Technology

See How This Website Will Revolutionize Egypt’s Economy

See How This Website Will Revolutionize Egypt’s Economy

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In today’s Egypt, everyone can be an entrepreneur. While youth across Egypt chanted for bread, liberty and social justice in 2011 in what become known as the January 25 revolution, another economic revolution was taking place. This economic revolution has been led by websites such as dubizzle.com which have been redefining the economy and the culture of ownership in Egypt.

To learn more about dubizzle, its vision, and how you can buy and sell hand-crafted items, old books, clothes, cars and more, Egyptian Streets spoke with Ahmed Eraqi, the General Manager of dubizzle in Egypt.

In as few words as possible, what is dubizzle?

dubizzle.com is the leading free classifieds website for users in the Middle East and North Africa. Since its launch in 2005, dubizzle.com has become the number one platform for users to buy, sell, or find anything in their community. A community where underused goods are redistributed to fill a new need, and become wanted again, where non- product assets such as space, skills and money are exchanged and traded in new ways that don’t always require centralized institutions or ‘middlemen’..

dubizzle.com is headquartered in the UAE, and is also available in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

Ahmed Eraqi, General Manager of dubizzle, giving a speech.
Ahmed Eraqi, General Manager of dubizzle, giving a speech.

When and why did you start dubizzle? 

dubizzle started in 2005 since then our vision has been to disrupt Consumer Exploitation. We opened our office in Maadi – Cairo in Feb 2013, and it has been a great journey so far! We started out with five employees and currently the office has more than 60 employees – all Egyptians, because we value the local talents.

We want to show fellow Egyptians that almost anyone with an internet connection can make a difference in their life. By trading their unused item and pass to someone else who needs it, they will benefit others and at the same time make an extra cash. That item can be anything, because online classified platforms allow you to connect with so many more people that you may never have met with in the past – meaning the likelihood of finding a buyer is very high.

We are redefining the economy and the culture of ownership in Egypt. We want everyone to have the freedom to take that choice of empowerment and build a second hand economy or as we like to call it “Collaborative Economy”. Here is a thought: when citizens trade items they no longer need or use, the overall supply in the market increases. This leads to lower prices, increasing the quantity of trade and keeping money in the local economy. In addition, as the local residents sell their unused goods, they have more money to buy what they want. This increase in demand expands market price and quantity, as well as creating even more local trade. This realignment of consumer goods can make a real impact.

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How many countries does dubizzle exist in (and what is the biggest market)? 

We operate in 11 markets across the Middle East and North Africa, our biggest market is currently the UAE with more than 15 million visits per month, followed by Egypt with more than 8 million visits per month

How is dubizzle different from other similar services?

  • dubizzle site is 100% responsive. That’s tech-speak for ‘totally awesome website that is made to accommodate our desktop, tablet or smartphone for the best user experience.’ Go ahead, try it! If you haven’t already.
  • The ability to sell anything on dubizzle and receive inquiries in a matter of minutes
  • One of our brand pillars is to support the local, so we proudly say that we always look for ways to be part of the market we are in. whether by, taking part in local events/occasions, using the local dialect, hiring local talents, and the list can go on and on.
  • The most important point is: we got one the best talents in the business! dubizzle started with only two employees (our co-founders) in 2005, now dubizzle’s headcount exceeds 200, with over 60 of them based in Egypt – a mix of 34 different nationalities and background, with one thing in common: PASSION.

 Could you tell us a little about your users?

Our users can be best described as: tech-savvy; always on! Values internet connectivity and uses it throughout their day; well exposed and open to the latest marketing trends, due to the diversity of the brands in Egypt; adapt quickly to change and willing to try new solutions; look for a good bargain and the best use of their money.

You have 7 benefits on why to use dubizzle on your home page (make money, your ad is free, it’s safe, fast and easy, we’re local, access anytime anywhere and support 24/7) have you got any feedback from the customers related to these benefits?

Our Customer Service team is consistently monitoring our user’s feedback and ensuring their satisfaction. In one year selling and buying on dubizzle became a trend in Egypt with a number of current ads exceeding 3.2 million. dubizzle Egypt receives more than 8 million visits every month. I feel this is a good indication of our user’s satisfaction.

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What is the weirdest item you’ve seen listed on your website?

There is a variety of items that can be found on dubizzle anything from cars, apartments, mobile phones, furniture, baby items, a new job, a time machine, a surfboard, a cat, a Boeing, a gold-plated camera from the 80’s, a buddy to play hide and seek with, a sheep for Eid and more!

Your latest campaign has the motto ‘Melouk El-Mosta’aml’. Can you tell us a little about this campaign?

dubizzle’s message is simple; we are kings of classifieds in Egypt with more than 3.5 million items for sale. we’re having more than 52K new ad for used car monthly, and 130K items for sales including (mobiles, computer and tablet, pets, home appliance, etc…). And over 60 million searches on dubizzle during 2014.

We are here to Disrupt Consumer Exploitation. What does that mean? We believe in making a difference in people’s lives by giving them more freedom to find greater value from their transactions. Every item for sale has an audience, while every buyer has that one attractive good that they need – leading us to the oldest equation is the history of humanity: an unwanted item at your position is wanted by someone else within your community.

dubizzle.com's latest campaign.
dubizzle.com’s latest campaign.

Post Arab Spring, the region has been undergoing immense social change. What has dubizzle’s role been in all of this?

dubizzle has been in the region since 2005 and we realize many businesses have entered the digital realm. Digital media has become a strong influence in Egypt, many businesses have picked up on it and dedicated big budgets to spend in this market to build a solid digital media function to serve its commercial objectives.

Averages of 29.8 million Egyptians use the internet every day in Egypt. Internet plays a big part in serving many industries in the country, such as: marketing, research and education.

Egypt has been one of the educational hubs in the region, with over 43 universities; students rely a lot on internet research throughout their studies.

 What is one fun fact about dubizzle? 

At dubizzle every employee has a “Spanish name”. The idea was started by our founders JC and Sim; it is a reflection of our fun and vibrant culture. Before an employee passes their six month probation period they are referred to as “Novato” after they pass their probation they get to choose their own Spanish name. This is used on their official business cards and email signature. For example the dubizzle founders referred themselves as el “El Presidente” and you as “El Comandante”.

flame1

We’ve seen the mysterious ‘flame icon’ across Egypt lately. Can you tell us a little more about it?

The flaming head is part of our official dubizzle logo, it was inspired by the way dubizzle spread like fire across the region, through word of mouth. Also the flaming head symbolizes dubizzle’s ongoing creativity and ability to come up with new and great inspiring ideas. Almost like the legendary light bulb that comes on when someone has a great idea. Furthermore our internal marketing agency is called flaming head. 

What do you hope to achieve with this campaign? 

We are looking to redefine the economy and the culture of ownership in Egypt. We want to enable everyone to have the freedom to take that choice of empowerment and build a second hand economy or as we like to call it “Collaborative Economy”. Here is a thought: when citizens trade items they no longer need or use, the overall supply in the market increases. This leads to lower prices, increasing the quantity of trade and keeping money in the local economy. In addition, as the local residents sell their unused goods, they have more money to buy what they want. This increase in demand expands market price and quantity, as well as creating even more local trade. This realignment of consumer goods can make a real impact.

flame2

How will you keep track with how successful this icon has been?

One way of keeping track is by monitoring the number of ads placed and visits to dubizzle.

In one year selling and buying on dubizzle became a trend in Egypt with a number of current ads exceeding 3.2 million. dubizzle Egypt receives more than 8 million visits every month. Overall success to us means people are managing their household economy in a better way.

Is there anything else you’d like to add for our readers? Where can they learn more information?

When Egyptians trade items they no longer need or use, the overall supply in the market increases. This leads to lower prices, increasing the quantity of trade and keeping money in the Egyptian economy. In addition, as residents in Egypt sell their unused goods, they have more money to buy what they want. This increase in demand expands market price and quantity, as well as creating even more Egyptian trade. This realignment of consumer goods can make a real impact.

Readers can visit the website and learn more by going to dubizzle.com

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