Interview with Ali Hassan, CEO of iSoft Information Technology
What challenges are you currently facing and what are you doing to overcome them?
A big challenge is the target audience and understanding their exact requirements. When we sit down with a client or prospect, we try to define the requirement instead of telling them what their needs are. This usually leads to an open project that will never end on one side or the other. It’s a big challenge, especially with small and medium-sized businesses. Challenges don’t stop us from growing, but it slows growth.
What is your assessment of the sector and what is it like to do business in Bahrain?
Our new strategy is to educate and empower all community members through our social channels, digital channels, business channels as well as personal channels. We try to study motivation, dissemination of business knowledge and inspiration.
We are in the business of e-commerce and marketing. This area is growing incredibly and is getting too crowded Bahrainespecially since foreign companies were allowed to operate freely with very limited restrictions. This has led to very aggressive competition with local businesses. It had a positive and negative impact. Prices and offers fall to the lowest possible level, which made it difficult for us, for the competition, to create offers and to deal with customers. The positive side is that it will help local businesses change their mindset, change their strategic thinking, abandon the traditional methods and approaches they had for years and years, and start being innovative, to create new USPs (unique points of sale) and innovative solutions to enter this competition and ultimately win the game. They might even be better than foreign companies. The number of SMEs and entrepreneurs in Bahrain is increasing day by day for a number of reasons. The first reason is that anyone can open a business, whether they are Bahraini or not. This will of course increase the number of businesses and businesses in the country. Government support through support organizations and authorities in Bahrain has also had an impact on the increase in the number of businesses. The economy wins here. Most of these companies are trying to enter the market through the online space and through the e-commerce space, which has created a very high demand on the internet. Internet users are increasing day by day and most of the people are shopping online today. It helps telecom companies or internet providers to have rapid growth, rapid revenue and revenue growth. Likewise, it has a positive impact on other sectors related directly or indirectly to the e-commerce sector, such as graphic design, content writers, payment gateway providers, banking and virtually every industry in the country. Ultimately, the system will benefit from this increase in the number of SMEs and entrepreneurs in the country.
What projects are you currently working on?
Our new strategy, which we have already started, is to educate and empower all community members through our social channels, digital channels, business channels as well as personal channels. We try to study motivation, dissemination of business knowledge and inspiration. We are trying to release the hidden knowledge, the hidden skills, the hidden trust of everyone in the community. We need to start a new way of thinking for everyone in this community so that they can start thinking in business, thinking differently and finding a new version of themselves. It will help them enter the market as entrepreneurs or as an SME and it will help us as a service provider to get more leads and more business through it. We share valuable content marketing material every day. Recently I started my own Instagram channel, focusing only on education and awareness, building a business, startup, marketing, sales etc. It is in Arabic and targets the Arab market. I have been doing this for about six months and have found it very amazing and useful. We will continue with this new strategy and we will see the results. We will improve it later or modify it according to the result.
What products and services do you offer?
We have three streams: e-commerce, internet marketing and sales. We started as a technology company selling a hospital management system called Sehatek software. This is a system in which you can manage the entire operation of the hospital, clinic or medical center as an offline service. Previously, we just installed this system for our clients, which were clinics and hospitals. After a few years, we launched another service, which is our web development. We have started to develop websites and mobile applications. So we started out as a complete technology company with products and services focused on the healthcare industry. After a few years, we thought about opening up new sources of income, which are Internet marketing and sales services. We signed up for one of the Masterclasses in Bahrain for Ecommerce and Internet Marketing, and the instructors running the entire program were David and his wife, Christina. They were awesome. They were very familiar with e-commerce and internet marketing and we learned to love the industry from this Masterclass. From there, we started to do our research on Internet Marketing and Ecommerce, Conference Services, Consulting, etc. In Marketing, we do lead generation, content creation, content marketing, website design, paid campaign management, and general consulting. For sales, we close deals, also do lead follow-up and generic consultation. Recently, we have started to create sales funnels and tracking funnels. In e-commerce, we have two products. A product is live, which is a retail market. Anyone can buy it from us and start their marketplace. He can register and onboard suppliers and set up his retail business. The second is in line with our Sehatek product in health management systems. We have now converted it to a cloud version using software as a service technology. It will be based on SAS and it will be for a larger market, not only for Bahrain but also for the GCC, the Arab countries and the whole world. We will be launching this version of the Sehatek software very soon under a new name for this system. It will be called Bclinika. It will be the first SAS-based hospital management system in Bahrain and in the CCG.
What is your ambition for the company in the medium term, in three years?
We’re now building another SAS-based project to help marketers and ad managers automate content creation. It will focus on Arab countries. Content writing is very expensive and we will try to make it easier for Arab companies and GCC companies to get rid of the hassle of looking for content writers and good content writing. We try to automate that for them so that they stay focused on how to grow their businesses and their strategies and how to increase their income. Today we are still in the design phase, but we will be creating an academy as a subset of our business or as a new business. This academy will help anyone who wants to start a small business, who wants to start their entrepreneurial journey or who wants to know where to start their life, their business and how to turn their idea into a business. It will be a virtual academy teaching entrepreneurship, marketing, sales, etc. From there we move towards business consulting rather than just being an IT company or a software development company. This is the main objective. The new venture will consist of a combination of consulting and training. We will implement the consultation in different ways, from hourly consultation to outsourcing.
For more information, please visit: www.issoftbh.com / www.instagram.com/issoftbh / www.instagram.com/alihasnbh / www.linkedin.com/in/ali-hassan.
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