Blog Interviews LifeStory World

Building A Better Tomorrow

Firdouz Hameed

Fadi Amoudi was born in Saudi Arabia. He was someone who lived in between Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and the USA, before being graduated from the American University of Beirut. 

Coming from an FMCG background, he was always fascinated with the idea of using technology to ease lives and help businesses grow to their full potential. The idea behind IQ Fulfillment made itself apparent to him at a time when he decided to move to Dubai with family. 

Fadi soon made contact with Quicktron, the leading Chinese intelligent robotics company that supplies warehouse AGV robots for e-commerce giant Alibaba. Soon enough, he signed a deal with them to be their representative in the Middle East and Africa, leading to the creation of IQ Robotics, a technology company that provides robots for the IQ Fulfillment warehouse in Dubai and beyond. Some of their strategic partners across the MENA region include Honeywell Logistics, Damon Technologies, Locked Air, Cotao Technologies and Cubilink.

Today, their company stands as the first robotic fulfillment center in the Middle East and North African region. They are the only center in the region that help process 12,000 robotics order daily with 99.9 % accuracy. For raising the standards of the tech companies in the UAE, the company has won several accolades like Digital Innovation of the year 2019. Their sister company IQ Robotics is the winner of Smart Logistics Automation & Robotics Technologies Provider 2019. Fadi was also recently recognized as the Top 50 Tech Visionaries.

Your company is the first robotics fulfillment company in the MENA region. Compared to other such companies around the world, how much do you rate yourself?

We’ve created a center of excellence out of Dubai. Our company is building something from the ground up and it will be out of the ordinary. I’m sure our top-notch service will take us to the top of the line.

I believe one should never rate himself. Hopefully, we will get more ratings from our satisfied clients. I have been told by many of our clients that we are one of the most advanced technology fulfillment facilities in our region.

It’s your vast experience in the FMCG sector in this region that helped you with such an innovative idea, correct? Other than inventory management and fulfillment, what are some of the other major challenges that you have observed in the e-commerce sector in the GCC? How all can IQ Holding help resolve these problems?

Yes, correct. In addition to inventory management and fulfillment, the major challenge in the e-commerce platforms in the GCC is the logistics.

Some of the issues that all e-commerce SMEs in the region struggle with are last-mile delivery, COD (cash on delivery), return management, and unclear address structure.

To ensure end-to-end services, IQ Fulfillment will help address logistical challenges experienced by SMEs, such as a large number of orders during seasonal peaks, which can lead to bottlenecks during that period. We help address these gaps through our unique service.

You were so confident with your concept that you started this company without a single potential client. How did you manage to win the same level of trust with your investors?

We believe in Dubai. Our company believes e-commerce in the region will grow more than predicted. This vertical is very interesting and promising, which gave us the confidence to become the first market mover.

Robotics is the future, and we aspire to be the future. Over the next five years, we will be working towards establishing a global presence while creating a strong brand presence in the local and regional markets as well. Our team is strategically working across different verticals of digital technology to enhance the business experience of business partners.

You’re planning to take IQ Holding beyond UAE to countries like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India, and China. There are several other major players in these markets. Considering they would have better local market knowledge, how do you plan to make your presence felt?

Our plan to make our presence felt is by disrupting the market, introducing new technologies in the supply chain, and logistics industries.

Are your robots capable of meeting the demands of a large-scale deployment warehouse? How much data are they able to collect daily?

Chain and logistics solutions provided by IQ Robotics cover advanced warehouse process management, seamless integration with third-party software and hardware solutions, real-time track and trace, multiple third-party logistics, order splitting & merging, flexible ordering, routing, warehouse management solutions (WMS), transport management solutions (TMS), and order management solutions (OMS).

By utilizing robotics and AI solutions, IQ Fulfillment boosts efficiency and productivity. It helps process 12,000 robotic orders daily, with a 99.9 % accuracy rate, which means productivity is three times the human output. It uses the same technology that is being used by some of the largest international companies like Alibaba.

With so much growth expected in the e-commerce sector, it is granted the need for more warehouses will arise and that means more clients for you. This also means you need to hire more men who will be able to handle this sophisticated technology. Surely that can’t be easy, because it is not something that they can learn on the job. How do you look to prepare such a workforce for such a situation? How far ahead is the planning?

The e-commerce sector is evolving and a lot of new jobs will be created. Talent acquisition was a challenge that we successfully took. Right now, we can say that with our team of international and local experts, we are capable of training new resources. Hence, we are a center of excellence out of Dubai.

Speaking of the rise of the e-commerce industry, a lot of new start-ups will be looking to join the bandwagon. With so much competition around, what do you suggest to these startups to ensure success?

At IQ Robotics, we are ready to share our technology and solutions. IQ fulfillment is also supporting all the e-commerce businesses that are interested in joining us. Our most profound recommendation would be, “Build everything from the ground up”. This way, you will not only create something unique but also build a team that would later become your family.

The lessons that you will learn together will reflect the integrity of your brand, which is the most important value in the long run.

Other than the e-commerce industry, which are the other industries that you currently offer your service to? Can you name a few clients and give an idea of what kind of impact your service has had on them?

Some of the other industries are B2C, B2B, 3 PL, logistics, pharmaceutical, oil & gas, automotive, fashion, and FMCG.

IQ Robotics is redefining boundaries in the supply chain and logistics industry to offer fully automated solutions, powered by robotics and AI to change the fabric of the industry.

You have a fully automated warehouse. Can any of your clients use this space for their progress? 

IQ Fulfillment supports all businesses with warehouse storage, order processing, and delivery by taking all logistical aspects to the highest levels of efficiency.

We integrate seamlessly with business operations, thereby removing the burden of fulfillment and also helping them to free up the resources. This helps brands to grow and further develop.

What kind of growth are you expecting from your company this 2020? 

As the city prepares for Expo 2020, we see the opening of IQ Fulfillment as meeting a need in the market to support SMEs and other enterprises to build their digital enterprises cost-effectively. The overall positive outlook is very inspiring for companies like us who are trying to make an impact on the business landscape.

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