Q-Tel enters e-commerce with QR7.5mn joint venture

DOHA : Q-Tel has made a foray into e-commerce by forming a partnership company yesterday. Joining hands with Qatar Telecom in the venture and Commerce One Middle East and The International Investor (TII), Qatar.

The Company, C1QT Limited, was formally launched yesterday with a start-up capital of QR 7.5mn. It will facilitate e-commerce in Iran as well as besides becoming an Internet Service provider in the Islamic republic.

Announcing the launch at a press conference, Q-Tel general manager, Hamad bin Abdullah Al-Attiyah and Commerce One chief executive, David Brown, said the C1QT Limited would facilitate Qatar's first e-marketplace (online exchange), covering all stages of a business transaction between purchasers and suppliers.

This includes order-to-payment, catalogue management and consultation, order approval processing, delivery and invoicing as well as online auctions and tender offices.

The e-marketplace will introduce to Qatari business and industrial community, e-procurement which has proven to be cheaper and faster.

The new company will be independent of Q-Tel, though the company holds a 27 % stake in C1QT Limited. In the second phase the company will have a minimum base capital of $ 20 mn.

The C1QT marketplace will be connected to the Commerce One global trading web, which has some 400 exchanges and the world's largest business-to-business online trading community.

“The Business-to-Business online exchanges bring new life to a time consuming, high cost and inefficient supply chain process in traditional trade", he said.

Brown said Commerce One MarketSet enables one to build and manage an e-marketplace that consistently delivers value to one's trading partners. "One can help one's users reduce supply chain cycle times by up to 90%.

He said the streamlining can cut supply management costs by up to half and reduce inventories, a major supplier headache, by more than 60%. The restructured supply chain also improves collaboration between buyers and suppliers and enables all users to be more responsive.

Another feature of the e-marketplace is the elimination of middlemen. "As a buyer you are totally free to negotiate with your supplier for indirect goods. And you have the convenience of making payment through electronic transfer of money", the commerce one chief executive said.

The MarketSet platform is the most robust e-commerce platform available, he said. It handles all connectivity between buyers, sellers, and the individual e-marketplace including document message routing and transaction processing.

The platform directory and server technologies are built upon advanced XML so they're completely open and can scale as one's market grows. All e-marketplace communications and transactions are protected with top-quality security technology, which ensures only authorised and authenticated users can access documents and services.

Only registered users will have access to the e-commerce software being provided by the C1QT in two months. "One will have to pay for transactions", said Dr Nasser M. Marafih, Q-Tel divisional manager (Strategic Planning & Development).

Brown said e-commerce was revolutionising the way the world does business. E-commerce which was worth $ 270bn in 2000, is expected t touch $ 7.3tn in 2004.

TII Qatar's Faisal Al Sulaiti said as a leading investor, Q-Tel brings considerable expertise and confidence to the market. Headquartered in Kuwait, TII is the world's leading wholesale Islamic Bank.

The new merged company will be headquartered in Kuwait and will continue to be listed on the Kuwait and Bahrain Stock Exchanges.