Recently we launched our local Dubai office in partnership with luxury retailer Chalhoub Group to provide new-style digital transformation consulting throughout the Middle East (and North Africa) region.
While everybody is talking about the US & Asia, it’s more than interesting to understand what is happening in the Middle East and how they are quickly becoming a digital power house.
A quick illustration of the current state of what is happening in the UAE & the Middle East:
- 97% of the UAE have access to the worldwide web putting the UK and USA behind at 92% and 87%.
- Over 90% people in the United Arab Emirates carry a smartphone and use internet on hand held devices.
- The e-commerce market in UAE alone is projected to reach an astounding $2 billions by 2018, on a total of $7 billions worldwide.
- More than 40% of consumers have bought something online in the last month compared to the UK (26%).
- More than half of Middle East locals will purchase online only from local initiatives. This is why local platforms like Careem and Souq.com have become popular.
We have summarized more of these interesting examples below to illustrate the initiatives and approach within the Middle East region.
About Duval Union Consulting
We are new-style management consultants focusing on transforming and growing organizations in a digital-first world with offices in Europe and the Middle East. New-style? Co-created business strategy, custom-made transformation trajectories and actual experienced business advisors are only some of our differentiators and why clients love to work with us. We design the future of your business together.
Having a great time at Tomorrowland, skydiving from a helicopter, visiting the pyramids of Gizeh. All of them: bucket list material. If you’re an open mind like we are, attending events like TEDx is one of those bucket list items as well. Only a handful of tickets, the best speakers in the world and an atmosphere that entirely shocks the way we see things and think about them are only some ingredients for the magical veil that hangs around a TEDx event. Especially when the event is hosted in Brussels and solely dedicated about “the Deeper Future”. As you may know, we hold strong to ‘practice-what-you-preach’ and that’s why our colleague Nick Vinckier went out and is providing you with his major takeaways of TEDxBrussels 2016
Open Agriculture & Changing Environments
Camille Richman kicked off the TEDxBrussels event by talking about the revolutionary work that she has been doing at MIT. Her work is currently focused on the development of the Food Computer, a desktop controlled environment farm that can be used to create and share climate recipes, modifications, and upgrades.
By creating a network of Food Computer users sharing their hardware, software, and climate data knowledge, the science behind modern agriculture technologies will be accessible to the masses in the future. Talking about disruption, right.. For those of you who want to experiment or learn more about Open Agriculture, find all about it here.
But there’s more if you think about it. Camille shows the world that you can actually change all the output of your resources by changing the environment. I truly believe that if you change the environment of your staff – replace grey walls, surround them young talent, get them out of their comfort zone -, the output of the team will benefit from this in terms of digital transformation.
Although he’s the founder of Clear2Pay, the name Jurgen Ingels may not ring a bell immediately. He’s responsible for the data revolution in the financial industry and from what we’ve heard, he’s planned to do so again.
Jurgen compares most data structure to spaghetti while it’s key to strive for a lasagna like data architecture, yet the most interesting thing about his keynote was when Jurgen started talking about the Law of Ricardo.
Ricardo’s Law or the theory of comparative advantage sets things in another perspective. In a fast-moving, disruptive world, every company is trying to shift the digital gears: banks try to become tech players. Instead of doing so, they should do what they’re best at and let tech companies do the digitization.
A big takeaway: outside-in innovation, building/buying garages and incubating/accelerating startups will only become more important in the near future.
We need more Europe
Speaking of startups: It’s never been a better time for startups to -well- start up in Europe. Our continent is trying to provide counterweight to the brain drain towards Silicon Valley and therefore supporting young entrepreneurs. And it takes two to tango, as a company now’s the time to start looking for startups that can help you transform digitally.
European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation Carlos Moeda explained that Europe is in a race for keeping the digital talent on this side of the ocean. A race which’s all about speed & scale, two elements Europa hasn’t been very great at due to its fragmented structure.
If we believe Carlos Moeda, Europe is at the tipping point: now is the time to start up and/or invest in European startups instead of relocating to the United States or shifting your angel money overseas.
It’s only innovation if it’s globally
Eileen Guo talked about the misinterpretation of innovation, especially when talking about social media as a new commodity. In countries like Afghanistan, internet penetration isn’t anywhere near Western levels so the way they communicate ‘digitally’ is way different than we’d expect.
Using BlueTooth to connect with one another, you can say that people in emerging countries have invented their own version of Tinder. Besides that, social media expert Guo told about the opportunities and the dangers of the Sneakernet: the transfer of electronic information, especially computer files, by physically moving removable media such as USB sticks or external hard drives from one computer to another, usually in lieu of transmitting the information over a computer network.
Which brings us to this final insight: the digital battle will not be fought in our countries, it will be won and lost in the emerging markets. Shift gears, build your basics here and get ready to scale abroad when the time is near.
Note: Summarizing an event with 20 top notch speakers isn’t an easy one. Everything that has been said during the day was truly inspiring, so forgive me for only writing down some of the things I found most remarkable.
Digital transformation is changing the world. We’re experiencing that it impacts every business and every industry and that this impact is big. This is also the case for events and event managers. Digital is disrupting events at two levels: the event as a marketing tool is changing and the digital marketing of events is moving towards digital equivalents. In this presentation we’d like to give you some insights on the subject. We’d love to hear your feedback!
Are you interested in a inspirational presentation for your company or do you want stay ahead of digital disruptors in your industry? Please contact us, we go beyond the talking – we’ve actually transformed some businesses towards a digital world 😉
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Monetizing your website in 2010 was easy. But it’s a lot harder now and it will only get worse by 2020. You’ll need to look for new business models to generate income for your website.
But don’t worry…
We’ve listed 14 different business models in the presentation below to monetize your website in the modern age. Answering only 6 questions will lead you to the business model(s) that suit(s) you best!
Do you need help transforming your business into a digital first company? Contact us! We have quite some experience 😉
He told the crowd that the key to success in digital transformation is actually doing it instead of talking about it. Forget disruption, it’s time for transformation!
Check the video of Dado’s presentation below:
You can find Dado’s presentation here:
Do you need help with your digital transformation or want Dado on your next event? Contact us, we have quite some experience 😉
Some time ago we helped Torfs with their digital transformation. Torfs is a a Belgian retailer in shoes and has more than 70 stores in Belgium. The company went from father to son and in 1986, Wouter Torfs (son of the third generation) came in play. Under his charge, the family company grew out to become an established retailer in Belgium, best known for its family values and motivated employees. Therefore, Torfs has been elected Best Employer & Best Workplace in Belgium several times.
Retail companies, however, are being challenged by new players and that’s why Torfs & Duval Union Consulting have worked together to master the digital transformation of Torfs.
We described the journey of how we helped Torfs and designed a case study to help you master digital disruption in retail with the most important digital trends in retail included.
Does your company need to master digital disruption and need help with the transformation of your organization in a digital world? Please do contact us, we have already successfully transformed several companies in various industries.
Last week, Dado Van Peteghem gave the audience at Digital First 2015 a clear message: Stop limiting yourself by only looking at and talking about disruptors. If you want things to change, you will have to take matters into your own hands.
Check out the story and our advice for how you should approach your transformation:
— Kristof De Wulf (@kristofdewulf) October 18, 2015
— Nicolas Lecloux (@NicolasLecloux) October 16, 2015
— Paul Blok (@paulblok) October 16, 2015
— Laura Mannaert (@MannaertLaura) October 15, 2015
More about our Digital Transformation story in our book on Digital Transformation.