100 smartest people in the UAE
Tue 26 Sep 2017 12:04 AM
Ronaldo Mouchawar

Company: Souq.com

Designation: CEO and co-founder

Country: Syria

Country of residence: Syria

Aleppo-born entrepreneur Ronaldo Mouchawar certainly has ‘smart’ credentials when it comes to e-commerce and technology. Forecasting huge pent-up demand in what was then a nascent industry, Mouchawar co-founded UAE-based e-commerce website Souq.com in 2005, alongside the Jabbar Internet Group’s Samih Toukan and Hussam Khoury. This was after Yahoo had acquired Mouchawar’s Arabic-language portal Maktoob, leaving the e-commerce business behind and providing the opportunity for Souq.com to operate as an auction site linked to Maktoob.

The inspiration for the brand’s name is the Arabic word for ‘marketplace’ and, over the past decade, it grew to become the largest e-commerce retailer in the Middle East. Souq.com’s success was affirmed this year, when it was snapped up by Amazon for $580m. The deal allows Amazon to enter the Middle East for the first time.