Platform for success:’s Ronaldo Mouchawar on his winning formula

All eyes are on's Ronaldo Mouchawar, the man who charmed Amazon's Jeff Bezos into putting his money in the Middle East. His winning formula is one he is happy to share, as he reveals he doesn't believe in winner takes all

Platform for success:'s Ronaldo Mouchawar on his winning formula

“We lost 80 percent of our revenue in one night,” says Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO and founder of e-commerce platform Souq.

Mouchawar is referring to the moment in 2011 when his company changed its initial auction model to a straight online shopping site. Thankfully, the move has long since proved to be the right one.

Less than a decade later, is the Middle East’s largest e-commerce website, attracting over 45 million visitors per month with 9.4 million products available for sale.

In 2017, it was acquired by global e-commerce and logistics giant Amazon for $580m, the second company after Maktoob (now Yahoo Maktoob) he had managed to help develop and then sell to a US internet powerhouse.

And much like Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Mouchawar has become a legend in the Middle East’s business community, credited with changing the face of regional retail. Candid, clever and a little reclusive, he is also similarly hard to catch – and even harder to keep up with.

Arabian Business meets him just as he is due to address a crowd of emerging business owners, eager to grasp whatever tricks of the trade he is willing to share.

As we find out over the course of our conversation, however, there is no secret to Souq’s success besides the old-fashioned principle of trial and error. But Syrian-born Mouchawar has good news for start-ups: it is getting easier. More

By Lubna Hamdan