The economic landscape is quickly becoming dependent on digitalization. Acknowledging this change, Retailo, a first-ever regional B2B startup, has pioneered retail supply chains. The company is the first of its kind in MENAP. Although its headquarters are based in Riyadh, the startup has become operational in multiple markets in MENAP. The company’s clientele includes over 50,000 retailers with access to more than 5000 SKUs (Stock Keeping Units). These can be accessed through the B2B App. Express deliveries of less than 24 hours have revolutionized the retail supply chains in MENAP. This pioneering operation is made possible through warehouses that stock inventory from hundreds of brands, many of which are Retailo’s partners. The company’s guiding principle is simplicity and convenience. By digitalizing supply chains, the benefits available for small businesses promise great economic prosperity.
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Like many other digitalization revolutions, the idea for Retailo was inspired by the pandemic and the economic changes it brought to the world. In 2020, the pandemic spread like wildfire, reaching the MENAP region. The retail sector was most adversely affected in general harm to the business and economic environment. The imposed lockdowns gave a natural advantage to digitalized companies with larger capitals. Of course, the smaller enterprises suffered tremendously, with many closing down operations.
In this business environment, the traditional flaws of the supply chain and retail became troublingly apparent to young and innovative entrepreneurs. Wahaj Ahmed, Talha Ansari, and Muhammad Nowkhaiz, the company’s co-founders, dedicated their energies to finding solutions to this drastic change in the business landscape. They realized that technological advances had rendered retailers practically pointless and lost. They did not know how to adapt to the new changes. The co-founders wanted these retailers to become relevant and fully utilize technology to prosper. As young and ambitious entrepreneurial minds, the three co-founders launched a beta version of Retailo to see how things went. This pilot program became a phenomenal success! Their spirits soared, and their resolve strengthened to provide small retail businesses the opportunity to excel and prosper.
Pitching its mission and early success to prominent investors, the company gained the support of those who shared its faith in technology as the way forward. As a result, the three co-founders raised $45m in less than a year and a half of operations This massive capital, combined with the determination and entrepreneurial skills of the team members, allowed the company to reach new heights of success.
The company began operating in two countries and various cities quickly, having more than 50,000 retailers as clients and more than 700 employees! But the company’s growth is exponential, promising a great future.
Each of the co-founders has an extraordinary journey. Muhammad Talha Ansari zoomed his way to success. Starting as an intern in Rocket Internet, he ascended the ranks to become Food panda’s CEO within 18 months! Under his leadership, Food panda saw a steady rise in profits. His portfolio includes senior leadership roles in Careem’s operations in Pakistan and others in the MENAP region. He now serves as Retailo’s CEO, using his experience to make it the fastest-growing startup in the region.
A former McKinsey consultant, Wahaj Ahmed, started his career at Rocket Internet like Talha. His tenure there saw him working with high-profile companies as part of Rocket Internet. Wahaj Ahmed’s dedication enabled him to become the youngest city GM at Careem. He achieved this milestone at the young age of 25. His notable achievements include expanding the company’s operations in Karachi, Pakistan, by ten times! This experience has proved to be an invaluable asset for the company. Wahaj Ahmed now provides strategic services for the company, enabling it to reach its maximum potential.
Like the other two co-founders, the company’s third co-founder, Muhammad Nowkhaiz, achieved success early on in his career. He was a founding member of Shopistan, an innovative e-commerce platform for consumers in Pakistan. Muhammad Nowkhaiz found TazaDaily, a digital grocery delivery service; his work at Careem earned him the head leadership of the Strategy department. His portfolio continued to grow in 2020 with co-founding Retailo Technologies. Using his experience and expertise, Nowkhaiz heads the technological parts of the company, mainly the Product and Development Operations.
The company’s clientele, as mentioned above, consists exclusively of local retailers, which primarily consist of shopkeepers. More than 50,000 retailers use the Retailo app for their stock needs. These traditional shopkeepers saw their small businesses crumbling in the pandemic. The company’s innovative digital solutions immediately appealed to them. They realized how they would uplift them from the slump the pandemic had brought. And so, the response to the digital service was highly positive from the start. Using the company’s app has become a regular business operation for these retailers. Their convenience allows them to focus on other aspects of their businesses. This has brought prosperity and advancement.
The company aims to bring this convenience and prosperity to around 10 million retailers in the coming decade. The co-founders deem their business operations to be a part of social upliftment that improves the lives of small retail businesses. And so, to expand these services, the company would welcome investors who share the co-founders’ passion for making a positive difference.
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Message to your customers and viewers
“Retailo is the first regional B2B platform and the fastest growing e-commerce startup in MENAP. It uses community commerce technology to improve the lives of the underserved retail industry. In 10 years, it will impact 10 million small businesses across the MENAP region by providing them the convenience of simplified, tech-driven, and value-added inventory management. Retailo offers next-day free delivery, one-stop-window solution, convenience, and strong profit margins to enrich the lives of retailers in the region.”