Ajyal In Cairo ICT Exhibition

Cairo : 2007-02-12
Interviewer : Reporter of Cairo ICT
Guest : Ameer Hussein   [Ajyal CTO.]

Cairo ICT Exhibition, the main IT exhibition of Egypt, started today in Cairo. Ajyal participates in Cairo ICT Exhibition as it did last year. What the new products and services Ajyal will exhibit this year, and what are the plans installed for the next few years? To know the answers to these questions and more, read this interview ICT magazine editor held with Ameer Hussein; the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Ajyal Information Systems Group..
Our booth at Cairo ICT

Our booth at Cairo ICT

Reporter: Please introduce yourself and tell us how long you have been in the business in brief.

Mr. Ameer: My name is Ameer Hussein, the Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of Ajyal Information Systems Group and the Managing Director of Ajyal Egypt, in addition to being a member of Ajyal Group Board since 1998. I've spent my entire professional life in software development, and still enjoy it everyday.

Reporter: Tell us more about Ajyal products and services?

Mr. Ameer: Ajyal produces business software, which is the general term for ERP solutions and accounting applications. Our flagship product is ASWAQ6; a highly integrated business suite developed specifically for the Arab user and decision maker. We also develop tailor made solutions such as Line of Business applications and Business Intelligence systems.

Reporter: This is the second time Ajyal is represented in ICT, after your first participation last year. How do you evaluate your first participation, and what are your plans this year?

Mr. Ameer: This year we are having four times the space we had last year, and we've been preparing for ICT 2007 for quite sometime now. I think this answers your question in a very pragmatic manner. I truly think ICT has established itself as the main IT event in Egypt, and quickly gaining regional interest as well. Your efforts should now focus on maintaining this position and in growing regional interest in Cairo ICT.

Reporter: How do you evaluate 2006, and what are your plans for 2007?

Mr. Ameer: 2006 was a great year for Ajyal Egypt. Last year when we met shortly before ICT 2006, I told you we are expecting strong growth in Egypt, and so we did. We have actually doubled our clients base in 2006, meaning we have had new clients equalling our entire clients base before that year started. Of course, this only means we are even more ambitious this year as we target doubling the clients base again, and increasing the revenue three folds.

Reporter: And what about the other markets Ajyal operates in?

Who is Ameer Hussein?

Co-founded Ajyal software development department in 1990 and worked as Kuwait branch manager from 1996 to 2000 when he was promoted to his current post as Chief Technical Officer.
He also works as Cairo branch manager since 2001. Ameer Hussein has been a member or Ajyal management board since 1998.
Mr. Ameer: I take personal pride in the fact that Ajyal Egypt is the fastest growing company in Ajyal Group, but we have enjoyed good growth in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait despite the stock market difficulties there. There are several ambitious plans installed this year, particularly in Kuwait. Overall, Ajyal Group is keen on expanding its client base where it operates and opening new and emerging markets as well. Last year we appointed a value added reseller (VAR) in Libya, and we will place a lot of efforts this year to enter other Arab markets as well.

Reporter: How do you find the competition in Egypt?

Mr. Ameer: Very strong. As a developer of Business software and ERP solutions, Ajyal has many competitors in the market. The fact that we doubled our client base last year tells you something about how successful our products and services are in here. But this does not mean we have no competition. Indeed, many of our competitors here do compete with us in other markets as well. I find this very healthy for the Egyptian software industry. Today, Egypt probably produces more software than all other Arab countries combined; only success in a heavily competitive local market will allow this industry to grow and cross new borders.

Reporter: What gives you a competitive edge? Please tell us how can a software house achieve and maintain healthy growth?

Mr. Ameer: We at Ajyal believe that we have come up with the correct recipe for the local market. Our objectives can be summed up as International quality for the local market. We deliver our clients the quality they expect and find in internationally developed software solutions. However we focus on the features and functionality needed to run a business in this area of the world. A dilemma that had long faced local business is that applications developed locally promised clients the functionality they need but lagged behind in terms of quality and attention to details. Also, Ajyal adapts a customer driven development process, and focuses on protecting customers from the risks involved with obsolescence and technology change.

Reporter: What should Egyptian software houses do to grow this industry?

Mr. Ameer: I think we need to articulate ourselves more with the international market. A good portion of Egyptian software makers, including Ajyal, focus only in Arab markets. I see great potential for Egyptian software globally, particularly in Europe. Globalization brought new competitors to our markets, but this is as much an opportunity as it is a challenge. Some local companies have pioneered this and achieved good success rates, we need to do more.

Reporter: Thank you, and hope to meet you again in ICT 2008?

Mr. Ameer: You can count on that.

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