Online Businesses Winning Iranian Hearts
During the past decade, Iran experienced a great surge in internet usage, as the country currently has the second highest percentage of its population online in the Middle East.
Although the internet speed here is very slow even compared to some developing countries, internet usage is growing fast to become one of the necessary components among the daily needs of a family, especially in urban areas.
Considering the population, the major portion of which are young people in their twenties and thirties who are regular internet users, Iran is a desirable target for online businesses, regarding the fact that there are not many giant internet-based companies in this hugely untapped market.
One of the websites which has just kicked off in Iran is Bodofood which has been launched based on a startup business model proven around the world. The online food delivery website is a replication of successful well-known websites such as takeaway.com.
“We have launched this website aimed at changing how people order food in Iran,” Bodofood’s Manager Director Elyas Nadali told the Financial Tribune.
Localizing the business models is always the most important part because every nation has its own habits in ordering food.
But Nadali said food is a topic which is the same everywhere around the world. Everybody is hungry, everybody wants to eat and the food business works everywhere. Age and position do not matter. This food business is a kind of business which needs the least adjustments from country to country, added Nadali.
Startups are not limited to business models which require millions of dollars of capital, but they can be based on a business activity which is possible even in a garage.
“We want to win over the market in a very short period of time. We want to be the number one player. That is why we invested a lot but we have huge returns on the other hand as well. We want to get all over the country and convince people very fast in just a year”, noted German-educated Nadali.
People go online and log in to Bodofood and let it know where they are. The website then lists every restaurant which delivers food to them. The customer then chooses the restaurant and the food and then the order is given to the restaurant and the restaurant delivers the food to the customers.
“Our idea is not doing normal marketing as other companies do. Our marketing activities are very interesting. They encourage people to stay longer on our website. Everybody talks about it. There is going to be a lot of new IT-based jobs. People are not thinking about a circle of ten kilometers around them but they are thinking globally”, Nadali stated.
Nadali and his colleagues at Bodofood say they did a lot of research on Iranian people and the internet in the country and they came to the conclusion that the internet usage here is rapidly increasing.
He added that many Iranians are regular internet users and they are interested in online applications. As a young energetic entrepreneur, he thinks it is a perfect time to start an online business, especially by the recent promotion of mobile telecommunications technologies such as 3G and 4G in Iran.