Participants in the first session of E-Commerce summit 2019, held on Tuesday, agreed on the importance of private-public cooperation to achieve digital transformation plans, asserting that Egypt is a good market compared to the Middle East and North Africa region in terms of people using smartphones.
The session, entitled “Public and private collaboration on e-commerce and the digital transformation roadmap”, was moderated by Hussein Mohieldin, CEO of Robusta.
“Digital transformation became a critical must,” Amal El-Sheikh, chairperson and managing director, Shell Lubricants Egypt, said during her participation in the session, noting that her company is paying great attention toward setting a digital strategy in line with setting the company’s business strategy.
Digital strategy is very important as it assures the quality of operations and data, in addition to its positive impact on consumer experience, El-Sheikh explained, adding that her company focuses on three main pillars in its digital strategy.
“We conduct assessments which make us define where we are in the digital transformation market. We also have a 10-year road map to develop our digital skills, in addition to promoting digital solutions to strengthen the information database,” El-Sheikh clarified.
Another participant Hoda Mansour, managing director of SAP, said the e-commerce market in Egypt is rapidly increasing, asserting that the number of young Egyptians who use smartphones or access technology are very huge when compared to the Middle East and North Africa region.
“We are an international company that is keen on boosting its cooperation with the Egyptian government, big companies, and startups,” Mansour added. SAP is in direct and continuous cooperation with startups to ensure that they have the needed technical support, she continued.
On the other hand, Walid Gad, chairperson of the Chamber of Information Technology and Telecommunications (CIT), said the chamber includes about 1,200 companies that are playing an important role in digital transformation with a strong social commitment.
“We are implementing serious steps toward digital transformation and we want to ensure that nobody’s left behind,” Gad stressed, noting that Egyptian companies are offering a wide range of services in all aspects of digital transformation.
“Egyptian companies have the capabilities to boost innovation if they had the needed support from the top leadership. Digital transformation is not a goal itself, but the final goal is a happier society,” Gad highlighted.
Moreover, Chairperson of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Hala El Gohary, said ITIDA fully supports Egyptian startups to expand their businesses, asserting that cooperation with the private sector is a core pillar of the agency’s work as it provides the market with new technologies.
El Gohary said ITIDA offered support for 19 startups working in the field of e-commerce over the past six years.
She added that the startups that have been incubated constitute 16% of the total number of startups that have received support from ITIDA during the same period.
ITIDA embraces startups through the Technology Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, where approximately 20 startups are hosted each year, and financial and technological support is provided.
Furthermore, the session moderator said that cooperation between the private sector and the public sector is important for digital transformation, concluding that the E-Commerce summit received the needed support from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.