While some people lead their entire lives with boxes of doubt depriving their ideas of sufficient room to grow, others simply refuse to take ‘no’ for an answer. A well thought of idea is worth nurturing, and all it takes is the proper soil to grow. And that’s why Egyptian entrepreneur Ibrahim Khalil, co-founder and CEO of Kolikoo.com, was persistent enough to locate the proper soils for his project to prosper, even if it meant taking it overseas.
With a rich e-commerce experience in Souq.com, Ibrahim was well equipped to take his knowledge to a younger market where both, consumers and business owners are in need for what he has to offer.
Eastern Europe E-commerce Market
According to the Eastern Europe B2C Ecommerce report released in 2013, the e-commerce market in Eastern Europe has witnessed an average growth rate of 35.7% over the year 2012, which ranks it the strongest growing e-commerce market in Europe. The report also announced that the annual growth of e-commerce sales in Eastern Europe outpaced Western Europe by 13 percentage points in 2012.
“There is a lot of potential in the Eastern European e-commerce market. First of all, only 27 million of 162 million inhabitants are shopping online – a percentage bound to increase once internet penetration is picking up pace. As demand will rise across this region, logistic services will improve, enabling retailers to serve also the less urbanized areas”, says Wijnand Jongen, Chair Statistical Board Ecommerce Europe.
A Project with Potential
Kolikoo.com is the first social e-commerce network in Bosnia & Herzegovina, a place where businesses and individuals can offer their products for sale in a social interface, combining web shop and social network business models into one business model.
Although Khalil, and co-founder Amir Ahmetovic, have been working on Kolikoo.com since 2012, it had an impressive boost as the winner of the Balkan Venture Forum which took place in Sarajevo on May 16th, 2014, and was considered as one of the most promising startups in the region, which qualified the team to participate in the European Venture Summit in Dusseldorf in December 2014.
According to the 2013 Eastern Europe B2C Ecommerce report, a double digit growth rate above 20% in Eastern Europe was expected for 2013, though this growth rate is estimated to reach a climax by 2017.
Meanwhile, Khalil plans on scaling out within the next 5 years through Europe, with Turkey, Czech and Italy being on top of the expansion list. He is also currently in the process of securing his first round of investments for expanding.
It is worthy to mention that Turkey has topped the 5 emerging countries in % growth, according to the 2013 Eastern Europe B2C Ecommerce report, with a 75% growth rate.
With an Egyptian e-commerce market that’s currently flooded with activity, it brings us pride to see an Egyptian entrepreneur penetrate a new fresh market with knowledge and experience obtained on Egyptian lands.