Having grown up in the UAE, Ahmed Omar, CEO and Ahmed Nasser, Co-Founder, Odiggo, have always been fascinated by cars and e-commerce from a very early age. Omar sold his first car on dubizzle at 14 and realised that car owners have always found it difficult and time-consuming to take care of their cars. People spend hours looking for car parts or a trusted service provider. Odiggo’s core business is struc- tured around filling that need for car owners. Thus, Odiggo came to life.
Odiggo was first launched in Egypt in November 2019. At first, when the pandemic hit Nasser and Omar did not know what this would mean for their company however, what happened next, turned out to be the complete opposite to any of their expectations. The pandemic had a positive impact on Odiggo as a start-up as people were, unfortunately, unable to purchase their car parts in-store or directly from a car garage as those were closed due to the lockdown measures. Due to this, for the first time ever for some people, they started to look for online alternatives and they found Odiggo, a safe marketplace that catered to all of their car needs in one place without having to leave their homes.
During the first lockdown, Odiggo had its highest sales day ever in terms of sales, and four days after that the number doubled.
“We found ourselves unable to handle the huge unexpected growth and subsequently had some issues with the operations as it was much more than our initially forecasted volumes. However, we rose to the challenge and fortunately it paid off. We answered the market need of the ‘do it for me' generation by connecting the best fitting suppliers and car service providers to the car owners. Odiggo receives the supply directly from vendors, so our prices are cheaper than the market price,” explains Omar.
UAE automotive industry
According to Omar, the UAE automotive industry is a very good market to operate in and experts feel that the country has the resources and appetite to continue to be one of the most robust automotive markets in the GCC due to factors such as low fuel costs, low import tariffs, high per capita disposable income, and a favourable tax regime.
It is a very mature market with many car enthusiasts who for the most part treat their cars like their babies. Being part of this relationship is a great opportunity for Odiggo’s growth and vision. It is focused on providing the brand promise of being a 'car-services in minutes' app in every city in the UAE. The need for a go-to car services e-commerce app is even greater than Nasser and Omar first expected. So much so that the company recently moved its headquarters to Dubai from Egypt, to ensure that it offers top service quality as well as quantity. Both Nasser and Omar aim for Odiggo to be the most convenient choice and fastest service for the customers needing any car service/parts in the UAE.
The world is going toward electrification and autonomous driving, as well as artificial intelligence taking over massively in the future of the automotive industry. Once this happens the need for Odiggo and the demand will be much greater as the frequency of using tech to manage/control the car will be higher than ever.
“Everything is going to be digitised in this era, people avoid going to service centre’s at all costs nowadays, nobody wants to spend hours on their days off to get their car serviced and our industry taps into that exact need. Especially since Covid-19 hit, we realised that our time is now more precious than ever. Why go to the service provider when the service provider can come to you? The automotive industry is projected to cross $9 trillion dollars in 2030, so we believe that there is a huge opportunity in this industry,” observes Omar.
Full speed ahead
The future for Odiggo involves one key goal — making it convenient for every car owner to take care, service and maintain their car. Cars are getting smarter with every passing day and there are thousands of auto-tech start-ups today, which makes it easier for Odiggo to evolve faster and to drive convenience to every car owner globally.