Exploring Trends and Prospects in E-commerce

Qatar’s e-Commerce Forum 2015 brings together businesses, policymakers, and e-commerce service providers to address the trends and developments in global e-commerce and the state of e-commerce in Qatar.

The Forum will discuss the following e-commerce topics

  • How does Qatar achieve a regulatory environment conducive to e-commerce growth?
  • What business models will succeed in the region and how to fund them?
  • What disruptive payments and logistics technologies will lead the way to improved delivery of service?

In addition, attendees will learn more about Qatar’s National e-Commerce Roadmap, a blueprint for ensuring that Qatar can capitalize on its strengths as well as overcome the current challenges to growing its e-commerce market.


9:00 am

Registration and Networking

9:30 am


9:40 am

Setting the Agenda for e-Commerce in Qatar

Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, Minister of Information and Communications Technology, Qatar


9:55 am

H.E. Yahya bin Saeed Al Nuaimi, Assistant Undersecretary for Commercial Affairs,

 Ministry of Economy and Commerce


10:05 am

Unlocking the Potential of e-Commerce in MENA

Charbel Sarkis, Sector Lead, Retail, e-Commerce, Technology, MENA, Google


10:20 am

Business Model and Funding: The Changing Landscape of e-Commerce

Just as social media has converted web users from receivers of information to interactive engagers e-commerce is revolutionizing the relationship between product and customer.  The Internet has transformed companies into virtual retailers with the potential of selling larger volumes of goods to expanded markets.  Success of an e-commerce business depends on producing a larger volume of merchandise, correct pricing, determining the right online offers, start-up costs, more sophisticated web presence, and a new way of interacting with customers, among many others.  This panel looks at the drivers behind innovation, the new business models and the different ways to fund it.

Moderator: Dr. Eyad Al Kassar, Managing Director – MENA, Rocket Internet

Panel members include:

  • Majed Abukhater, General Manager for Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Uber

  • Dr. Tejinder Singh, Founder - BPO+, Founder & Chairman - Q-Tickets

  • Mohammed Mubarak Al-Khater, Executive Director of Investment, QDB

  • Christos Mastoras, Founder & Managing Partner at Iliad Partners

  • Mohamed Es Fih, eSolutions Advisor, International Trade Centre
  • Sonja Neuber, Vice President, Marketing, MarkaVIP


11:15 am

Joint announcement by QNB and Ooredoo


11:25 am

Coffee Break



Qatar’s Delivery EcoSystem

Faleh Mohammed Al Naemi, Chairman and Managing Director, Q-Post


11:45 am

Payments and Logistics: The New Age of Personalization

Rigid and cumbersome payment methods created to ensure security can result in poor customer experience and slow e-commerce uptake. Striking a balance between  secure and  convenient payment methods is crucial for e-commerce growth. At the same time, slow, costly, and unreliable parcel delivery is one of the biggest barriers to  e-commerce adoption, as consumers expect on-demand delivery which fits the immediacy of placing an order online. In addition, consumers are different and thus the transformation of delivery must embrace the demand for personalization of service. This panel will explore the solutions to today’s payment and delivery issues, and how technology can drive disruption in these areas, whilst also addressing how processes such as public key cryptology can help meet the challenges faced in creating secure, appropriate and timely B2B transactions.

Moderator: Omar Soudodi, Managing Director, PayFort

Panel members include:

  • Kivanc Onan, Head of ME and Turkey, PayPal

  • Suresh Bajpai, Head of Retail Banking, Doha Bank

  • Nathan Cushnie, Head of Emerging Products & Innovation, MENA, VISA

  • Iyad Kamal, COO, Aramex

  • Malek Bechlaghem, Senior Director - IT Risk & Assurance, EY


12:30 pm

Qatar-Based e-Commerce Startups: Prospects and Challenges

Qatar has witnessed an increase in the number of local companies offering e-commerce services. Local incubation centers such ictQATAR's Digital Incubation Center and Qatar’s Business Incubation Center are providing different levels of support for e-commerce startups and SMEs. However, most of these enterprises continue to face challenges to scaling up and growing locally or regionally. In this panel, e-commerce start-ups will share their experiences, successes, challenges, and potential.

Moderator: Dr. Maher Hakim, Associate Professor, Innovation Entrepreneurship, Carnegie Mellon University

Panel members include:

  • Dr. Aiman Erbad, CEO, QatarBestDeals.com

  • Ali Al Malki, CEO, eGrab

  • Youssif Al Musleh , Founder, Esouqqatar.com

  • Ahmed Al Kuwari, Founder, Pick and Drop

  • Susanna Ingalls, Director of Recruitment, Urban Point


1:15 pm



2:15 pm

e-Commerce within Smart Cities Context

Sol Salinas, Managing Director, Global Lead, Accenture Smart Cities


2:35 pm

Shared Economy – People, Policy and Technology

Technology is constantly evolving to provide solutions that provide enhanced services to consumers. As these solutions become increasingly interconnected, the need to protect consumers and their information will become critical. At the same time, in order to accelerate growth, a nation must create a policy framework that encourages and fosters innovation. This panel will discuss the potential impact of emerging technologies on current e-commerce practice and address the challenges policy makers face in encouraging a robust e-commerce ecosystem while also protecting consumers. The panel will also explore planned initiatives by ictQATAR, which aim to empower merchants, consumers, startups and e-commerce service providers in Qatar, by providing guidance and instruction.

Moderator: Diane Mullenex, Head of the Global Telecom practice, Pinsent Masons

Panel members include:

  • Gert Botha, CEO, Hive Technology

  • David Fuller, Managing Director – MENA, RedBox

  • Sunita Babbar, Director of the Enforcement Department, QFCRA

  • Khaled Jaouni, Managing Director, Accela Middle East and Africa

  • Pietro Candela, Partner at EY Advisory

  • Jonathan Donovan, Head of Digital, Vodafone Qatar


3:30 pm

Closing Remarks