1. Hvad er den ene ting, Mr. Omar vil ændre i denne verden?

Jeg ville elske at se, at iværksættere har lettere adgang til erhvervskunder. I dag er beslutningstagning inden for virksomheder virkelig centraliseret øverst i organisationen. Mange steder, hvis du ikke har adgang til administrerende direktør eller en person på seniorniveau, er det meget vanskeligt at få et partnerskab til at ske eller at få en aftale til at gå igennem i regionen. Dette gør det meget vanskeligt for små og mellemstore virksomheder at få succes i Mellemøsten. Jeg ville elske at se mere gennemsigtighed i den måde, virksomhederne handler på, og at de åbner muligheder for unge mennesker. Regionen har en enorm procentdel af unge, og jeg vil gerne se, at de unge får mulighed for at rejse sig inden for selskabet og rejse sig hurtigt og ikke blive begrænset eller bedømt efter deres alder.

  1. Hvad er historien eller motivet bag ArabNet?

I founded ArabNet in 2009. I consider myself an accidental entrepreneur.  I had actually lost my job. I was living in New York City working in finance during the financial crisis. It was the worst possible time to be working in finance in New York City. 5 out 8 of my friends lost their jobs at this point. And after I spent all my savings, which didn’t take long in New York, I packed my stuff and moved back to the Middle East. I started looking what was available. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, I knew I was passionate about the digital sector. I started looking for opportunities found that there wasn’t enough information nor enough platforms to connect with people working in this industry.  That is where I saw the opportunity to start ArabNet. The vision of ArabNet is very clear. It’s to grow the Arab Web and mobile industry. Everything we do falls under that statement, whether it’s the events we organize, the developer tournaments that we do, the content that we create for the internet, otherwise our participation and support for the entrepreneurs through our competition and our other initiatives. Our goal is to hjælpe grow this sector, and as the sector grows, we can grow with it.

  1. Du går ind i 5th år af ArabNet. Hvad har ændret sig siden ArabNets første start i 2009?

The greatest thing that has changed since ArabNet was launched was the tremendous interest in the digital sector. When we launched in 2010, and did our first begivenhed, the digital realm was something that only geeks, bloggers, and techies cared about. That has transformed radically. Today digital is on the CEO’s agenda because the ramification it has across everything from product delivery to marketing, recruiting, and customer service. We’re seeing the largest corporations in the Middle East invest a lot of their time and resources into building out their presence. Whether that’s retailers going online and exploiting ecommerce, or banks investing in mobile apps, and the newest technology for their branches. Whether that is schools and universities looking at learning management systems and tablets in classrooms, and tablets in hospitals. This transformation is really key. The other thing is when we started, the amount of resources and investments available to entrepreneurs were relatively limited. We’ve seen a tremendous increase in funding in the Middle East. Sources of funding going from small funds that had 10 or 15 million dollars each, doing small deals, half a million or a million dollars. Today there are hundreds of millions of dollars available for entrepreneurs. Funds that are much larger in size, people are raising 40-70 million dollars, and are interested in doing much larger deals. This opens up a lot of opportunities for Arab entrepreneurs.

  1. ArabNet er allerede talepunktet for digitale fagfolk og iværksættere. Hvad er han-visionen, eller hvordan ser du ArabNet i de næste 5 år?
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Vi er virkelig glade for at lancere den første ordentlige udgave af vores magasin i det kommende topmøde. ArabNet vil hvert kvartal være en branchehenvisning, der afspejler de banebrydende emner og debatter, vi har i vores begivenhed. Vi hjælper med at holde branchefagfolk og ledere fra tværs af brancher, der er interesseret i at være på top med digitale transformationer og innovationer. Vi holder dem ajour med, hvad der sker i digital forretning. Ud over det, når Dubai vokser til ikke kun en kapital for erhvervslivet i Mellemøsten, men også en kapital for erhvervslivet på nye markeder. Vores ambition er at det ArabNet digitale topmøde ikke kun skal være den vigtigste begivenhed for digital forretning og iværksætteri i Mellemøsten, men snarere nøglebegivenheden for digital forretning og iværksætteri på nye markeder.

  1. Hvad er højdepunktet på dette års ArabNet Digital-topmøde i Dubai?

One of the key themes we’re exploring at this year’s summit is actually around innovation and hardware. The cost of hardware is decreasing rapidly. Opportunities for entrepreneurs to innovate in hardware and especially fund their innovations have been dramatically increased by crowdsourcing platforms. We’re already seeing things like roadie Tuner, Instabeat, and other Arab Hardware companies win awards at a global level in terms of innovation.  One of the topics we’ll also be discussing is how 3D printing have the potential to revolutionize industries. And beyond that, interest in e-handel continues to grow in the Middle East. We’re seeing the region’s biggest retailers begin to establish e-commerce presence. We’re also seeing the growth in the pure e-commerce like souq.com which recently raised 75 million dollars for expansion. It is valued at over 400 million dollars, potentially to be the first billion dollar Arab dot com company. In addition to this, digital marketing and advertising are a key topic that we’ll be discussing at the event. We have a full track of workshops. The AdTech Academy focused on helping agencies, clients, and industry professionals build their skills in digital marketing. We’ll also be discussing the future of the agency as the lines continue to blur between media agencies, creative agencies, and publishers. We’ll be discussing what the agency of the future will look like with some of the leading CEO’s and managing directors of agencies in the Middle East.

  1. På hvilket grundlag bedømmer du ArabNets vækst i YOY og hævder, at det har været en succes i år?

Vi måler vores vækst på tværs af flere matricer. Selvfølgelig er antallet af deltagere en nøglematrix for os. Vi ønsker, at begivenheden skal være større og mere forskelligartet. Mennesker, der kommer fra forskellige lande, så folk kan drive forretning med forskellige markeder. En anden er højttalernes profil. At have beslutningstagere, brancheeksperter fra globale og regionale førende virksomheder. Ud over at have topsponsorer, både for ArabNets succes økonomisk som en virksomhed, og også for at have disse virksomheder der hos os, der deltager i arrangementet, gøre forretninger med alle de andre aktører i denne branche og udvide forretningen for alle.

 

Om Omar Christidis

Omar Christidis er grundlægger og administrerende direktør for ArabNet, den førende begivenheds- og medievirksomhed med fokus på den arabiske internet- og mobilindustri. ArabNet arrangerer de førende konferencer for den digitale sektor i MENA inklusive ArabNet Digital Summit, den førende internationale samling for arabiske digitale fagfolk og iværksættere. Topmødet blev afholdt for fjerde gang i Dubai i juni 2013 og samlede mere end 800 deltagere fra 35 lande og modtog mere end 9,100 tweets og 42,800 hits på live-steam. I 2012 blev Omar valgt af GulfNews Magazine som en af ​​dens “30 under 30 ″ liste. Han er kandidat fra Yale University og medstifter af Yale Arab Alumni Association.