100 Most Powerful Arabs 2018
Wed 27 Jun 2018 09:18 AM
Ronaldo Mouchawar

Company: Souq.com

Designation: CEO and co-founder

The former Syrian basketball player says he spent a whole year on a plane attempting to get investment abroad for his then-auction site, Dubai-based Souq.com.

Fast forward over a decade later and the platform has become the Middle East’s largest e-commerce website yet, attracting over 45 million visitors per month with 9.4 million products available for sale.

In an even bigger push, it was acquired by global e-commerce and logistics giant Amazon for $580m in 2017. Even more impressively, Souq is Mouchawar’s second company to have been acquired, after Maktoob (now Yahoo! Maktoob) was sold to the US powerhouse in 2009.

Mouchawar continues to lead the charge at Souq, as well as devote energy to helping the region’s innovative start-ups gain funding and exposure, including the acquisition of Wing, which helped it deliver twice as many products during its White Friday sale as it did in 2016.

His secret to success? According to the founder, there is no secret besides the old-fashioned principle of trial and error. In an on-stage interview with Arabian Business in 2018, Mouchawar advised start-ups to “fail fast” if they want to succeed.