Ali Mohsen, an entrepreneur with a dream of establishing a business in the field of ICT, was interviewed by Rowad team about his innovative project. He was asked the following questions and answered them accordingly:
Describe your product and service
PaperV is a crowd sharing social platform that allows people to share stories about their life such as birthdays, family gatherings, trips with friends, and even corporate events. Through the platform, people can collaborate, share their stories and print them for everlasting memories.
What inspired/motivated you to take the risk and establish your business?
I got motivated to start the business when I realized how the internet dramatically transformed the way we communicate. I also saw the enormous amount of internet-based startups emerging from all over the world and succeeding. Internet-based startups are able to attract consumers on a global scale, and today, we find that internet-companies are the fastest growing companies compared to businesses from any other sector. All these changes gave me the confidence that I can succeed in this market as well.
What opportunities do you see in the local market that you can take advantage of?
Well… PaperV does not only target the local market and unfortunately, there aren’t many successful internet-based companies which started in Bahrain. Many people believe that Bahrain lacks the ability to build successful tech-based companies. However, this gave me the determination to prove this myth wrong, especially since I already had a successful online business 12 years back.
What is the goal you want to achieve through your business?
My goal is to reach a global product-market fit which would lead to mass usage and adoption. Once I figure out the ideal product-market fit, I will be able to monetize PaperV and expand
What were the challenges you faced or are still facing during establishment and running your business?
There are two major challenges facing me: Finding the right investment and finding the right business partners. Unfortunately, the local market is still not willing to invest in internet-based businesses despite the fact that the internet has been in Bahrain since the mid 90’s and despite all the success stories of regional and global internet startups which are now valued at billions of dollars. Secondly, Bahrain has a big talent gap, especially for skills required to build Internet/mobile startups, making it hard to find appropriate partners for my business
What SME supporting institutions have you approached during the establishment of your business?
I approached 4 different organizations:
In your opinion, how important is it to be innovative when starting a new business?
Innovation is the most important component in building a successful startup. Startups have a limited, diminishing source of capital and require to innovate right away in order to build their market and transform from a cash burning startup to an income generating business. Innovation is the process of finding solutions to problems by creating products and services that address real needs which save the customers’ time, money and effort. Innovation requires creativity in order to make use of available resources in the best way possible, i.e. doing more with less.
In your opinion, what factors will lead to a successful innovative startup?
In my opinion, these are the most important factors necessary to build a successful and innovative startup:
Passion and determination
Focus & Quality
Having the right team & the right vision
Building Customer Oriented Products or Services
Telling the Story & Creative Marketing
Finally, would you like to add anything to this interview?
Yeah! You can learn about me and my business by visiting my portfolio at https://alimohsen.com