ae.
Khoori noticed that “most small home businesses do not have online presence except for selling on Instagram. The process of buying and selling through Instagram is very complicated from both the seller and the buyer’s standpoint.” Delving further into detail, Khoori commented “First of all, it is hard to find products because Instagram has a search engine for accounts not products. Second, there is no ‘add-to-cart’ button on Instagram. Customers have to contact sellers through text messages to make a purchase.”
After identifying a need for his idea, Khoori hit the drawing board. With his brother’s expertise in building websites, they created Vendors.ae, a platform where every business can get their own store in the website and share their link on Instagram where customers can easily purchase their products. Khoori developed Vendors.ae with his home country in mind, and believe that “with me creating this website, I wanted to show my country and the world these astonishing products that are designed and created by the small business in the UAE.”
The Middle Eastern e-commerce industry is thriving right now – in fact, Souq, known as the Amazon of the Middle East, was recently acquired by Amazon for an estimated $650 million. The global e-commerce market is estimated to hit a 2 trillion dollar valuation in 2017. With UAE startup investments increasing, and a projected e-commerce market growth to 13.4 billion dollars by 2020, Vendors.ae might be approaching the market at just the right time.
Prior to the launch of Vendors.ae, ten sellers joined the service, resulting in a website opening with around 100 products available. With the help ASU’s Venture Devils & Mentorship program, Khoori was introduced to his current mentor, Tom Zender. Khoori describes Tom as “a very visionary person, who helped me a lot in identifying new leads to improve my startup.”
Vendors.ae is a prime example of problem-solving through entrepreneurship and value creation. Khoori hopes to expand his company further and reach more small businesses in the UAE to foster e-commerce growth in his home country.
Want to keep up with Khoori and Vendors.ae? Checkout the website at: www.vendors.ae