CloudRaker witnesses Egypt's retail awakening

When we think of Egypt, our touristic mind tends to directly think of pyramids, pharaohs and camels. What we might not be as aware of is the immense commercial potential this fast-growing country of over 100 million people has to offer.

Last April 10th, as a keynote speaker and panel host to the inaugural Egyptian Retail Summit organized by BiznEx, our retail expert Carl had the privilege of witnessing firsthand the bustling “Jewel of the Nile” in all its chaotic traffic and warm hospitality. One can easily see the remnants of a once thriving world-class market. It is clear that there is a comeback afoot.

The world-renowned bank, Standard Chartered, recently predicted that Egypt's Gross Domestic Product (at Purchase Power Parity) would surpass those of Russia, Germany and Japan by 2030. So, this is a market well worth paying close attention to. (Source)

Egypt: land of opportunities

Speaking with the Retail Summit attendees, fellow speakers and panellists from all sectors, including financial, automotive, consumer goods, technological and governmental, everyone was directly involved in major commercial undertakings, mostly around expansion and new market opportunities. All had deep strategic implications and most were looking into how to best serve the 14 new metro areas being built, plus the new administrative centre that the Egyptian government has created to absorb the overpopulation in Cairo (20 million residents). Our colleague from Altavia's pan African partner, Blue Lions, and Carl had several conversations with brands looking to best understand how to leverage digital commerce platforms and create meaningful regionalized content.

Carl’s keynote, which included the recent Store 2030 report from Kantar Consulting, focused on the blurring of digital and physical worlds that will be empowered by the vast amounts of contextual data at the intersections of personal, local and regional touchpoints. With 1000x more data volume expected with the launch of 5G as an example, Carl also stressed the importance of having the right skillsets and iterative business culture to make the best use of those opportunities.

As it is the case with markets that haven’t recently developed at the same technological rate as others, we suspect the evolution in Egypt will happen much more rapidly. What took 10-20 years of commercial development in North America, Western Europe or parts of Asia might take 3-5 years there, which in this massive economy will have significant societal and economic impacts. Additionally — and more importantly — it will mean the opportunity to leapfrog over into next-generation technology and concepts. This Galidata, Aspen Institute and Deloitte report shows how (re)emerging markets like Egypt take advantage of strong entrepreneurial culture to make those technological leaps. (Source)

If you have any comments or if you’re simply interested in learning more about this and how to best address the strategic implications — or about other global opportunities including Asia — please email us to set up a short introductory call.

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