Abdul Basit Iqbal, CEO at GCC Marketing Dubai tells us about eCommerce website design and development services.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Abdul Basit Iqbal: I am fine and my family is doing wonderful during the pandemic. Back in January 2020, everyone including me, never believed even a thought that the whole world will go under lockdown. However, it did happen all in front of our eyes. In my case, being a CEO of GCC Marketing and with a tight schedule, it was increasingly getting difficult to take time out of my busy schedule and spend quality time with my family. Covid-19 gave me a chance to rekindle my connection with my parents, wife, and kids and achieve a better work and personal life balance. After a long time, I finally spent days at home with peace in mind that I won’t be running late from a meeting. Being an expert in the IT industry, I helped my family by teaching them how they can utilize online tools as an alternative to face-to-face interactions through online learning, Zoom calls, etc.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded GCC Marketing.
Abdul Basit Iqbal: I am an MBA from the UK and have a strong marketing and finance background. I have been working at various key positions. I founded GCC Marketing back in 2009 to help struggling businesses find more customers by enhancing their online presence.
Back then, with a humble beginning with myself as the only person in the company, we grew more than 55+ with offices in different countries. Having strong financial and marketing skills, we onboarded many big clients including government, semi-government, and MNCs from different industries.
Today, GCC Marketing is considered the pioneer in Corporate Custom Web Design & App Development company with its head office in Dubai, with operations extending to Saudi Arabia, USA, UK, Far East, and Australia. GCC Marketing holds a firm reputation as one of the top bespoke development companies in the region specializing in not only custom corporate web development, custom eCommerce development, web application development, web design, corporate identity, and search engine optimization (SEO).
How does GCC Marketing innovate?
Abdul Basit Iqbal: We consider ourselves as one of the few companies which were covid-19-ready years before the corona crisis. We believe that services can be delivered without being bound by location. Due to the nature of work, we already had systems placed through most of our employees were already working from remote locations e.g. development centers from India, Pakistan, etc. Obviously, the pandemic and resultant lockdown created some disruption but we were quick enough to adopt to the new environment. Now, we use a centralized design management system and project management system where all staff and client representatives are added and everyone can easily track the progress and be notified on time of whatever is the progress on daily basis. Today, we are more efficient due to proper management systems and communication tools like MS Teams and Zoom being utilized without the hassle of moving from the luxury of our houses.
I personally believe that we evolved our way from better to be the best. This whole journey for the last 11 months was crazy in terms of innovation, implementation, regrouping, re-strategizing, and reorganizing.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Abdul Basit Iqbal: Due to the coronavirus, the almost whole market was severely hit especially the hospitality and travel industry. Which is a result, severely impacted the spending power of companies. Being a business, we also felt the drop in the sales but luckily since all of sudden, companied suddenly flooded to digital transform especially eCommerce, again our sales lifted to a new height. Today, we have more than ever on our plate than even before the Covide-19 impact.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Abdul Basit Iqbal: I am a big believer in technology and to be honest it’s a matter of time, whether there is corona or not, eventually we have to pave our ways to transform our businesses through digital transformation. For me, it was clear a decade ago and it is proved again.
The choice is simple, either transform yourself as your better version through difficult and hopeless circumstances or else perish. It taught us that finding new ways to do business through technology is the new black. Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is the ultimate take from Covide-19.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Abdul Basit Iqbal: We use a design management tool called Figma for interactive design while we manage the majority of our projects in Trello. Other tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams are being used for meetings and presentations. Not to mention, WhatsApp has proved to be very handy during the pandemic.
And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Abdul Basit Iqbal: We all know that life is fickle and it’s crucial to innovate and transform in order to stay ahead in your game. That’s exactly what we plan. Our business model is somewhat similar to Twitter and we aim to further refine it.
On the customer front, our aim is to provide services that can empower our clients and they can feel that their work burden is less and technology is working from them. We will keep pushing to a level where customer trust flourishes and both sides are a winner.
Your final thoughts?
Abdul Basit Iqbal: At GCC Marketing, we not only cope with pandemics skillfully but also helped our clients gain more momentum through better digital assets and presence.
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