Procurement: The key to unlocking unicorn status
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Procurement: The key to unlocking unicorn status

Procurement: The key to unlocking unicorn status

Procurement allows startups to understand the challenges and steps needed to scale up a business to become the next unicorn


The UAE has unveiled impressive plans to become a unicorn ‘hotspot’ as part of the country’s Entrepreneurial Nation programme. Launched to attract the next wave of small and medium enterprises and startups valued at more than $1bn, the programme has been designed to transform the country from a regional to a global entrepreneur hub by becoming home to 20 unicorns by 2031.

The UAE is no stranger to businesses gaining unicorn status – amongst them are Careem and, both garnering huge success before being acquired by Uber and Amazon, respectively.

There’s one thing unicorns all have in common – talented teams and leaders, an in-depth understanding of technology and innovation, a determination to succeed and an ability to spot solutions to overcome challenges. However, investing in procurement is another critical factor in becoming a unicorn which helps accelerate initial growth while creating long-term stability.

Procurement is and will always remain an asset. Understanding procurement allows startups to realise better the challenges and steps needed to scale up a business to become the next unicorn.

Hany Mosbeh

Procurement as a driver for growth
For many startups, procurement is often overlooked in favour of what is perceived as the more critical elements of creating a business – hiring, growth and marketing strategies, launch phases and chain of command. Procurement during the initial phases of growth for a startup is the least demanding and can be managed with relatively minimal effort.

To achieve growth, procurement takes on a more fundamental role, with an increasing number of employees and expanding operations underscoring the importance of the function. This is where procurement experts and the systems they implement, come into their own. They balance scaling and stability while also providing investors with relevant data regarding purchases and investments.

The leaders of startups often take measured risks. Despite this, implementing a procurement strategy aligned with the company’s growth is imperative.

How autonomous commerce fits into this
As the name suggests, autonomous commerce autonomously executes repetitive tasks using intelligent solutions. This mitigates talent shortages and allows employees to focus on more strategic, value-added activities.

Using artificial intelligence, bottlenecks are eliminated, cycle times are improved, and costs are reduced by constantly monitoring and analysing all transaction activity – another clear benefit of this innovative online business marketplace.

To deliver this revolutionary B2B marketplace, startups must first address the four core pillars required – networked, intelligent, comprehensive, and extensible. Access to a truly global network of suppliers mitigates a range of concerns, mainly when a buyer is unhappy with the supplier’s performance. A vast global network on a single cloud-based platform that provides continuous smart-match recommendations omits the need for buyers to vet and identify new suppliers – it is done automatically, saving valuable time for fledgling companies to focus on more pressing matters.

Finally, ensuring the network is extensible and can pull the data from various systems ensures buyers have the selection and accelerated time-to-value.

For any startup, procurement should remain a fundamental attribute of their business plan and something that is developed during their journey. This will be key in growing the business and unlocking the path to unicorn status.

Hany Mosbeh is the vice president – Sales Middle East and Africa at Jaggaer

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