Genetech Visits Web Summit Qatar 2024

COO Shamim Rajani and Senior Project Manager Neelam Raheel Genetech Solutions attended Web Summit Qatar 23-26 February 2024, the largest gathering of international startups ever held in the Middle East. The event was attended by over 15,000 people from 118 countries and took place at the Doha Exhibition and Conference Center (DECC). The summit offered attendees the opportunity to connect, engage in thought-provoking discussions, and explore cutting-edge technology.

About the Web Summit

Web Summit is the organizer of the world’s largest technology events, which brings entrepreneurs, investors, and innovators from various industries to promote innovation and collaboration.  Since its inception in Dublin in 2009 as a 150-person conference, Web Summit has organized events like Web Summit in Lisbon, Web Summit Rio in South America, Collision in North America, RISE in Asia, and Web Summit Qatar in the Middle East. Altogether, these events have attracted over half a million attendees.

The Web Summit Qatar 2024 was a three-day conference focused on technology’s impact on various aspects of life, from AI and space exploration to social movements and business development. Day 1 addressed the potential and limitations of AI, with discussions on responsible development and education. Day 2 explored specific applications of AI in activism, marketing, and content creation. The final day looked to the future, with talks on Mars exploration, the evolving African tech scene, and the importance of profitability in sustainable ventures.

Qatar – a tech hub in making

Qatar’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector is currently experiencing significant growth, projected at a CAGR of 8.5% over the next 5 years. The country is undergoing a significant digital transformation as outlined in Qatar Digital Agenda 2030. This rapid expansion presents a promising opportunity for new entrants like Genetech. Additionally, the government of Qatar is actively promoting innovation and technology adoption across various sectors through initiatives such as the Smart Qatar Program (TASMU) which fosters a receptive environment for companies offering cutting-edge solutions.

The government of Qatar is also focused on fostering a thriving startup culture. Initiatives like Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) aim to attract entrepreneurs and promote innovation, all in all, encouraging an environment for collaboration and growth. Even at the Summit, more than 1,000 startups, including a significant number founded by women, showcased their innovations and connected with investors, corporations, and a global talent pool. 

Qatar has also been seen at the forefront of adopting new technologies such as 5G, ranking among the top network coverages in the world. In fact, it came second only to South Korea in 2022. There are also great opportunities for businesses working in areas such as IoT, AI, and autonomous vehicles. Furthermore, with an impressive internet penetration rate of nearly 100% as of 2023, there is a large potential customer base for IT services in Qatar. 

However, the tech industry in Qatar is facing a significant skills gap. Both the government and businesses are actively seeking qualified professionals and international collaborations to support their digital goals. This is where the opportunity lies for companies like Genetech Solutions.

The Genetech experience

When we heard that the Web Summit was being held in Qatar, it immediately sparked curiosity and excitement. Why Qatar? What does this decision of Web Summit say about the Qatar tech market? 

Hence, we set out to explore… 

Going in 

Our mission at Web Summit Qatar 2024 was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the evolving Qatari tech ecosystem. We had three primary objectives in mind: to explore the current state of the Qatari tech landscape, identify prevalent tech stacks and industries undergoing tech adoption, and explore opportunities for collaboration, joint ventures, or potential expansion into the Qatari market

Learning and connecting 

From the get-go, the conference buzzed with an exciting energy. The event’s strong focus on women’s leadership and participation was refreshing. 

Exceeding the initial expectations, our exploratory visit was highly successful. There was a great deal of learning and interactions with potential leads.

As for the conference sessions, they were packed with thought-provoking ideas. We were particularly impressed by Edin Focic, Head of Brands at Al Jazeera, in his masterclass “The Al Jazeera Blueprint for Brand Vitality.” His message resonated deeply: 

Humanity isn’t just a brand value, but a core principle for brand development, alongside resolute commitment, uncompromising honesty, and persistent boldness – values we wholeheartedly embrace at Genetech. 

Another session that stood out was “Unlocking Limitless Connections in a Multilingual World” hosted by ICANN. It explored the fascinating possibilities of domain names and email addresses in diverse languages, opening doors to new business opportunities and a more inclusive digital landscape.

Building connections and identifying opportunities

The process of exploring the Qatari market itself led to lead generation, as we identified gaps that our Staff augmentation and Custom Software Development solutions could address. Our participation as attendees, rather than exhibitors, allowed for a strong focus on networking, and fostering valuable connections with industry leaders and potential partners. We made connections with amazing tech minds like Areej Al Khateeb, LeRoy Ratnayake, K. S. Amin, Khalid Alomari, Salim Zakhour, Jude Al Saleh, Abdelrahman Alassar, Saeeda Riaz, Sifeddin, Anoop Sarath, Jon Fraser, Awais Bashir, and Liudmila

We were impressed by initiatives like the Qatar Financial Centre‘s (QFC) tax-free five-year registrations. QFC is offering entirely new, international companies five years of tax-free operation, eliminating the previous requirement for a local partner. It is evident that Qatar is serious about attracting foreign businesses and establishing itself as a financial powerhouse. 

Round-up

Undoubtedly, the conference confirmed Qatar’s growing tech prominence in fintech, travel, and health tech. Networking with European and Canadian companies further confirmed this growing interest. Needless to say, we fully expect to participate in future Web Summits in Qatar.

And how can we forget – the perfect weather and fantastic food were just the icing on the cake!

Plus, the Night Summit provided a taste of Qatari culture with events at Barahat Msheireb, the Mina District, and the B12 Beach Club. Amazing ends to the amazing days! 

Ending note

Attending Web Summit Qatar 2024 was a truly enriching experience for Genetech Solutions.  The summit provided valuable opportunities for connection, learning, and exploring the exciting landscape of the Qatari tech industry.

Qatar is a small and focused market with a unique regional perspective on Geopolitics. So, for a company like Genetech, which believes in focusing on fewer but better-paying customers, this could be a goldmine soon.” — COO Shamim Rajani

The Web Summit Qatar 2024 provided a valuable platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration. The caliber of speakers and the diversity of topics covered cutting-edge advancements across the tech spectrum. It was particularly insightful to engage with regional experts on the future of AI in the MENA market.” — Senior Project Manager Neelam Raheel

The most inspiring takeaway was the emphasis on the power of technology for a positive impact. Whether it’s using AI to empower social movements, building profitable sustainable businesses, or sending leaders into space to foster global understanding, Web Summit Qatar was focused on demonstrating how technology can create a better future for all.

The exciting part? This is just the beginning. With groundbreaking technologies emerging daily and a growing focus on tackling global challenges, the coming years promise to be a period of immense transformation and powerful collaborations. One can only imagine what wonders the next edition will bring! 

Jannat is a Content and Marketing specialist with a strong interest in copywriting, data analysis, and lead generation. Currently, she is exploring Sales in IT to broaden her skill set and explore new opportunities for professional growth. With an interdisciplinary academic background, Jannat holds majors in history and literature alongside minor studies in computer science and programming. She loves challenges and welcomes opportunities to learn new things. Throughout her academic and professional journey, she has consistently demonstrated diligence and a commitment to excellence, earning her notable awards and recognitions. When she is not working, she can be found reading Robin Sharma, watching documentaries about the medieval era, healthy dieting (as best as she can), painting, and laughing at her own jokes.

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Jannat Zeeshan