I love entrepreneurs, I really do. At their best they’re gutsy, bold, decisive, innovative, and they’re not afraid of risk. Frankly, we need more entrepreneurs in the Middle East.
I had the pleasure and the opportunity to meet the person behind the idea of souqalmal.com last week. After stints with GE, Mastercard and the consultancy firm Bain Ambareen Musa took the jump into the entrepreneurial space to found souqalmal.com.
Souqalmal.com is the first website I’ve come across in the region which provides a comprehensive view of a variety of financial products, including credit cards, personal finance, home and vehicle finance, insurance and personal banking accounts. In other words the portal is an Gulf-based version of money.co.uk (the site presently caters to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE) and is both incredibly easy to use as well as very handy when comparing different products in the market.
Souqalmal isn’t just about providing the basic data however. The site lets subscribers rate products, just as you would do on a Tripadvisor for a hotel or amazon.com for a book. As a consumer you get to rate that service and provide your input to hundreds and thousands of others who will be using the site. That consumer feedback element should raise the bar for the financial services industry in the region by highlighting what is both good and bad about the product and it services.
What I love most about what Ambareen is doing is that she’s established a business that is providing a much-needed public service. She’s dived in, she’s pushing ahead, and I do believe that she and souqalmal.com will improve what and how the financial sector offers and deals with the region’s consumers. I for one wish her all the success in the world, and can’t wait to start putting down my thoughts on souqalmal’s review sections!