Tejari, a unit of Dubai World and the largest buyer network in the Middle East, aims to increase its growth rate this year despite the economic slowdown.
"Last year we saw a 30 per cent growth in membership and have been growing at a very fast rate over the past three to four years. Currently, we have 200,000 companies registered with us. This year we hope to increase the growth rate because we are expecting growth from new countries in East Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. We are also looking at broader operations in Brazil, India and CIS region," Omar Hijazi, Chief Executive Officer of Tejari told Emirates Business.
According to Hijazi, Tejari has been resilient to recession. "We are a contrarian company and have not been much affected by the ongoing recession as interest in online trading and online matchmaking are up because of more people taking to this medium."
"Companies are buying services related to online medium as they believe there are more opportunities here. Most US and European companies and now many companies here think they will find more opportunities through the online process and low cost suppliers through the online market places that we have."
Despite the bright outlook, the company did look at the total cost of operations. "We had to see how we were positioned in 2008 and we streamlined it. We are looking at creating more productivity in our operations by using more technology like electronic matchmaking. But that does not mean laying off people, it means increasing productivity," he added.
Hijazi hopes that everybody will be able to connect his or her way out of the recession through Tejari. "We help our buyers save money by posting their tenders on a platform and we allow suppliers to find new opportunities through the Internet."