Dubai-based tech startup Loyica is targeting small entrepreneurs and SMEs who cannot afford a customer relationship management (CRM) from the big players with its flexible and advanced features and at a fraction of the cost.
CRM is a tool to manage a company’s interaction with current and potential customers and improve business relationships. It compiles data from different communication channels such as website, telephone, emails, social media platforms, marketing materials and businesses learn more about their target audiences to better serve them.
Ali Homadi, CEO of Dubai-based Loyica, told TechRadar Middle East that other products in the market are so complicated and that is what is scaring everyone to use a CRM in the Middle East.
“People in the Middle East wants everything to be simple, run smoothly and fast. We saw the biggest gap in the market. There was no home-grown product and there is no support for startups and SMEs to educate them about the system and the processes,” he said.
Starting the journey in 2016, the UK-based Homadi, with deep roots in Dubai, took three years to build the first phase.
After the second year, he gave the CRM software – Saphyte – to his friends, startups and families to get their feedback and to rectify teething problems.
He added that Dubai always has the best things and used the Emirate as a stepping stone to his growth.
“It will be easy for me to expand into Europe and globally with the success in Dubai. We are confident enough to take on the big players in the industry. Everyone has their target markets,” he said.
The big players in the CRM space are Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft, Slack and HubSpot.
Homadi said these big companies not only sell the software but also charges for implementation.
“We don’t charge extra and are flexible on the processes and customisation. It is very easy to customise solutions and fields to multiple layers and stages on our software and all the processes can be installed and implemented within two days. For customisation, big players need to do coding but in our software, it is in the library and companies need to just drag and drop,” he said.
Focus on big data rather than AI
When compared to Zoho, which also targets startups and SMEs in the CRM space, is cheaper than Saphyte but Homadi claims that his CRM offers much more efficiency than Zoho.
Loyica charges $99 per user for the suite and they also have a $15 per user just for collecting data and writing notes.
“Souq.com was acquired by Amazon and Careem was acquired by Uber but behind these two tech unicorns, they had a CRM connected to their business and it was not just the frontend app. So, why don’t we give a local CRM to run businesses in the UAE? Many marketing companies in the UAE don’t have their product and outsource it to third parties,” he said.
Moreover, he said that companies will have local support on the ground and these big tech companies don’t entertain smaller companies.
Homadi proudly claimed that they have three ISO certifications [quality management, business continuity management and information security management] and is audited by auditors.
Loyica has 1,000 users for its CRM in the UAE and Europe.
“We are growing organically and globally. Our target is to have 10,000 customers from the UAE this year and open an office in either in the UK or Australia next year,” he said.
When AI is gaining traction globally, Homadi is not in favour of using AI into his systems.
“What AI is predicting is not precise and accurate data but we use big data analytics. We want to give our customers a precise data and big data is the next big thing even though everyone is focusing on AI. As a business, the main focus should be towards the data and how to manage the data to bring meaningful insights. They should work with precise and real data rather than predicted data,” he said.
Moreover, he said that CRM solutions generate so much useful data and help analyse complex data sets that take traditional data-processing software too long to process, even with the help of human intervention.
According to McKinsey, retailers that invest in big data get RoI (return on investment) as much as about 15% to 20% out of their investments.
“Businesses can predict a change in traffic, reduce customer churn and encourage purchase behaviour to boost sales and profit,” he said.
Despite this, Loyica uses AI in its software to remember the tools used by the customers.
Homadi is not resting on its laurels and is building another product, one of the modules focused from the ERP but a full end-to-end solution, and will be launched by the end of the year to help businesses become more efficient and allowing transforming their businesses digitally.
He did not give more details about the product and is waiting to give it a good name.
“The two products can be used to run the sales, marketing, support, project management, HR and admin,” he said.