StartupScene speaks to Hamed El Ghool, the founder of a platform that is putting Egypt on the global e-commerce map by connecting manufacturers with marketers across the world.
Egypt-based platform ‘Masr Afdal’ is created to promote and export products made by Egyptian companies and SMEs to the global market. Founder and Egyptian entrepreneur Hamed El Ghool strives to put Egypt on the global e-commerce map by connecting local manufacturers with Egyptian marketers living abroad.
“We don’t just export these products, we market them on an international scale,” El Ghool tells #StartupScene. “What’s different about our marketing is that we are working with Egyptian marketers around the world in the U.S, Germany, Algeria, Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. They work with us on the side and receive commission on any deals made by the companies. Who better than Egyptian expats living abroad to understand the country they’re living in and be able to navigate the market there? We have 800 affiliates around the world penetrating global markets and we plan on increasing that number.”
Recently, a slew of companies have registered through the programme, including Domty, one of Egypt’s leading dairy manufacturers. Domty exported its first shipment to Germany through the Masr Afdal platform last January. Other big names that have signed up on the platform include Elsewedy Electric, Elaraby group, Electrostar, iSiS and Fresh.
“I realised that here in Egypt we’re all competing with each other, but no one is thinking about exporting to new markets,” El Ghool says. “Not just big markets like the US and Europe, but also smaller markets like Africa.”
Africa is considered an untapped consumer market, with many countries that want to maximize their trade exchange with Egypt. These countries could benefit from tariff exemption that could reach 100% based on trade deals. As part of the initiative’s effort to boost Egyptian exports abroad, Masr Afdal has recently announced the opening of a pavilion in the permanent Egyptian exhibition in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.
“The manufacturers we have on board our platform will be establishing national offices in Rwanda,” El Ghool explains. “Each round will last four to six months, rotating out 40 companies with each round. Rwanda is considered a hub for the countries around it. It’s a new country, free of corruption, and extremely advanced relative to its surrounding countries.”
The trade exchange between Egypt and Rwanda has been steadily on the rise since 2014. As of 2019, Egyptian exports to Rwanda recorded around $37.5 million.