In an interview with Saudi Gazette, the serial entrepreneur and the founder of the first Saudi digital agency Rakan Asaad talks about his job, his life in the USA, and the major struggles he has to overcome on a daily basis.
Rakan Asaad graduated in Information System Technology from George Washington University in the USA. During his college years, he focused on both technologies and business studies which equipped him with unique life perspective. Apart from that, he has always been passionate about web design.
When he returned home, he founded Vantage solutions in 2007. Ten years later, the company has over 240 projects, including e-commerce, content management systems, POS, framework applications, and more. It also offers technology consulting and digital product development. Vantage solutions recently launched its newest service, the mobile apps development. It will develop native apps for iOS and Android.
Asked about the challenges, Asaad named a few he had to combat personally. Many clients said he, preferred to work with well-established, international advertising agencies rather than with a local one. The reason behind that was not that the foreign company would do a better job but because the client already built a working relationship with it and trusted it more.
Also, many international companies have been taking advantage of the growing need for digital services in Saudi Arabia and entered the local market. It was not always easy to compete with them for clients, added Asaad.
Apart from being a tech geek, Asaad also admitted his interest in food industry and eco-tourism. He co-founded the FrozyMix brand which imported Frozen Carbonated Beverages from the US. As they were pioneers in the field, the business went well. Due to some operational and logistics issues, Asaad had to stop with it.
He is also involved in promoting Saudi Arabia as a tourist destination via his brand DoMore National Tourism. It is focused on sea and land excursions across the Kingdom. In 2013, it received the International Quality Crown Award.
Asaad remembered that the first struggle he had in the tourism business was with the conventional tents. They turned out to be labor intensive and time-consuming to install. The team had to reinvent and redesign to make them eco-friendly and fast to assemble. It resulted in more trips and higher revenues, said Asaad.
Asked to give an advice to entrepreneurs, Assad said that he has seen more wantrepreneurs than entrepreneurs in his life so far. According to him, the real entrepreneurs were goal-oriented and focused professionals who never complain, make sacrifices, adapt easily to changes and not afraid of innovations and risks.
Read the whole interview here.