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Dubai and Startups

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Ahlan Wa Sahlan, fellow traveller! Welcome to the glorious city of gold and glitter.

Caution; what may seem like an easy business elsewhere in the world, may not seem easy here.  Nothing to be scared of, but Dubai is one place you need to watch out for. In terms of trends and culture, we all know that Dubai has exponentially amassed a sea of foreign nationals after they won the world famous Expo 2020. Dubai’s tourism sector is booming, with visitor numbers reaching 11,012,487 in 2013, when compared with just below ten million in the previous year. Let’s focus on the holiday crowd that drifts past this city during every year end to watch the amazing fire-works in this city (What a sight).

Dubai now holds boundless opportunities for trade and start-up businesses. Often, people get engulfed by the beauty, assume a business opportunity and get lost among the other hundred struggling businesses and wonder how some of the brands just hit it off right away.

Every year, hundreds and thousands of businesses come together to showcase themselves during the SME summit.  Last year winners of the MEED SME awards, one of the UAE’s highly sought-after business recognition programs, reported an average growth rate of 309 percent; and recorded a combined turnover of Dhs144m last year for SME sector alone.

So how do some businesses shine, and why some others are left fighting for the spotlight?

I have read about how some companies here are notoriously averse to adopting new technology and measures for growth of a company. In fact, even though there is not much dearth of knowledge in terms of local companies, Google and In5 invited SME’s to learn about the “Online tools available to grow a business” last month. Why?  It was shocking to know that only 18% of businesses in the UAE are online, and have an online presence – a fact that was revealed by a Google survey last year.

How can companies not stay active on the internet…?

That’s when I realized that most companies do not invest in solid research methods for their companies, as much as they invest in lights and glamour.  What they don’t understand is that, they are on the verge of a breakthrough; yet don’t realize that they are lacking a particular element – Market Research.

At the advent of new technologies being adopted every year, it is also extremely important that companies start taking interest in how and what people think and react to each change and acceptance. Understanding people helps understands Market potential. Understanding Market potential leads to customizing products and services according to peoples’ needs.

What started off as a way to promote business, has become a business acumen in today’s world. It is not about investing millions and billions into technology that wouldn’t be preferred.  The world has enough brains now that competition is at its peak. And 2015, dear reader is about creating businesses around people itself.

Market research has various services in itself. Given the right people to work on your research, you could be building businesses for the future. Every single bit matters. Because,there’s  sea of companies waiting to get recognized, just like you.

Be it an existing company, be it a startup – Market research is so essential to land concrete decisions on adopting to change and listening to what people have to say about you. There are many services these days which can best fit your business. Be it online surveys, personalized face-to-face surveys or Telephone surveys – they are proven effective methods which top notch companies such as Deloitte(No.1 Consulting firm in the world) has understood and started following through to their employees and clients on a frequent basis for years and years together now( Kick-ass work culture, I should say).

It is essential that companies start seeing through new research methods followed around the world and keep afloat their brands. Dubai in particular lacks that knowledge due to very low online presence. It is time that we see how important Market research is to our companies and know what benefits they bring to us.  The right Market research company can give you a future. It’s time we realize that Market research is a powerful tool.

–    Satya Adityan is a dedicated Market Research Analyst  at Think Positive Research. After having worked as the Strategy, Innovation and Research Analyst at Deloitte U.S. India, under the Knowledge Management team, she moved to UAE/Dubai to find new challenging tasks.


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