GCC 100 Inspiring Leaders 2019

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Fodhil Benturquia

Fodhil Benturquia

Company:

Okadoc.com

Designation:

Founder and CEO

He left France for the UAE in 2007 when he was still in his early 20s, when he pursued a career in investment banking with Societe General Corporate Investment Banking. But an economic slowdown in the region led to Benturquia being made redundant. However, the now-CEO decided to remain in Dubai and “dream big”.

Fast forward a few years and his decision has paid off. Benturquia quickly became involved in the e-commerce sector, which had then been considered as a very high-risk venture with no credibility as a viable business model.

Yet the young banker was fascinated by the way e-commerce could disrupt the legacy business model of the retail industry. So in 2010, Benturquia co-founded MarkaVIP in Amman, Jordan. While his journey there was short-lived (10 months), he left to join the team of Souq.com during its infancy. He then launched the Deal of the Day, which became a successful business model. Later on, he accepted the challenge of leading Souq.com’s Saudi Arabia operations, where for two years, he was in charge of the company’s largest profit and loss.

During his five years at Souq, Benturquia gained significant e-commerce experience from the ground-up, he says, and was able to grow with the company which was eventually acquired by Amazon.com for $600m. 

Following his time at Souq, and at just 32 years old, Benturquia headed e-commerce rival Noon.com, the $1bn joint venture by Mohamed Alabbar and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, as CEO.

After his time at Noon, he launched Okadoc.com, which allows customers to locate doctors nearby, book doctor’s appointments online and read doctors review online. It also benefits health providers by optimising doctors’ schedules and reducing no-shows.

Benturquia came up with the idea of the booking platform as he felt ill and was trying tirelessly to book an appointment with a doctor. At that moment, he realised that healthcare in the UAE was an industry that was worth investing in terms of skills, expertise and some seed capital to help it move to the digital era.

Today, Benturquia is leading a team of 40 who all share his mission to improve the healthcare experience for all.