Build a Community at The Auction Website Souq.com then Launch Your Own Site nahel.com on July 18th
In an email that landed to my mailbox today, Saeid Hejazi, founder of Dubai, UAE based nahel.com, told me that his team started their services as a seller on Souq.com, “while we built solid relationships with our suppliers, built an inventory and created a brand for ourselves within the online community. We feel that we are now prepared to offer online buyers an even better shopping experience through nahel.com”
In a follow up email he said, under the user name was souq.com/nahel “ we were the biggest sellers on Souq.com with around 10,000 products available. From games, to perfumes, computers and accessories, electronics, watches, and much more.” said Hejazi, he added that they will be launching nahel.com the new retailer in the Middle East, on July 18th, 2009.
That sounds a good idea, is in it? Use an existing community, build a brand and then launch your own thing. Though Nahel inception was not a coincidence, as according to Nahel.com’s website its idea was originated in 2007,” the original business model of today’s Nahel.com was born as the first place winner in the University of Toronto’s Business Plan Competition.”
During its soft-launch Nahel.com will only offer perfumes for men and women, watches for both of them plus kids and video games. However Hejazi said ” We will be adding the rest of our products and categories on a daily basis. We just wanted to invite our previous buyers to come and test our website, and let us know what they think.”
The website offers what you would expect in any e-commerce site, but what I noted that you can create your own wish list and see video preview for games (embedded from Youtube.)
As Nahel launches, it will restrict its sales to the UAE and will be able to offer delivery through-out the country. Hejazi said ”We will be offering a ‘Day After Tomorrow’ Delivery Guarantee, but most of the time, we will be having next day delivery. We believe in ‘under-promise, over deliver.”
Hejazi told me that the actual delivery process is outsourced, but they will be managing the full delivery operations themselves. As they have established a joint venture with one of the largest logistics companies in the UAE. “They will be wearing our uniforms, using our own issued AWB, and our packaging materials.” He added.
Though, at a later stage nahel.com plans to offer its services to other Gulf Corporate Council (GCC) countries and the rest of Middle East at a later stage.
As for payment, once it’s launched it will offer Cash-On-Delivery, PayPal and other online payment gateways will be added soon.
United Arab Emirates is the only Arab country that is listed under “Send. Receive. Withdraw to a U.S. Bank Account or a card” on PayPal international accounts, which means according to PayPal, users can send and receive payments, withdraw from their PayPal account to a U.S. bank account. In addition, withdraw to a credit, debit, or prepaid card in countries marked with a ( ). All other Arab countries can only send.
Nahel.com has 11 employees. It got a seed funding from angel investor, Saeed Al Zubaidi who acts as a Chairman. Nahel.com website is currently in English and Arabic version will be available in couple more months.