MyBazar offers new e-commerce experience

MyBazar offers new e-commerce experience


By Layan Damanhouri
Saudi Gazette
MyBazar, an app founded by Muslim Swedish entrepreneur Armin Osmancevaic, transforms the online shopping to a new level by acting as theworld’s first social marketplace that transfers the physical shopping experience into e-commerce.

“Instead of trying to replace brick-and-mortar shopping with ecommerce, we developed mobile platform that truly replicates physical marketplace to e-commerce, enabling direct interaction and price negotiation,” says CEO of MyBazar Osmancevic. “It also lowers the cost of running businesses while developing additional economies of scale. Hence our ecommerce platform complements and further boosts traditional retail business.”

MyBazar aims to establish digital infrastructure particularly for those businesses not capitalizing on the ecommerce potential. In the MENA region, only 1% of all retailers are using ecommerce to sell their products and services.
MyBazar’s first rollout was in Malaysia earlier this year. The company grew out of the UAE with local partners who recognized opportunity in digital economy and the ecommerce market’s potential.

According to Osmancevic, the greatest contributor to MyBazar’s success is its philosophy to create benefits in everything being done in the business. “This philosophy is translated in innovating our products and services to address actual market need in a new way,” he says.

“In the case of MyBazar, this means moving the online shopping to a new level by effectively being market-centric instead traditionally product or merchant centric.”

Osmancevaic is a Muslim entrepreneur operating in a Muslim country. When asked if operating in Islamic markets was an advantage or disadvantage for his business, he said it is limiting to regard consumers as Muslim only. He says, “I’d like to challenge the concept of an Islamic market. It confines us into a smaller market place and would oversimplify the features of local markets we target. We rather define them as developing markets with features such as non-developed digital infrastructure,

evolving economic structure, and gaps in addressing the needs of SMEs.”

He added, “Design your solution to be market leader not a follower and you will help not only the ummah but the humanity as a whole.”

MyBazar does not cater to Muslims only but features general items, including halal and Muslim-friendly products.

Coming from Scandinavia, Osmancevaic notes that Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland account for only 0.3% of the world’s population, yet produce a whopping 3% of all world exports. “Scandinavian products and their brands have swept the world,” he says.

“Spotify, Ikea, Skype, Volvo, Klarna, Daniel Wellington, Minecraft, and others are examples some of household brands globally.”

Scandinavian governments recognize that start-ups are the future and government’s sole purpose is to put their trust and to enable entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. They do so through education, digitalizing, taking responsibility, promoting local products, and sharing risks.

Osmancevic urges more Muslims to found startups around the globe. This is only done by breeding entrepreneurs in the right environment and creating a good ecosystem, he says. “Governments should streamline efforts to promote entrepreneurship growth and development by creating ecosystems where the speed of innovation is an important KPI,” he notes.

In addition to governments, funding is another challenge that needs to be addressed. “Obtaining funding in these developing markets is more challenging than in other markets,” he says.

Having a clear purpose and addressing “an actual need in a market” develops a solid business proposition, he adds.