Dubai-based start-up IQrobotics is aiming to cash in on the growing e-commerce business in the UAE by having its own robotic fulfilment centre and last-mile delivery services.
Speaking to TechRadar Middle East, Fadi Amoudi, chief executive officer at IQrobotics, said that he aims to transform the brick-and-mortar industry into the digital era.
“We want to be a one-stop-shop for all solutions in the Middle East and North Africa region,” he said.
The start-up operates in three verticals – technology (IQtechnolgy), fulfilment (IQfullfilment) and last-mile delivery (IQexpress).
It has opened a 43,000 square feet fulfilment facility at Dubai Investments Park for its fully-automated service for SMEs, especially for e-commerce players, and the next step is to focus on business-to-business.
Amoudi said the business went live 10 months ago and already have six clients for fulfilment centre and robotic facilities.
“We bring all the latest technologies from Quicktron (robotics), Honeywell (software solutions), Damon (warehouse automation), Locked Air (package protection), Cotao (auto slam labelling solutions), Cubilink (dimensioning, weighing and scanning solutions) under one umbrella in the region,” he said.
Moreover, he said that most of these technologies power Alibaba’s business in China.
“We have made the investment and SMEs can use it from day one through pay-as-you-go method,” he said.
Fulfilling logistical challenges
Amoudi choose Dubai due to the strong digital infrastructure facility and the focus by the country to drive digital transformation through innovation and emerging technologies.
As the city is preparing for Expo 2020, he said that the fulfilment facility will meet the logistical challenges faced by SMEs and other enterprises.
The robots used at the fulfilment centre help process 12,000 orders per day.
Even though the e-commerce market in the region is still very much in the nascent stages, the UAE is considered as the most advanced eCommerce market in the Middle East and North Africa region, with a penetration rate of 4.2% while it is 3.8% in Saudi Arabia.
According to a study by Dubai Economy and Visa, the UAE has the most advanced e-commerce market in the region, with e-commerce transactions set to reach over AED 59b this year and to grow 23% per annually through 2022.
Amoudi sees a bright outlook for its fulfilment centre and does not want to rest on its laurels.
The company is planning to spread wings into Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UK, US and China in a phased manner in the next two to three years.
“Our next stop will be in Saudi Arabia,” he said.