https://adgully.me/post/3547/apples-search-engine-ambitions-could-disrupt-googles-monopoly

Apple's Search Engine Ambitions Could Disrupt Google's Monopoly

Apple could be gearing up to develop its own search engine, potentially ending its long-standing reliance on Google as the default search engine for its devices. According to various credible media reports, Apple has all the necessary elements in place to create a competitive search engine. While the move is seen as a "long shot," Apple has been quietly working on its search technology, codenamed Pegasus, which offers more accurate search results. This speculation comes amid ongoing antitrust concerns regarding Google's dominance in online search and ad sales. Apple's potential search engine could generate advertising revenue comparable to its Apple Watch market.
https://adgully.me/post/2228/amazon-saudi-launches-new-fulfillment-center-in-riyadh

Amazon Saudi launches new fulfillment center in Riyadh

Riyadh: The Chief Executive Officer of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), Eng. Suliman Almazroua and delegations from the Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services, the Transport General Authority, and Monsha’at – Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises today witnessed the inauguration of Amazon’s latest Fulfillment Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Following the ceremony, Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, along with Prashant Saran, Director of Operations, Amazon Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and Dr. Hatem Samman, Public Policy Lead, Amazon Saudi Arabia, guided the dignitaries on a tour of the facility.Eng. Suliman Almazroua commented, “Saudi Arabia has made remarkable progress in developing world-class infrastructure and business-enabling policies that aim to place the Kingdom at the forefront of investor attractiveness. Amazon’s expansion supports Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector - one of NIDLP’s four key sectors – bringing the latest innovations and technologies in ecommerce operations to the country. The new Fulfillment Center in Riyadh will further unlock the value of the Kingdom’s resources by empowering local startups and entrepreneurs with improved global connectivity and access to new markets.”As the Kingdom accelerates towards a digital economy with a growing ecommerce market, the new Fulfillment Center will double Amazon’s total storage capacity in Saudi Arabia. The facility spans 390,000 square feet across five floors – approximately the size of five football fields. The center will be able to store over 9 million products, enabling Amazon to delight customers with a wider selection of products across electronics, appliances, groceries, fashion, books, and more.H.E. Eng. Saud bin Rashid Al-Askar, the Deputy Governor of Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO), said, “As Saudi Arabia progresses towards sustainable development in tandem with regional and international markets, we affirm the company’s keenness, in cooperation with other sectors, to ensure consumer safety by conforming its products received through e-commerce. We are happy to see Amazon’s expansion in the Kingdom as the company continues its efforts to bring global standards and processes to the ecommerce sector in Saudi Arabia.”Abdo Chlala, Country Manager, Amazon Saudi Arabia, said, “Our expansion and investment in our network underscores our commitment to delivering an enhanced shopping experience for customers, providing Saudi businesses with greater access to Amazon’s expertise in fulfillment, reliable countrywide delivery, and customer service, and unlocking opportunities for local talent. Led by a diverse cohort of talented Saudi nationals in managerial positions, we expect this Fulfillment Center to support the Kingdom’s digital economy goals.”In support of Saudi Arabia’s rising entrepreneurship culture and rapid development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the enhanced capacity will empower independent sellers to scale their businesses online. In order to reach a wider customer base faster and more efficiently, Saudi sellers can take advantage of the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) offering that allows them to store, pick, pack and ship customer orders through Amazon. The company has been working closely with Monsha’at, Saudi Arabia’s General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises, to empower this segment of the economy, with an aim to host 40,000 Saudi sellers by 2025 on Amazon.sa.Prashant Saran, Director of Operations for Amazon MENA, said, “Technology is at the heart of our operations, and with the opening of our most advanced Fulfillment Center in Saudi Arabia, we are all set to bring an enhanced fulfillment offering to Saudi sellers. At Amazon, we relentlessly innovate on behalf of our customers and continue to strengthen our operations with state-of-the-art technology and global processes and programs in order to ensure a fast, convenient and reliable shopping experience.”The new Fulfillment Center is Amazon’s most advanced in Saudi Arabia and brings 25+ years of global logistics technology and innovation in line with the Vision 2030 goal of establishing the Kingdom as the go-to logistics hub for the region. The new facility incorporates innovative solutions powered by Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in its operations and more than two and a half kilometers of conveyance equipment to ensure seamless fulfillment operations.To ensure local talent is able to grow and advance their careers, Amazon offers an array of training, upskilling and mentoring programs that empower employees to reach their full potential. Today, Saudi women at the center occupy a variety of leadership roles within operations, human resources, learning and development, and information technology, among other departments. Further, the facility provides various accommodations for people with disabilities that aim to ensure their full and active participation. Amazon continues its relentless focus on the safety and well-being of its employees, deploying cutting-edge technology to assist employees and keep them safe while delivering for customers.As part of Amazon’s commitment to be net-zero carbon across its business by 2040, the facility is powered 100% by electricity, including its heating and hot water systems, avoiding the use of fossil fuel combustibles and with energy efficiency as a top priority. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is controlled by a building management system that ensures a comfortable working environment for employees while reducing unnecessary energy consumption. In addition, LED lighting adjusts according to natural light availability and building occupancy, and indoor air quality is constantly monitored.Since the launch of Amazon.sa in 2020, the company has continued to invest in Saudi Arabia, supporting the Kingdom’s vision to accelerate a digitalized and diversified future. Today, Amazon Operations’ network in the country comprises 2 Fulfillment Centers, 3 Sort Centers, a footprint of over 25 owned and third-party delivery stations, and a network of small and medium businesses working as Delivery Service Partners across Saudi Arabia.
https://adgully.me/post/2169/ceos-cite-ai-as-the-top-disruptive-technology-gartner

CEOs cite AI as the top disruptive technology: Gartner

Dubai:  A recent survey of CEOs and senior executives by Gartner, Inc. revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) was the top technology that CEOs believe will significantly impact their industry over the next three years, cited by 21% of survey respondents.“Generative AI will profoundly impact business and operating models,” said Mark Raskino, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “However, fear of missing out is a powerful driver of technology markets. AI is reaching the tipping point where CEOs who are not yet invested become concerned that they are missing something competitively important.”The 2023 Gartner CEO and Senior Business Executive Survey was conducted from July through December 2022 among over 400 CEOs and other senior business executives in North America, Europe, Asia/Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East and South Africa, across different industries, revenue and company sizes.Half of CEOs Cite Growth as Their Top Strategic Business Priority“When determining business priorities, CEOs are hesitant, but not frozen,” said Kristin Moyer, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “More than half of CEOs believe an economic downturn or recession in 2023 will be shallow and short, and the survey showed only a modest rise in cash flow, capital and fundraising concerns.”Despite the impact of these economic headwinds, half of CEOs cited growth as the top strategic business priority for the next two years. Technology also remains a top focus area for CEOs, closely followed by workforce issues (see Figure 1).Fig. 1: CEOs’ Top Strategic Business Priorities for 2023-2024 (Sum of Top Three Mentions)Source: Gartner (May 2023)“After three years of volatility, CEO priorities are stabilizing,” said Raskino. “Executive leaders are looking past the aftershocks of the omnicrisis period to a time when talent, sustainability and next-level digital change will be the levers of competitive performance.”In fact, mentions of environmental sustainability rose 25% over the previous year’s survey, which was the first time sustainability ranked among CEOs’ top 10 priorities. Gartner predicts that by 2026, environmental sustainability will be a higher CEO strategic business priority than the technology-related category.Inflation Drives Shifts in Customer BehaviorInflation was ranked as the most damaging business risk by 22% of CEOs, and nearly a quarter cited greater price sensitivity as the biggest shift in customer expectations they anticipate this year. However, increasing prices is still the top action that CEOs are taking in response to inflation (44%), followed by cost optimization (36%) and productivity, efficiency and automation (21%).“It’s concerning that CEOs do not yet seem to be focused on productivity as much as they should be in an inflationary period,” said Moyer. “This may be due to wishful thinking that inflation will not become a persistent feature of the economic landscape. CEOs must embrace automation to redesign methods, processes and products for efficiency, rather than pushing cost increases onto customers.” Attracting and Retaining Talent Is the Top Workforce PriorityWhen asked about the impact of various risks on the business, 26% of CEOs cited the talent shortage as the most damaging risk for their organization. Attracting and retaining talent is, by far, CEOs’ top workforce priority. Concerns about compensation are the biggest shift in employee and prospective employee behavior that CEOs anticipate, followed by a desire for greater flexibility and remote or hybrid work.“The emphasis on pay is not surprising in an inflationary environment, but in prior economic cycles, unemployment would typically be undermining labor market power,” said Raskino.Gartner clients can read more in the report “2023 CEO Survey – The Pause and Pivot Year.”
https://adgully.me/post/2056/gaca-issues-license-to-cj-logistics-for-e-commerce-gdc-in-saudi

GACA issues license to CJ Logistics for e-commerce GDC in Saudi

Riyadh: The General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) in Saudi Arabia has today signed an agreement with CJ Logistics to build a dedicated e-Commerce Global Distribution Center at Riyadh Integrated the Kingdom’s first Special Integrated Logistics Zone by 2024.CJ Logistics, a leading provider of logistics solutions worldwide, will build a Global Distribution Center at Riyadh’s Special Integrated Logistics Zone by 2024. The proposed facility is a state-of-the-art logistics center with a gross floor area of 18,000 square meters and a daily throughput capacity of 15,000 boxes. It will serve as a forwarding base and hub for logistics in the region, connecting the Middle East, Africa and Europe.CJ Logistics recently signed an eight-year long-term contract with iHub before establishing the Global Distribution Center. The new Center will offer international delivery of iHerb products to the Middle East, one of the largest online retailers for health and wellness products.Commenting on the issuance of the license, GACA President Al Duailej said:“On behalf of the General Authority of Civil Aviation, I am delighted to be issuing CJ Logistics with a license to operate today, which marks an important milestone for Riyadh Integrated - Saudi Arabia’s Special Integrated Logistics Zone. We look forward to CJ Logistics having a strong presence in the Kingdom, with this Global Distribution Center being their main hub in the region.“Riyadh Integrated is a testimony to the Saudi Aviation Strategy under Vision 2030, positioning the Kingdom as a global logistics hub connecting three continents to the Kingdom as our logistics sector is transformed.                                  “As a vital enabler for Saudi Arabia’s logistics sector, the Special Integrated Logistics Zone will strengthen Saudi Arabia’s position as the largest, fastest growing market and leading strategic trading nation in the Middle East and continue Vision 2030’s mission to connect the Kingdom to the world.”Kang Sin-ho, CEO of CJ Logistics, added:“The Saudi e-commerce market has the richest growth potential in the Middle East and the geographical advantage of connecting Africa, Middle East and Europe."We will spare no support for state-of-the-art logistics technology and infrastructure so that the GDC can become a logistics hub that leads the Middle East e-commerce market."The Special Integrated Logistics Zone was launched in October 2022 in Riyadh by HE the Minister of Transport & Logistics and the General Authority for Civil Aviation. The Zone is truly integrated, with a value proposition that has been developed alongside its first batch of investors.The strategically located Special Integrated Logistics Zone will serve billions of potential customers in easy reach in Africa, Asia and Europe and help to significantly increase Saudi’s cargo capacity to more than 4.5 million tons per annum. It will also strengthen Saudi Arabia’s competitive position as the largest, fastest growing and leading trading nation in the Middle East, continuing Vision 2030’s mission to connect the Kingdom to the world.As part of the wider transformation of the Kingdom’s logistics sector, by 2030 Saudi Arabia is significantly increasing its cargo capacity to more than 4.5 million tons per annum and increasing the contribution of the transport and logistics sector to national gross domestic product from the current six per cent to 10 per cent. This will help to fuel business growth, attract inward investment, and increase the sector’s non-oil revenues to about SR 45 billion ($12 billion) a year by 2030.
https://adgully.me/post/2036/web3-launchpad-enjinstarter-mena-granted-initial-approval

Web3 launchpad Enjinstarter MENA granted Initial Approval

DUBAI—Web3 launchpad and advisory company Enjinstarter MENA announced today that it has been granted initial approval by Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA), while it undertakes the in-depth process of applying for a licence, in accordance with VARA requirements.With the Middle East and North Africa considered to be a booming Web3 market, Enjinstarter is seeking a foothold in the region as it aims to be the premier launchpad and incubator for Web3 metaverse, gaming, and entertainment experiences. Along with operating out of Dubai, the metaverse capital of the world, Enjinstarter has ambitious plans to be the go-to provider for Web3 adoption in the region, including the addition of more portfolio projects focusing on impact and sustainability initiatives that complement the UAE’s commitment to climate action.“This is an important step for Enjinstarter. Getting initial approval and continuing with our licence application makes clear our commitment to achieving the highest standards of accountability and transparency in the Web3 space. We are committed to  conforming to VARA’s high standards and know this will only accelerate our growth in the Middle East and beyond,” said Prakash Somosundram, co-founder and CEO of Enjinstarter.VARA, established in March 2022 under the Dubai Virtual Asset Regulation Law, is the first regulator of its kind to oversee virtual assets and aims to create an advanced legal framework to protect investors and set international standards for the virtual assets industry, and to enable responsible business growth in and from the Emirate.“Dubai has been laser-focused on establishing itself as a global hub for Web3. It continues to provide much-needed leadership in terms of regulation and innovation, especially with initiatives such as VARA’s own foray into The Sandbox. We are looking forward to getting started here and contributing to Dubai’s growing Web3 ecosystem,” added Vasseh Ahmed,Enjinstarter MENA’s managing director.Since inception in Dubai three months ago, Enjinstarter MENA has signed key partnerships with MENA-focused blockchain ecosystems, Crypto Oasis and Masary Capital, hosted a sustainability and climate impact roundtable with streaming platform myco, and appointed Vasseh as its managing director.
https://adgully.me/post/1983/index-conferences-to-probe-technologys-impact-on-design-retail-leadership

INDEX Conferences to probe technology’s impact on design & retail leadership

Dubai: The impact of technology on the transformation of the architecture, design and retail sectors will be explored in two mainline conferences taking place at INDEX 2023, in Dubai next month – the ultimate meeting place for the interior design and fit-out industries.The show’s Design Talks and Retail Leadership Forum will gather experts who are driving the future of the sectors where AI, the Metaverse, data analytics and e-commerce are transforming every facet of the industries, including talent nurturing and recruitment, logistics, design processes, customer engagement, and inventory management.“Our conferences are essential to all working in industries which face operational and supply changes which could ultimately lead to business success or failure,” commented Elaine O’Connell, Vice President Design & Leisure of dmg events, the organisers of INDEX which will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 23-25. “INDEX will host a series of open and lively discussions where delegates can absorb inspiring insights from the industries’ most prominent movers and shakers, including renowned regional architects, creative thinkers, and leading retail operators.”The INDEX Design Talks, sponsored by Geberit, Cosentino, Presto, and Kohler, will touch on the transformative impact of technology as sector trendsetter Firas Alsahin, Co-Founder and Design Director at 4space, will address essential issues including ‘The Revolution Impact of AI on the Architecture and Interior Design Process."Artificial intelligence is transforming the way we approach design, from enhancing our creativity to revolutionizing the way we construct and inhabit our physical and digital spaces. As we explore the potential of AI and the metaverse, we have the opportunity to create a new era of design that is both more efficient and more visionary" said Alsahin.Also on the agenda will be scrutiny of the design industry’s role in assisting the attainment of sustainability goals. It’s an issue that, Esra Lemmens, Founder of The Esra Lemmens Agency and Chairperson of Design Talks, says is vital to the industry’s own survival and reputation.“Design for Environment—it’s exactly as it sounds. Architects and designers are designing new products with greater responsibility keeping the environment in mind. The process starts with simply asking questions, lots of questions. What renewable materials could designers use in this project? How can they avoid creating a lot of waste? How can we reduce the carbon footprint, how can we do better and make sure our planet sustains for the generations to come?“Throughout the Middle East, nations have been laying out their net zero and sustainability goals, and it is up to all in the design sector to respond responsibly. Designers have to pose important questions, including how they can ensure their products perform well without exhausting resources and that those products can stand the test of time in terms of both functionality and aesthetics,” commented, Esra Lemmens.The Talks will also feature dedicated sessions investigating ways of inspiring young Emirati talent in the design sector and present the work of the Top 10 projects of the INDEX student competition, which saw young talent win internships with the region’s leading design houses.New to INDEX this year, is the Stones and Surfaces Summit. Sponsored by Asian Paints Berger and tailor made to discover the vital role of stones, surfaces and paints in contemporary design and architecture. The Summit will focus on key topics including - Pros and Cons of Laminate Flooring vs Luxury Vinyl Tiles, Stone and Surface Applications in Interior Design, Trends in Surface Design and more.Meanwhile, the Retail Leadership Forum will bring into focus current consumer trends, logistics strategies, and procurement techniques to help industry go-getters improve their business tactics and boost profitability. The Forum will see the biggest industry names join in discussions around furniture trends and retail design for furniture stores, the role of digital marketing and e-commerce in enhancing sales and the customer experience, as well as long-term customer loyalty.“The retail industry is at a crossroads when it is facing key challenges of staff recruitment and retention, shifting consumer behaviour, rising data security threats, and the blurring of lines between physical and digital online shopping,” explained keynote speaker Dr. Ali Hammoud, CEO, Midas Furniture “The Retail leadership Forum will give delegates the opportunity to gain insights which will enable them to better navigate these issues to ensure the sector is capable of transforming challenges into opportunities.”
https://adgully.me/post/1968/the-uae-cyber-security-council-and-oracle-sign-agreement

The UAE Cyber Security Council and Oracle sign agreement

Dubai: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed today by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security Council, United Arab Emirates and Nick Redshaw, Senior Vice President - Tech Cloud, Middle East and Africa, UAE Country Leader, Oracle to extend cooperation between the two organizations in the field of cybersecurity. The agreement was signed at the Oracle CloudWorld Tour Abu Dhabi event.Under this MoU, the UAE Cyber Security Council and Oracle have agreed to work together to help strengthen the UAE's Cyber Security framework by exchanging information on IT security risks, providing updates on latest cybersecurity technology solutions, sharing educational material, and conducting continuous training on cybersecurity related topics across all sectors.His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti said: “The UAE is at the forefront of creating a state of the art and secure digital infrastructure to help drive the country's digital economy growth.”He added that "we at the Cybersecurity Council are determined to build a cybersecurity system that protects all vital sectors in the country, supported by a safe and efficient environment in accordance with international best practices. We also work continuously in cooperation with partners, institutions and individuals to enhance cybersecurity in all vital sectors through an advanced and resilient digital security system that strengthens the UAE's leading position globally in various fields."Al-Kuwaiti explained that this MoU with Oracle is a key milestone on the journey to strengthen the UAE's cybersecurity preparedness.He said: “This Collaboration will help us explore global best practices, promote joint development of innovative solutions, and effectively train our executives on key cybersecurity developments.”Nick Redshaw said: “Oracle is fully committed to helping the UAE achieve its development objectives with latest cloud technologies, and we look forward to working with the UAE Cyber Security Council to help the country build a modern, secure, and agile IT infrastructure that is geared to responding to evolving cyber threats.
https://adgully.me/post/1961/botim-becomes-the-worlds-first-ultra-app

Botim becomes the world’s first “Ultra app”

Dubai: Astra Tech (Astra), the leading consumer technology holding group in MENA, has announced the launch of Botim 3.0, the world's first "Ultra app”. The term “Ultra App” has been coined to distinguish the platform from the crowded super app space. The platform aims to become an all-inclusive digital platform for its users by incubating fintech, e-commerce, GPT, and communications into a single user experience.Botim is a powerful digital tool meant to ease every user's life through access to services such as Botim Money for peer-to-peer transactions and international transfers, Botim Stores with access to 100,000+ stores including, and advanced video services such as tutoring and telemedicine later this year. Botim 3.0 is available to users around the world providing the world’s only seamless and open access to communicate and transact to and from the MENA region.The Ultra platform differs from super platforms in that it is built on top of a more frequently used case, communication, which eliminates the need for users to learn new behaviors to adapt to the platform. Through communication, many other services are enabled, leading to very high adoption rates from users.Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Co-Founder and CEO of Astra Tech, Botim’s parent company, stated: “The app space has become overcrowded over the past few years, with many platforms that are now causing a serious case of app noise and fatigue to users. We believe that a chat-based approach to offer all our services, on top of BOTIM, will provide users of all backgrounds and demographics with a single access point to the services they need, making our services inclusive and scalable.”BOTIM launched its first fintech service and the world's first in-chat international money transfer a few weeks ago with tremendous success in the UAE, India, and the Philippines, changing the remittance landscape regionally and showcasing the power of the Ultra platform. With millions of users now able to transfer money easily and securely, BOTIM is revolutionizing how people manage their finances. BOTIM is now expanding its financial services through its sister company, PayBy, to offer a fully integrated wallet that includes peer-to-peer, payments, and personal financial solutions. With licenses from the Central Bank-UAE and the largest user base in the region, BOTIM is cementing its position as a leading financial technology platform.BOTIM continues to demonstrate its innovative approach and establish itself as a top technology player by introducing the world's first executional Arabic GPT. This groundbreaking system will enable users to easily execute a wide range of tasks within the Botim ecosystem, including booking airline tickets, ordering coffee, initiating international money transfers, scheduling tutoring sessions, sending meeting invites, and more. With a global user base of over 150 million, BOTIM's executional Arabic GPT will redefine how people access and use digital services.Astra Tech holds the position of being the region's largest platform by number of users and amount of transactions. Its unrivaled technical capabilities are a direct result of its strategic acquisitions of some of the region's most important tech, communications, and e-commerce companies. The company continues to launch new innovative and cutting-edge solutions in its ambition to consolidate the consumer space under one platform.
https://adgully.me/post/1957/arab-advisors-group-to-host-its-regional-5g-summit

Arab Advisors Group to host its regional 5G summit

Amman: Gearing up for its upcoming regional summit, Arab Advisors Group, a leading market research and consulting firm in the MENA region, is announcing four main tracks that are designed to guide the participants; from thought leaders to C-level executives and directors, to stakeholders, towards the summit’s foresight.Scheduled to take place on June 6, 2023, Arab Advisors Group has selected for its one-day summit four main tracks that are considered a common vision for the participating stakeholders. The tracks include 5G for a Better Future, 5G Challenges and Opportunities, The Business Case for 5G, and 5G and beyond. These tracks will explore various sub-topics, such as transitioning to 5G, innovation in the 5G era, technology partners, and the creation of a viable 5G ecosystem."We look forward to bring together industry leaders and experts to discuss the future and promised potential of 5G," said Fayez Abu Awad, Arab Advisors Group’s Chief Advisor to the Board. "5G technology is unlocking novel opportunities for industrial applications, particularly in the areas of smart cities and IoT. With the combination of 5G, cloud, AI, and big data, we have a new spectrum of capabilities at our disposal. Cross-sector collaboration will be key to achieving a true digital paradigm shift. However, unprecedented challenges accompany this shift, particularly in the area of cybersecurity. Having said that, it is rather vital to prioritize cybersecurity from the outset and not just deploy first and protect later."The 5G Summit will feature keynote speeches, panel discussions, and networking opportunities. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with leading experts in the telecommunication industry, share ideas, and network with peers.Arab Advisors Group's 5G Summit is a must-attend event for those looking to stay ahead of the curve in the rapidly evolving world of 5G and digitization. 
https://adgully.me/post/1954/aurora-labs-launches-aurora-cloud-in-the-mena-region

Aurora Labs launches Aurora Cloud in the MENA region

Dubai:  Aurora Labs , a leading EVM compatible blockchain on NEAR Protocol, is proud to announce the official launch of its new product, Aurora Cloud in the MENA region.  The platform is designed to integrate blockchain technology to their business without friction or the need for expert teams, significant resources, or large investments in time. With Aurora Cloud, businesses can connect their existing products to their own blockchain, allowing for a seamless end user experience that still looks familiar to what their customers use every day.Aurora Cloud's Crypto Native teams offer expertise in blockchain technology and integration requirements, which helps businesses in the MENA region to operate with greater ease and efficiency. The platform's business model agnostic approach allows companies to expand and grow their revenues seamlessly without the need to implement any commercial changes across their organization.Aurora Cloud provides a number of unique features that are not available on other blockchains. The platform enables businesses to choose to operate on their own private blockchain, known as an Aurora Silo, implementing KYC/KYB access restrictions and dictating which apps and tokens are available to trade and use, allowing for a bespoke and tailored experience. The ability to control whether they or their customers are responsible for gas fees is another game-changing feature that provides total commercial flexibility and a strong incentive to both businesses and their consumers.Whilst Aurora Cloud is largely an industry agnostic solution that can provide blockchain benefits across a wide range of industries, we see significant benefits for Fintech companies, brokers, banks, investment funds, the energy sector, and those operating within the luxury goods and retail spaces."The launch of Aurora Cloud is an exciting moment for Aurora Labs and the wider blockchain industry. With our unique products and innovative approach, we are breaking down the technical barriers and increasing the transition of traditional businesses to the blockchain," said Alex Shevchenko the CEO of Aurora Labs. "We are confident that Aurora Cloud will position us at the forefront of this shift and provide the industry with a much wider pool of potential customers and partners."Aurora Cloud places a strong emphasis on security and privacy for its users. It employs all the security capabilities of the NEAR protocol and boasts a battle-hardened track record of successfully managing billions of dollars in user capital over the past two years.
https://adgully.me/post/1936/starzplay-partners-with-sky-news-arabia-to-bring-247-news

StarzPlay partners with Sky News Arabia to bring 24/7 news

Dubai: StarzPlay, the popular video-on-demand platform in the middle-east, has announced a significant partnership with Sky News Arabia, a renowned pan-Arab news network. This new channel carriage deal will bring 24/7 breaking news to StarzPlay's growing roster of entertainment and news programming. Sky News Arabia has been delivering fast and credible news since its inception in 2012, using cutting-edge broadcast technologies including virtual and augmented reality studios.StarzPlay's distribution network will enable Sky News Arabia to expand its reach across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, by making it available to all their subscribers via telecommunication partners. The move will also increase Sky News Arabia's visibility in the marketplace, providing a new customer base and further growing the news content market in MENA.Nart Bouran, CEO of Sky News Arabia and International Media Investments, said: "We recognise the importance of reaching audiences across streaming platforms, and we are pleased to partner with StarzPlay as one of the leaders in that space who will enable us to engage with a wider segment of audiences across the MENA region."Danny Bates, CCO and co-founder of StarzPlay, added: "We consider this partnership very significant as it will unlock the full market potential on channel distribution. We look forward to offering more captivating content on our platform."This partnership highlights the increasing demand for high-quality news programming in the region, and the potential for collaborations between entertainment and news providers. With StarzPlay's established presence in the MENA region and Sky News Arabia's reputation for delivering fast and credible news, this partnership is sure to be a success.
https://adgully.me/post/1930/over-100-job-positions-offered-by-sheraa-startups

Over 100 job positions offered by Sheraa startups

Dubai: Over 27 startups by the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) offered more than 100 job positions, including full-time, part-time, freelance, and internship opportunities, catering to a broad range of students during “Startup Career Fair 2023” which was organized by Sheraa and the American University of Sharjah (AUS) in partnership with Crescent Enterprises.The Fair brought together over 500 enthusiastic students seeking internships and job opportunities and was held at Sheraa Hub at AUS, featured interactive booths and fireside chats alongside leading innovators and entrepreneurs in the UAE and beyond.Attendees had the opportunity to network and build connections with 27 Sheraa-supported startups, which advertised 100+ key positions in sales & business development, product strategy, product development, marketing, IT and software, graphic design, finance, engineering, data management, customer relationship management, filming, editing, and content creation.Founders of startups such as OptimizeApp, Zidyia, Made for You Global, Cycled Technologies, Yspot, exhale, AR Engineering, HoloFair, Kyma, Foloosi Technologies Ltd, Savii, jalebi.io, Lune Technologies, EYouth, FortyGuard, Esaal solutions, and Ludus Films shared their experiences and insights at the fair, offering valuable advice to students looking to enter the startup world. With a focus on providing students with firsthand insights into working at a startup, they discussed topics such as the challenges and benefits of working at a startup, company culture, career growth, and more.Najla Al-Midfa, CEO of Sheraa, said: "Nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs is at the heart of what we do at Sheraa. The Startup Career Fair served as a platform for startups and students to connect on a personal level and discover opportunities for collaboration and growth. The fair's success is a testament to the thriving startup ecosystem in Sharjah and the region, and we look forward to continuing to support and encourage students as they consider careers in our homegrown companies or venture off on their own."Rania Morsi, AUS Interim Executive Director of Advancement and Alumni Affairs, said: "We are proud to have partnered with Sheraa and Crescent Enterprises to organize the first-ever Startup Career Fair at AUS. This outstanding event brought together students and startups in a dynamic and interactive environment, fostering connections and facilitating networking. We are committed to providing our students with valuable opportunities that enable them to pursue their aspirations and realize their potential. We also strive to create a platform where startups can tap into a pool of exceptional talent."At the interactive booths, students had the opportunity to engage directly with participating startups to explore potential internship or full-time positions. Startups such as OptimizeApp, which enables SMEs to organize social media campaigns through a single app, and Zidyia, the world's first modern subscription-based learning management system built natively on the cloud, showcased their offerings and connected with talented students.The fair's success was a testament to the strong startup ecosystem in Sharjah, as Sheraa and AUS facilitated connections between students and startups. The event provided students with a platform to discover their passions and interests and paved the way for a bright future in innovative companies.
https://adgully.me/post/1922/merkle-appoints-omar-khan-as-head-of-data-analytics-for-the-mena-region

Merkle appoints Omar Khan as Head of Data & Analytics for the MENA region

Dubai: Merkle, dentsu’s leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management company, today announces the appointment of Omar Khan as Head of Data & Analytics of the MENA business.Khan’s arrival comes as local and regional clients continue to undergo digital transformation on their journey’s to meet ever changing customer expectations. In his new role, Omar will lead analytics product development and innovation efforts, while driving the adoption and use of analytics, cloud and data engineering across both Merkle and dentsu’s media and creative brands.Bringing more than 18 years of experience in the fields of data warehousing, business intelligence, data engineering and analytics, Khan has a proven track record working across a diverse range of global and national brands from healthcare to telecommunications. Prior to joining dentsu, Omar has worked in various leadership positions with NTT Data, Microsoft and the NHS. In his most recent role as Data Director of ZainTech, he was recognised for significantly contributing to an evolutionary leap in doubling data capability and building a delivery excellence framework. He also counts being named the winner of the Data 50 Awards 2017 and Tech Leaders 2017 among his industry accolades.Tarek Daouk, CEO of dentsu MENA said: “I am thrilled to have Omar join the Merkle MENA leadership team. His significant industry expertise, best in class experience and thinking from leading technology companies driving large-scale digital transformation is critical in today’s environment as we expand and optimise our offering. His leadership will be instrumental in ensuring our business is organised to continuously evolve to meet our customers’ expectations.”Omar Khan, said: “It is a really exciting time to be joining Merkle as it continues its expansion across MENA and rapidly builds its reputation as a leader in customer experience transformation. I was drawn to Merkle by my genuine belief in their proposition, and that of the wider dentsu network, as being an agency built for the future and one that is responding to what clients are looking for today. I am looking forward to working with clients to navigate complex data and technology decisions, and with an innovative team of experts to deliver on Merkle’s vision to be at the forefront of analytics and technology-driven performance marketing.”Merkle MENA’s team of 48 people work across some of the most prestigious brands in the region, catering to different service lines and industry verticals. Supporting global, regional and local market clients, Merkle provides leading edge customer experience management through its experts in Analytics, Data & Martech, Experience & Commerce and Strategy & Transformation practice areas.
https://adgully.me/post/1914/uae-consumers-find-chatbots-most-useful-in-buying-mobile-phones

UAE consumers find chatbots most useful in buying mobile phones

Dubai: With the AI market on track to reach the USD 500 billion mark by 2024, it is no surprise that AI and ML (machine learning) continue to become an integral part of business systems the world over.A YouGov survey conducted across 18 international markets finds that chatbots are proving to be a valuable resource for customers seeking assistance while shopping online for various products and services, but three in ten global consumers do not consider them useful in this regard. In the UAE, less than one in ten (8%) consumers do not find chatbots useful, highlighting the popularity of AI technology in the country. From the various listed options, chatbots appear to be most useful in online shopping for mobiles and electronics, with one in six consumers across the globe saying this (16% each). In the UAE, this number increases to three in ten (30%) for mobiles and one in four (26%) for electronics- making them the top two categories where consumers think using a customer service chatbot can be useful.A quarter also consider chatbots useful when buying air travel and hotel services online (26%)- the highest of all markets across the globe.  While only 12% global consumers think chatbots are helpful in buying groceries online, this number doubles (24%) among UAE consumers. Similarly, buying clothes/ shoes (24% UAE consumers vs 14% global consumers), take-out food(23% vs 12%), and financial products (20% vs 12%) online via chatbots is more useful to UAE adults than global consumers. Around a fifth of UAE consumers think chatbot assistance is useful in buying medicines (19%), streaming subscriptions (19%) and cars/ vehicles (19%) online. An equal but lesser proportion of consumers believe in its usefulness when shopping online for out-of-home entertainment services and cosmetics (17% each).Comparatively, the area where consumers think chatbots are least helpful are when buying video games online, but this is still more useful to residents in UAE than those across the globe (15% vs 10%). Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. The data is based on surveys of adults aged 18+ years in 18 markets with sample sizes varying between 431 and 1,572 for each market. UAE data is based on a nationally representative sample of 18+ adults with a sample size of 1014 respondents. All surveys were conducted online in December 2022. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced. 
https://adgully.me/post/1872/oracle-reinforces-commitment-to-the-uae

Oracle reinforces commitment to the UAE

Dubai: Abu Dhabi is one of the five global cities that will host one of the global technology industry’s most awaited, and Oracle’s annual flagship event, CloudWorld Tour. In a yet another initiative to support the growth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s digital economy, Oracle is bringing its new event series, the CloudWorld Tour to the UAE Capital on 3rd May 2023 in association with the Department of Economic Development, and the UAE Cybersecurity Council.Nick Redshaw, Senior Vice President – Technology Cloud, Middle East and Africa, and UAE Country Leader, Oracle said: “Oracle is fully committed to help the UAE achieve its development objectives with latest cloud technologies, and we are delighted to bring the tech industry’s most definitive event to Abu Dhabi. Oracle Cloud World Tour Abu Dhabi will provide an inside look at how organisations are solving their most complex business challenges with latest innovations in cloud infrastructure, databases, and applications across diverse industry sectors.”To be held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC), the Oracle Cloud World Tour Abu Dhabi will showcase the latest innovations in cloud infrastructure, databases, and applications across diverse industries in some of the most popular sessions and labs from the Las Vegas global conference. The event also offers the opportunity to connect with the Oracle partner and customer community and be inspired by leaders from local companies as they share lessons from their latest projects.Oracle CloudWorld Tour Abu Dhabi will be headlined by top UAE Government leaders including His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), and the Chairman of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government, and Managing Director of the National Data Centre under the Supreme Council for National Security is also a keynote speaker at the event.Top Oracle leadership including Mike Sicilia, Executive Vice President – Oracle Global Industries, and Jae Sook Evans, Global Chief Information Officer, and Executive Vice President – Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Platform Services will also deliver keynotes at the event.His Excellency Ahmed Jasim Al Zaabi, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), said: “The launch of Oracle’s cloud region in Abu Dhabi reflects our efforts to ensure that Abu Dhabi’s economy is supported by strong partnerships and clear objectives to fuel the transition to a futuristic digital economy and position the emirate at the forefront among the smartest cities in the world.”“As Abu Dhabi is doubling its efforts in strengthening its knowledge-based and innovation-driven industries, we are developing and incentivising talent to devise solutions for current and future challenges. This move by Oracle will help in accelerating Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation by developing pioneering talents and leveraging innovative solutions to strengthen the emirate’s position as economic and technology powerhouse and a global hub for business, investments, and talent”.His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Hamad Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity for the UAE Government said: “The UAE is at the forefront of creating state of the art and secure digital infrastructure that is acting as a major catalyst towards driving the country’s digital economy growth. We are also focused on boosting the ‘cyber resilience’ of the UAE to mitigate cybercrime and increase international collaboration. With its two cloud regions in the UAE, a dedicated innovation hub in Abu Dhabi, and a series of capacity building programs, Oracle has consistently invested in helping build a resilient local cloud infrastructure and help strengthen the country’s talent pipeline of IT professionals. Oracle’s flagship event, Cloud World Tour Abu Dhabi 2023 will act as an excellent platform for all stakeholders in the UAE to learn about the country’s digital future ambitions, while also gain unique insights from global best practices in the realm of digital transformation.”Oracle has established two second generation cloud regions in the UAE; Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Oracle has also established two innovation hubs in the UAE to accelerate the adoption of latest digital technologies. Oracle has also collaborated with the Higher Colleges of Technology, and Zayed University to help prepare the UAE’s next gen workforce for the digital economy.
https://adgully.me/post/1846/how-female-leaders-are-set-to-take-30-of-the-mena-tech-industry

How female leaders are set to take 30% of the MENA tech industry

Dubai: The tech industry has traditionally been male-dominated, but in recent years, women have been increasingly making their mark in the sector, particularly in the field of technology. The MENA region, in particular, has seen a rise in the number of women taking on leadership roles in real estate tech companies, paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive industry.According to a report by McKinsey, gender-diverse companies are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability compared to their peers. This suggests that the rise of women leaders in the real estate tech industry could have significant economic benefits for the MENA region.One such leader is Anastasia Denisova is the CEO of Realiste MENA, a proptech startup based in Dubai that uses artificial intelligence to digitize global housing markets and make them more efficient, transparent, and attractive to property investors. Realiste MENA covers 20 cities worldwide, including Dubai, New York, London, and Riyadh, and aims to expand its presence to over 30 additional cities by the end of 2023. Under Anastasia's leadership, Realiste MENA has integrated with 27 real estate developers in Dubai, attracted more than 50,000 users, and increased monthly revenue in Dubai from zero to $1M by the end of 2022.“I believe that the greatest contribution was made by educational institutions. Many countries in the region invest in education and provide better access to technology-related fields, resulting in women graduating with engineering degrees at higher rates than more technologically advanced countries such as the US, the UK, and Japan. In some Gulf states, more than half of engineering students are female.Overall, women in the MENA countries comprise nearly half, and sometimes more, of STEM students at the university level. Eleven of the 18 Arab states have a majority of female science graduates. This trend has resulted in women playing a significant role in high-profile tech projects in the region, such as the UAE's Mars Hope probe, where women made up 80% of the scientists involved.I have also observed that women who have accomplished notable feats in the business field become role models for others and provide support to the women's community. Our advisory board includes several individuals who serve as such examples. One such person is Aisha Bin Bishr, Vice Chairwoman at Emaar Development, who was recently recognized by Forbes Middle East as one of the 100 Most Powerful Businesswomen of 2023. Another exceptional role model is Fatima Al Jaber, who serves as a Board member and Head of the Projects Committee at Al Jaber Group, one of the Middle East's most prominent construction and infrastructure companies.”, Anastasia Denisova says.Anastasia's success is a testament to the crucial role that women play in MENA's real estate technology industry. Women are driving innovation and progress in the region, from startups like Realiste MENA to established companies like Emaar, which is led by Aisha Bin Bishr, Vice Chairwoman of the Board. The MENA region has long been known for its conservative attitudes towards women in the workplace, but the growing number of female leaders in the real estate technology industry is helping to break down these barriers and create new opportunities for women . Anastasia believes that women may make up to 30% of the tech industry in the MENA region by 2030.Women are breaking down barriers in the real estate tech industry and inspiring a new generation of female entrepreneurs to pursue careers in the field. According to a report by the Dubai Future Foundation, women now make up 45% of the UAE's startup workforce, a significant increase from just a few years ago.It is clear that women are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the future of the MENA real estate tech industry. By promoting gender diversity and inclusion, these women leaders are not only paving the way for future generations but also contributing to the economic growth and success of the region as a whole.
https://adgully.me/post/1833/digital-qube-launches

Digital Qube launches

UAE: Digital marketing company Digital Qube launches from its new office in Yas Creative Hub in Abu Dhabi.Yas Island has become a global destination, with US actor Kevin Hart appointed as Chief Island Officer reflecting the fast-growing global interest in the entertainment island of Abu Dhabi and the Middle East. With many new, exciting projects being built on the island, from SeaWorld to stunning sea view property developments, Yas Island is fast becoming a household name on the international map.CEO of Digital Qube, said, “We are excited to be growing our digital marketing business from our new base in Yas Creative Hub. Opening our new offices here is in line with our vision to assist companies in Abu Dhabi and the world to run entire digital programmes from start to end.”Set up by one of Abu Dhabi’s Leading Women Entrepreneurs <2>, Digital Qube offers clients a suite of digital services, including digital transformation, talent management, and training in digital marketing for individuals and businesses. This expansion complements the existing services of digital marketing strategy, branding, social media, website creation, content writing and PR.“Digital Qube is here to help Yas Island and the GCC expand, which is exciting,”“Our aim is simply to help our clients deliver projects swiftly in the digital world. At the heart of everything we do is a desire to create seamless and exceptional digital experiences for our customers and clients.”Brilliant marketing and outstanding digital capabilities are key to a flourishing, evolving business.Yet Arabian Business reported that “70 percent of business leaders in the Middle East said the shortage of essential digital skills is a business threat”.Therefore, Digital Qube is training and building a highly qualified team of experts.” Digital is no longer simply a department – it’s an entire operating system. We help companies harness their digital potential.”The team is currently working with some of the leading brands in the UAE as well as international names, SMEs and startups. Projects vary from designing new websites to creating dynamic new marketing or digital transformation strategies.“Our mantra is quality, agility and speed,” Rosie Seldon, CEO said. “Things move at breakneck pace in the digital world, and supporting the biggest brands is often a question of being faster and smarter; with the strongest teamwork, communications and project management skills. Solving problems is integral to what we do. We think of a business like a Rubix cube – manipulate one element, and it will change the structure on all sides. We assess a company’s digital processes from all angles to truly deliver digital transformation.”A certified Google trainer, Rosie Seldon worked in digital marketing for giants including HSBC and Lloyds Bank in London prior to moving to the UAE. The experience of working on million-dollar digital transformation projects in London highlighted the importance of creating a strong, positive digital experience for customers, building all-round strategies that deliver measurable results, and of creating a strong team that puts clients first.“Digital Qube is built on talented specialists working together as a team,” Rosie said. “It’s essential to me that clients find our team highly responsive, a joy to work with – and that we overcome the many challenges to get the projects delivered!”
https://adgully.me/post/1826/faisal-ahmed-promoted-to-head-of-performance-media-for-dentsu-mena

Faisal Ahmed promoted to Head of Performance, Media for dentsu MENA

Dubai : Dentsu today announces the promotion of Faisal Ahmed to Head of Performance, Media for dentsu MENA, a newly created role designed to strengthen client focus and provide operational leadership for Performance across the group’s media brands Carat, iProspect and dentsu X.Leading a consolidated team of performance specialists across departments, Faisal will lead the integration of digital products, tools and capabilities to maximize opportunities for clients and respond to the changing needs of consumers. Encouraging the adoption of best practice in deploying relevant experiences, insights and technology, Faisal will be tasked with driving progressive and effective performance media strategies for dentsu’s clients across the MENA region.Faisal has a wealth of industry experience with over 17 years’ specialising in software engineering, digital performance, analytics and client management roles, of which he has spent over 10 years with dentsu in various leadership positions. “With the continued pace of digital transformation, brands and businesses should be taking a more holistic approach to digital performance management. Agencies are no exception; integrating our performance teams to combine the right talent, technologies, platforms, and processes will better enable us to deliver a top-class digital experience for our clients and partners. I am delighted to appoint Faisal to spearhead this effort, his deep industry experience and leadership will be invaluable to further strengthen our Performance Media capabilities and services across MENA,” said Tarek Daouk, CEO of dentsu MENA.Commenting on his new role, Faisal added, “I’m delighted to be taking on this new challenge with dentsu. By shifting our digital specialists away from a siloed single agency model into a hybrid, multi-disciplinary digital performance effort, we will both drive efficiency and improve quality. From knowledge-sharing across teams, to standardised outputs across the discipline, we have an opportunity to reimagine ways of working to both empower our teams and drive growth for our clients who are trusting us to do great work.”
https://adgully.me/post/1816/gartner-forecasts-worldwide-it-spending-to-grow-55-in-2023

Gartner forecasts worldwide IT spending to grow 5.5% in 2023

DUBAI: Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $4.6 trillion in 2023, an increase of 5.5% from 2022, according to the latest forecast by Gartner, Inc. Despite continued global economic turbulence, all regions worldwide are projected to achieve IT spending growth in 2023.“Macroeconomic headwinds are not slowing digital transformation,” said John-David Lovelock, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner. “IT spending will remain strong, even as many countries are projected to have near-flat gross domestic product (GDP) growth and high inflation in 2023. Prioritization will be critical as CIOs look to optimize spend while using digital technology to transform the company’s value proposition, revenue and client interactions.”The software segment will see double-digit growth this year as enterprises prioritize spending to capture competitive advantages through increased productivity, automation and other software-driven transformation initiatives. Conversely, the devices segment will decline nearly 5% in 2023, as consumers defer device purchases due to declining purchasing power and a lack of incentive to buyAs enterprises navigate continued economic turbulence, the split of technologies being maintained versus those driving the business is apparent in their position relative to overall average IT spending growth.“CIOs face a balancing act that is evident in the dichotomies in IT spending,” said Lovelock. “For example, there is sufficient spending within data center markets to maintain existing on-premises data centers, but new spending has shifted to cloud options, as reflected in the growth in IT services.”The IT services segment will continue its growth trajectory through 2024, largely driven by the infrastructure-as-a-service market, which is projected to reach over 30% growth this year. For the first time, price is a key driver of increased spend for cloud services segments, rather than just increased usage.In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), IT spending is estimated to total $175.5 billion, up from $171.9 billion in 2022 Exposure from Bank Failures Remains Contained, but Tech CEOs Must Prepare for DisruptionThe collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Credit Suisse created a shockwave within the banking and tech industries. While exposure remains relatively contained, tech startups are likely to face renewed questions and scrutiny from stakeholders, clients and prospects.“This is not just a tech problem, as these firms lent money to all forms of startups – not just IT,” said Lovelock. “Tech CEOs must urgently ensure they are moving their organization forward by conserving working capital, monitoring the impact on cash, securing access to credit and keeping a close eye on talent and culture. Once the organization is properly prepared, tech CEOs can then direct and engage employees to find, accelerate and execute on market opportunities.”Tech Talent Shortages Continue Amidst LayoffsEven as layoffs continue to impact the tech industry at large, there is still a critical shortage of skilled IT labor. The demand for tech talent greatly outstrips the supply, which will continue until at least 2026 based on forecast IT spend.“Tech layoffs do not mean that the IT talent shortage is over,” said Lovelock. “IT spending on internal services is slowing in all industries, and enterprises are not keep up with wage rate increases. As a result, enterprises will spend more money to retain fewer staff and will turn to IT services firms to fill in the gaps.”Gartner’s IT spending forecast methodology relies heavily on rigorous analysis of the sales by over a thousand vendors across the entire range of IT products and services. Gartner uses primary research techniques, complemented by secondary research sources, to build a comprehensive database of market size data on which to base its forecast.The Gartner quarterly IT spending forecast delivers a unique perspective on IT spending across the hardware, software, IT services and telecommunications segments. These reports help Gartner clients understand market opportunities and challenges. The most recent IT spending forecast research is available to Gartner clients in “Gartner Market Databook, 1Q23 Update.”
https://adgully.me/post/1685/delivering-consumer-centric-solutions-is-key-pivotroots-yogesh-khanchandani

Delivering consumer-centric solutions is key: PivotRoots' Yogesh Khanchandani

“We were able to help a vast number of SMEs navigate the post-pandemic landscape with greater ease and confidence. Our templatized e-commerce solutions and consultation services proved to be a game-changer for many businesses looking to establish a robust online presence and capitalise on the vast potential of the digital market,” says Yogesh Khanchandani, Co-Founder & Chief Business Strategy Officer at PivotRoots.Pivotroots, currently present in India and Dubai, is a data- and technology-led full-service digital agency offering services across strategy and consulting, digital media planning & buying, UI/IX, social & content, data & analytics, and custom solution building. The agency has worked with over 60 brands, like EmiratesNBD, National Bank of Kuwait, Amazon Prime Video, Upgrad, etc. Pivotroots recently expanded its martech solutions under PivotConsult to offer clients cutting-edge custom tech solutions that are tailored to their unique business needs. “To achieve this, we acquired DEEPFLUX, a tech company comprising software engineers who work closely with our brand strategists to develop custom infrastructures that drive efficiency and effectiveness,” says Yogesh in this interview with BF Firos, Associate Editor, Adgully. Excerpts: In a competitive digital marketing industry, what sets PivotRoots apart from other agencies in the UAE, and how do you maintain your competitive edge?In today's industry, it is essential to possess talent, agility, and vision for the future in order to stay ahead of the curve. At our company, our unwavering focus has always been on designing and delivering consumer-centric solutions that are backed by an extensive, data-driven strategy. Over our seven-year journey of building PivotRoots, we have constantly evolved and innovated ourselves. Initially, we began as an end-to-end digital marketing agency, but we soon shifted our focus to become a martech-first digital agency. Today, as an integrated solutioning agency, we provide a more efficient and effective approach to problem-solving. Our commitment to our clients is to provide a comprehensive view of their business and deliver solutions that meet their unique needs.Can you walk us through a successful campaign you've worked on, highlighting the challenges faced, solutions implemented, and results achieved?One of our most successful campaigns was for Father's Day, which we executed for our client FnP last year.FnP, a global gifting brand, faced two significant challenges. Firstly, its audience were not aware that FnP offered more than just flowers as gift options, leading to a perception issue. Secondly, they faced slow growth resulting from the conventional gifting behaviour of the audience, where gifts were exchanged only during occasions, festivals, or personal and professional achievements.To tackle these challenges, a comprehensive strategy was developed after conducting extensive research on market behaviour and human insights. The primary objective was to communicate that every moment could be made special with a gift, and one didn't need to wait for a special occasion. The campaign, #FathersTurnToReceive, was based on the insight that fathers, irrespective of nationality or socio-economic status, always believe in fulfilling the needs and desires of their loved ones. They are like gifts that keep on giving, and Father's Day was the perfect opportunity to make them feel the joy of receiving a gift as an expression of love, gratitude, and respect.As a result of the campaign, the brand search volume for the word "fnp" increased by 50%, and there was a brand intent increase of up to 57% from the previous month. Furthermore, during the ten-day campaign period, close to 1000 purchases were made resulting in a major success for the brand!With the pandemic shifting consumer behavior and expectations, how has PivotRoots adapted its services to cater to changing market demands?In the aftermath of the pandemic, the entire industry was grappling with the challenge of rapidly accelerating their digital transformation. Amidst this X5 digital acceleration, we stepped in and provided crucial support to numerous small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through our templatized quick e-commerce set-up and consultation services.Our priority was to help these SMEs fast-track their digitization process and align with the evolving needs of today's consumers. By providing tailored consultation services, we enabled these businesses to adapt to the changing market dynamics and stay ahead of the curve.We were able to help a vast number of SMEs navigate the post-pandemic landscape with greater ease and confidence. Our templatized e-commerce solutions and consultation services proved to be a game-changer for many businesses looking to establish a robust online presence and capitalize on the vast potential of the digital market.How do you ensure that your team stays up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in the digital marketing landscape, and how do you encourage innovation within the company?At our company, we take pride in our strict in-house protocol for training and certifications, which plays a pivotal role in managing the upskilling of our talented workforce. We firmly believe that investing in our employees' development and nurturing their skill sets is key to driving our growth and success.Our comprehensive training and certification programmes are carefully tailored to the specific needs of our employees, and we closely link them to promotions and bonuses. This approach not only ensures that our employees are equipped with the latest industry knowledge and skills but also incentivizes them to pursue excellence and strive for growth within the organisation.Additionally, we maintain and encourage Joint Business Plans (JBPs) with all our media partners. Our JBPs focus on fostering innovation, exploring out-of-the-box solutions, and delivering exceptional value to our clients. Through these partnerships, we aim to stay at the forefront of the rapidly evolving media landscape and leverage the latest trends and technologies to drive impactful outcomes for our clients.What metrics do you use to measure the success of a campaign, and how do you ensure that your clients' ROI is maximised?At our company, we understand that each client has unique goals that are closely tied to their business objectives. For this reason, we always take a bespoke approach and tailor our media solutions to meet the specific needs of our clients.For example, for a retail furniture store, our focus would be on driving measurable footfall into their stores, which can be achieved through targeted and impactful media campaigns. Similarly, for D2C clients, we prioritise increasing their month-on-month revenue by leveraging a range of media channels and optimising campaigns for maximum ROI.For FMCG brands, our objective would be to improve their brand metrics through effective communication and targeting. This could involve developing engaging content, leveraging social media influencers, and utilising data-driven insights to target the right audience segments.Overall, our approach is driven by a deep understanding of our clients' unique goals and KPIs, and we work closely with them to develop customised media solutions that deliver measurable business outcomes. By aligning our strategies with our clients' business objectives, we are able to drive meaningful results and help them achieve long-term success.What future plans does PivotRoots have for expansion or diversification of its services, and what new technologies or trends are you most excited about?At our company, we recognize that technology is rapidly transforming the marketing landscape, and we are committed to staying ahead of the curve. That's why we recently expanded our martech solutions under PivotConsult to offer our clients cutting-edge custom tech solutions that are tailored to their unique business needs.To achieve this, we acquired DEEPFLUX, a tech company comprising software engineers who work closely with our brand strategists to develop custom infrastructures that drive efficiency and effectiveness. With a strong focus on data and technology, we are aggressively scaling up our verticals in areas such as ML/AI, CDP, audiences, and anomaly detection.Our approach is driven by a deep understanding of our clients' businesses and the unique challenges they face in today's rapidly evolving marketing landscape. By combining our strategic expertise with the latest in cutting-edge technology, we are able to develop innovative solutions that drive real business outcomes for our clients.Overall, our expansion into martech solutions under PivotConsult reflects our commitment to staying at the forefront of the industry and providing our clients with the best possible solutions to meet their business needs. We are excited to continue driving innovation and delivering value to our clients through the power of data and technology.What, according to you, are the effective marketing strategies for SMEs in the UAE? How conducive is the UAE environment for SMEs?My recommendation for SMEs would be to prioritise a consumer-centric marketing strategy, a fundamental and effective approach for businesses to adopt. It involves putting the customer at the centre of all marketing efforts and focusing on understanding their needs, preferences, and behaviours in order to deliver personalised and relevant experiences.By adopting a consumer-centric approach, businesses can improve customer satisfaction, increase customer loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue growth. This approach allows businesses to build stronger relationships with their customers by providing them with personalised experiences that are tailored to their specific needs and preferences.To achieve this, it is important to gather and analyse customer data in order to gain insights into their behaviour and preferences. This data can then be used to inform marketing campaigns and strategies that are designed to resonate with customers and drive engagement.In today's highly competitive marketplace, a consumer-centric approach can give businesses a significant competitive advantage. By placing the needs and preferences of their customers at the forefront of their marketing efforts, businesses can build stronger, more meaningful relationships with their customers and drive long-term success.