Young Dubai entrepreneur offers unique SDaaS to serve MENA businesses

Young Dubai entrepreneur offers unique SDaaS to serve MENA businesses

  • ‘Software Democratisation’ platform by Aayushman Dalmia’s Zoftware can help avoid wastage of resources

A Dubai-bred young serial entrepreneur is disrupting the local Software as a Service market with a unique AI-driven platform for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, launched at the start of the year.

Called Zoftware, it is “Software Democratisation as a Service, where software products of the people (companies) are recommended by our people (the team), for the people (B2B clients) for any problems they face in their businesses,” says Aayushman Dalmia, 29.

Within the first quarter of operations, Zoftware already has arrangements with a growing list of over 6,000 companies – including the Microsoft and Zoho suites, Google, Adobe and others.

“You can find a packed suite of software just with a generic search, but do you require everything in that or can you customize it? Maybe not. Zoftware is free for the customers while we work with them to understand their needs and even do the work for them in customising solutions from the software companies. Consider us as the Zomato or Tripadvisor for the software industry.

“Avoiding wastage of resources by reducing the gap between the capability knowledge of any software’s offerings and solving the problems of the end users is core to Zoftware’s mission,” says Dalmia, who came up with the idea when he could not find such a solution while searching for his needs himself.

“Zoftware is about marrying software with the best of customer experience. We make it easy for customers to navigate the ocean of software to find the right tools for their business and purpose. We offer deep insights on software and match organisations to the right product, be it for accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), project management, IT, payroll and many more,” says Dalmia, confident his idea will revolutionise the convenience of running a business. 

Zoftware is a unique startup offering a choice of business tools in software with a personalised touch, using Open AI’s ChatGPT, for SME owners and companies. There are plans to take this to India, a huge market for SaaS providers and consumers.

“We have raised 500,000 dollars as a convertible note. And there are plans to raise another $1.5 million in the next round,” he says. “We are aiming for a revenue of $1.5 million by end of 2023.”

The rise of ChatGPT has only become an enabler for the Zoftware team. “Our technical analysts have been nimble to stay ahead on the transformation curve. We are in the process of setting up an AI bot with whom people can converse with, we understand what the customers want from the platform and give them the relevant output data while connecting with the vendors.

“If they want, we can also onboard it for them. With ChatGPT, it can give you out the names, but it cannot do comparisons and the prices that are out there. It cannot help you come to a decision, while we can help find the best value for the clients. 

“According to studies, 75 percent of businesses fail in their software implementation. We want to make it to zero, because it is a waste of capital and resources such as time, effort and money. In the SME section, that is not something one can afford. We want to reduce the wastage cycle as much as possible. And we want to build the trust of our customers.”

Zoftware is Dalmia’s latest fruit of labour, coming from his own personal experiences when he saw a gap in the market. He set up Yalla Referral, a referral and benefits platform, is co-founder of an online diamond-purchasing platform Carat Finder and Director of Growth and Innovation at Data Direct Group.

“I remember, in 2018, when I wanted to implement CRM for my sales team, I ended up putting so much effort and money only to realise a year later that I had a complex setup which wasn’t needed at all. Several dollars went in waste apart from the time and effort. Many startups and SMEs may not be able to come out of the wrong direction taken.”

Caption: Aayushman Dalmia set up Zoftware after getting stuck with the wrong software as a choice for his family business.

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