Mr. Marwan Abdelrazek
With more than 20 years of extensive experience as a consultant for small and medium enterprises, Mr. Abdelrazek is an expert in International Franchise Development for SMEs, focusing in developing the real infrastructure for a healthy franchise business and growing public relationships.
Having both the technical background of Mechanical Engineering and the business background as an MBA holder in Marketing and Business Administration, he headed the Franchise Sector Support Program at the Social Fund for Development (SFD) with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Egypt.
Egypt Today conducted an interview with Mr. Abdelrazek who has helped numerous brands in Egypt and UAE to expand their businesses and to develop their franchise and distribution network both locally and internationally mainly through e-marketing to achieve successful business match making deals.
1. The upcoming Egypt Retail Summit is considered the first summit of its kind in Egypt, can you give us an idea about the summit and the inspiration behind it?
Egypt’s 2019 Retail Summit will explore and discuss the unique formula that generates a retail business model enabled to keep up with the leading-edge disruptive digital world, embrace the most innovative retail business strategies and yet create invaluable customers experience and satisification.
Leaders, decision makers, industry masterminds and top executives to address Egypt’s retail sectors’ pressing economic, digital and logistic challenges, share their experiences and insights, discuss the new prerequistes of a highly competitive virtual and physical marketplace, identify unparalleled retail opportunities for growth and demand in the new urban cities, discover more of the hidden potential and untapped oppportunties for women and youth in Egypt’s retail market.
2. What is the idea behind the Summit’s theme “Expand Your Retail business between the Pyramids”?
At ERS 2019, participants will be able to track business owners in the midst of industry-defining conversations, explore how their brands thrive in light of a hyper-saturated and truly versatile market, network with retail industry peers from around the world, learn how to keep up the pace to a highly vibrant and globally competitive retail industry and be inspired by the success stories told and experiences of the retail gurus and game changers in Egypt and the MENA region.
This year’s summit will act as a platform of engagement between the new generation and pioneer retailors, and they will deliver to us their globalized expert opinion and reflections on the Egyptian retail market. The summit will bring together more than 200 C-Suite executives and over 25 speakers and 1000 attendees to network, innovate, share insights, provide cutting edge analysis and most crucially help in re-shaping the future of the retail landscape in Egypt.
3. Who should attend Egypt Retail Summit and Why?
Participating attendees are the marketing leaders in the retail industry in Egypt and MENA region, as well as Retail Chains, Individual Retailers, E-Retailers, Department stores, Convenience Retailers, Discount Retailers, Warehouse Retailers, Startups, Business Owners, Investors, E-Commerce, Trade Governmental Representatives, Shopping Centers Managers, FMFB, FMCGs, Chambers of Trade, Retail Influencers, Retail Consultants, Retail Franchisors, Manufactures, and Bankers.
Participants will have the chance to network with other online and offline Retail professionals, gain knowledge and exposure to new trends, accomplish their commercial goals, benefit from real-life case studies and trends, interact with innovation leaders to share challenges, find solutions and build relationships.
4. How do you see the retail sector in Egypt and why did you choose to focus on this sector for the summit?
Egypt's retail market is undergoing a gradual modernization process and that is why the retail sector is the main focus for many reasons:
1- There are 343 companies working in Retail sector in Egypt with total capital reaching EGP 38.7 Million.
2- While traditional formats prevail in both urban and rural areas, the proliferation of modern shopping malls is broadcasting the lifestyle-element of the retail sector to a young and open consumer base.
3- The country has a young population with almost a third of the total aged 20-39 years old, the key age bracket for retail spending.
4- Another important contributor to the modernization of the country's retail driving demand for convenience products as households become busier. The growing number of employed women is also contributing to the expanding middle income bracket as the number of households with two channels of income is rising. This is leading to increased spending on non-essential goods and cultivating a new demand for branded products.
5. With the inception of technological solutions, how has the retail industry developed a transformational period for consumers, especially for millennials?
The retail industry is in the grip of a revolution powered by digital technology. This will be as big in its effects as the mercantile revolution that saw the birth of retailing as we know it, and the Industrial Revolution that kicked off the modern era.
The end of 2016 heralded a crucial economic overhaul in Egypt, necessitated to stabilize the economy, encourage foreign direct investment, increase forex reserves, boost competitiveness and drive more sustainable growth. The flotation of the Egyptian Pound resulted in acutely-felt turmoil and an inevitable surge in inflation which followed the weaker exchange rate. The high inflationary environment looks set to persist throughout the year, with minor relief predicted towards the end of the year.
The new mental model for retail is one of customer-centricity, digital fluency, and tremendous agility. Notably, customer-centricity goes beyond a general concern or respect for the customer; it means reversing the traditional push mentality of the consumer goods industry to one really based on customer pull. For technologists, it requires the overhaul of retail systems which have traditionally been designed entirely around the physical movement of goods, and not the management of relationships with customers.
In setting a new aspiration for their businesses, individual retailers are going to have to understand how and where they are going to play: in other words, they must choose one or two (but not several) archetypes and understand how to transform their businesses accordingly. This will mean a dramatic and long-term journey, bringing in new staff and skills, embedding new processes, and embracing new organizational structures and governance models—but those who get ahead now may enjoy a sustained advantage for decades to come.
6. What do you think retailers should do to keep up with this fast-paced changes?
These trends will put considerable strain on the traditional retailers’ economic model, with challenges to both the top and bottom lines. On the revenue front, the biggest obstacle will come from a channel shift: in-store purchases will grow by only about 2 or 3 percent a year, and some formats should see in-store sales decline by 5 to 7 percent a year. Gross margins will come under pressure from both price transparency (retailers will need to keep prices low to stay competitive) and a reduced share of trade spending (vendors will allocate fewer trade dollars to secure shelf space in physical stores and more to promote brands in the digital realm, where retailers are but one of many ways to reach consumers). To increase revenues, gain share, remain profitable, and manage capital investment effectively over the next 10 or 15 years, retailers must take aggressive action. Specifically, they should heed the following five imperatives.
7. How can start-ups and current businesses benefit from the content presented by speakers in the summit?
ERS 19 content is highly targeting the start-up retailers and the entrepreneurs in retail especially targeting fashion sector. Egypt Retail Summit is having some of the newest women start ups exceptional success stories to share. Track 3 of the Summit will be dedicated to women retail experts, ambassadresses of their brand and women in leadership. It will discuss topics such as roadblocks that hold back on gender diversity in Egypt’s retail sector; is it a matter of financial empowerment, career coaching strategies or only maybe all they need is to unlock their potential in leadership positions? The session will reflect on the role of e-tail in adding flexibility to women’s working practices in this sector and listen to their concerns and the challenges they face in the retail sector.
8. Does Biznex|Franchisingate intend to host the Retail Summit on an annual basis?
Yes, Egypt Retail Summit is intended to be organized annually; in order to be following up with the latest and updated retail worldwide practices, in an attempt to expose the local retailers to the most recent and effective methods to guarantee the best customer experience and the highest levels of sales.