UAE, India partner to boost SME opportunities

UAE’s strategic location offers Indian SMEs and startups a gateway to the Middle East and Africa region


Somshankar Bandyopadhyay

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Deepak Ahuja Founder and CEO of iAccel GBI
Deepak Ahuja Founder and CEO of iAccel GBI

Published: Sun 8 Oct 2023, 10:45 PM

Last updated: Tue 10 Oct 2023, 1:35 PM

Recent opportunities for SMEs between the UAE and India have been driven by bilateral agreements, increased investment flows, and technology collaborations. This landscape has a huge impact on the UAE-India partnership, particularly for MSMEs and startups, as it opens avenues for cross-border trade, investment, and innovation. Additionally, the UAE’s strategic location offers Indian SMEs and startups a gateway to the Middle East and Africa region. “Technology partnerships and e-commerce expansion further enhance the ecosystem, enabling SMEs and startups from both countries to leverage each other’s strengths for mutual growth and global expansion,” Deepak Ahuja Founder and CEO of iAccel GBI, told Khaleej Times in an interview.


What is Dubai SME’s strategy for promoting a tech-driven startup ecosystem, and how does iAccel Gulf Business Incubator contribute to this?

Dubai SME was created as an integrated division of the Department of Economic Development (DED) as a custodian for support, information and outreach for the growing small and medium enterprise sector. They offer various programmes, training, and funding opportunities to help startups scale. iAccel Gulf Business Incubator was given the mandate to bring tech businesses across the globe to the UAE. iAccel GBI offers a range of services- from entity registration and business support, a network of mentors and advisors and market access through the public and private sector, thereby becoming a launchpad for any startup that wants to expand and explore the MENA region.

What recent opportunities have arisen for SMEs between the UAE and India, and how does this impact the UAE-India partnership, particularly for MSMEs and startups?

How can SMEs and startups aiming for global expansion benefit from the UAE’s tech-driven startup ecosystem, and what initiatives does iAccel Gulf Business Incubator offer to support Indian tech startups in Dubai?

SMEs and startups wanting to expand globally can reap substantial benefits from the UAE’s thriving tech-driven startup ecosystem. Firstly, the UAE’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa offers unparalleled access to diverse markets. Secondly, the country’s robust funding landscape makes it an attractive destination. Moreover, the presence of world-class infrastructure, innovation hubs, and communities fosters innovation and collaboration. Access to a talented and multicultural workforce, as well as a supportive regulatory environment, further accelerates growth. iAccel Gulf Business Incubator is committed to fostering innovation and emerging technologies and is becoming an ecosystem player for startups aiming to expand their footprint on a global scale, enabling them to leverage the region’s substantial potential. By leveraging the network of mentors, angel investors, corporates, functional support partners and academia, iAccel Gulf Business Incubator’s unique value proposition attracts startups from across the globe to expand with ease.

Can you share examples of recent innovative Indian tech startups that entered the UAE market through iAccel Gulf Business Incubator, including the industries they serve, and the criteria used for their selection in line with Dubai DED’s agenda?

iAccel GBI’s criteria involves a multi-step evaluation process of the tech startup’s scalability and product-market fit for the MENA region.

iAccel GBI has attracted startups from across the globe because of its unique value proposition. Following are the Indian startups that have been incorporated:

KLUB- Digital eCommerce company

E-REV BAY- Fintech which works with over 100 banks, insurance companies and NBFCs

Majestic Experiences /JOOBLY - F&B Tech revolutionizing customer experience at 4 & 5 start F&B outlets

Task Tracker- B2B SAAS with amazing solutions for businesses to efficiently manage their teams.

PWIP- Agritech - digitizing the rice & commodities trading business

iAccel GBI has also incorporated a US-based edtech startup, Accreda and a UAE-based digital community app for women, Join Me.

Further, we are in conversation with:

Fintech from Australia

Edtech from Romania

And many other amazing tech startups from different geographies.

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