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tv   Talking Business  BBC News  November 18, 2018 1:30am-2:01am GMT

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this is bbc news. the headlines: president donald trump has visited california to survey the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state's history. he praised the efforts of local police, politicians and the teams searching for survivors. the camp fire, in northern california, has killed at least 71 people. about a quarter of a million people have taken part in demonstrations across france against a further increase in fuel tax and the rising cost of living. one demonstrator was killed when a panicking driver drove into protesters. there were more than 100 injuries nationwide. a senior member of the british prime minister's cabinet has called for changes to her brexit plans. andrea leadsom who's the leader of the commons, said there was "potential to improve" a draft deal, before the prime minister presents it to european leaders next week. sport and a full round up from the bbc sport centre with azi farni. that we will start with the international is where ireland have
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beaten world champions new zealand for only the second time in their history. eight jacob scott dale try was the difference as ireland beat the all blacks by 16— nine. elsewhere, south africa beat scotland, the springboks just edged a thrilling match, 26— 20. wales scored ten tries in a record win and australia beat italy while england recovered from an early onslaught to beat japan. head coach recovered from an early onslaught to beatjapan. head coach eddiejones says his team lost their focus in the early stages. all week we had a really good attitude in the game, sometimes you get seduced by the start of the game, the first touch we scored a try and subconsciously the players think this is going to be easy. then points against you, the referee gives them a few calls and then we had a bit of a panic there for a little while. we got to half time, regrouped, i was pleased with how we went about the second
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half, i think we won the second half 20 50. to the nations league, italy are coasting portugal in group three of league a. in saturday, they are into the last ten minutes or so and it is still goalless. meanwhile, sweden kept their hopes of promotion alive, beating turkey i—0 sweden kept their hopes of promotion alive, beating turkey 1—0 to relegate their opponents. serbia are inching closer to promotion after a win over montenegro. in the other match in that group, romania lead lithuania 3—0 and scotland are thrashing albania 4—0 in group c. roger federer will have to wait until 2019 for is that chance to win —— reach 100 career titles after eight semi—final defeat at the atp finals. alexander zverev, has been tipped by many as a future grandslam champion, 175— seven. you will face
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either novak djokovic or kevin anderson in tomorrow's final. they are in action right now and it is looking pretty comfortable for djokovic right now. he took the first set 6—2 and has just dawned 5-2 first set 6—2 and has just dawned 5—2 up in the second. england need three wickets to win the second test against sri lanka and take an unassailable 2—0 lead in the series. the host need 75 more runs. schleicher work at the 6—3 at one point recovered thanks to an 88 from mathies. two quick wickets put england in control before rain ended the day early. and that is all the sport for now. now on bbc news, talking business. welcome to dubai — home of sunny beaches, big buildings, and even bigger investment. but what about the small and medium—sized businesses? in recent years, this place has transformed itself into something of a silicon oasis, kick—starting many of its local start—ups to international success. but does it have the entrepreneurial dynamism to be a start—up capital for the 21st—century?
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i'm here to find out. welcome to talking business, i'm paul blake. now how's this for a fact — small businesses employ more than half of dubai's workers and account for nearly half of the emirate's economy. and some of those small businesses can very quickly become a big businesses. just look at careem — the ride—hailing service, which is now valued at more than $1 billion. 0r souq — which was recently acquired by amazon. many more have gone on to be powerhouses here in the middle east. many small businesses play a vital part in the region's economy, even without reaching those dizzying heights. i went on a tour of the city to find
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out about one of them. could this be the future of travel content and advertising in the middle east? insydo produces a mix of editorial videos and advertising, showcasing their picks for the best experiences in dubai. i've been in dubai now for over seven years. ifirst moved here from london, with the dreams of setting up my own business. and having a city full of so many little gems was a great way to explore the city and actually become an entrepreneur. the atlantis is one of my favourite places in dubai. sites like these make for good content, but also attract millions of tourists and foreign workers alike. something like 92% of dubai's population are expatriates. let's take a quick picture and we'll look around elsewhere. so, this is the insydo office. this woman is the brain behind this operation. i started by asking her how her business model works. insydo is a platform
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where you get recommendations. 90% of those recommendations are not advertising, they are unpaid. so we actually hunt, using data by site visits and so on, the best places in the city. should what we do to monetise ourselves is actually work with brands to turn their campaign objectives into native content. in four years, insydo has grown to around 15 staff. but getting the company to this level wasn't always easy. finding funding was a bit of a challenge. there isn't really a pool of venture capitalists who specialise in media, so we had to look elsewhere and look for investors who could give us the strategic support as well as the financial. so that was something that was quite limited. so help me get orientated here. that's the marina just over there? yes, that's the marina. and this is the famous palm jumeirah. and over there is the burj al arab, the big landmark. and the burj khalifa, the tallest building in the world,
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which is surrounded by the financial district. so do you think you will end up staying here for the rest of your life? well i have two businesses here, so, yeah, definitely for the long—term. well that was one woman's story of building a business in dubai. now i am here in the heart of the city's financial district, at the al grissino restaurant with a group that can give us a few different perspectives on running a small business in dubai. i have the co—founder and chief marketing officer for fetcher, a delivery app that allows users in the region to ship most anything, using the precision of the gps in your mobile phone. founded here in the uae in 2012, the company now employs some 5000 people, operating in several countries around the region. i also have the managing partner at beco capital, a leading early—stage venture capitalfirm based here in dubai, that provides capital and mentorship to tech companies in the region. and, if you want to start a business here in dubai, maybe your first call should be to this final lady, she is
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the entrepreneurship manager of the dubai chamber of commerce, and she has helped dozens of businesses get on their feet here in emirate. welcome to you all. thank you for having us. thanks for having us. so guys, we'll start with a rather easy one, how did all of you guys end up in dubai? what brought you here? me first? yeah. so what brought me to dubai? so i am a serial entrepreneur, i sold my first company in silicon valley, and there were a group of new entrepreneurs from the middle east who were coming to silicon valley looking for funding. and i met my partner there and we were talking about an issue that we both had, which was solving the problem of no addresses in emerging markets. so everybody gets packages, basically getting a series of really annoying phone calls saying, where do you live? where is your house? and half the world has no addresses, so it is a serious problem. and it's exciting, because we are trying
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to solve that problem. fantastic. how did you end up in dubai? so my parents, my father and his brothers moved here in the late 605, early 705. i grew up most of my childhood in dubai, studied in high school here, then i went to university in the uk to do computer science. then while i was there, i learned about venture. so i decided, after spending time in a corporate vc in london, to take that skill and come back to dubai and invest in the ecosystem here. i helped companies on strategy and finance with my own business, before teaming up with my cousin who had built the biggest job site in the region. and we are investors in fetcher as well. so we believe in the proposition and the problem they are solving, as well as a host of other exciting companies coming out of dubai and the wider region. perfect. and how did you end up in dubai? i'll probably tell you a more corporate story than the other two. my very first trip experience
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was with the chamber of commerce in germany. and then who would expect that i end up in dubai working and building the new department, with a new team of this organisation, to grow tech companies here in dubai. right now, we have the team within the organisation who promote dubai to be an attractive place for tech ventures around the world and here. why would someone start a company in dubai? what are the advantages, what are the business opportunities here in dubai? they have more infrastructure here, and many other places in the middle east. that is the basis of why we are here. we knew that we would possibly get the support of the government, because dubai is all about innovation and getting the best of everything, so we knew that with that kind of energy and voice, they are constantly speaking about wanting to be the best, the best product, the best for entrepreneurs, the best buildings, the best service, we knew that if we brought it here, we felt that we would get the support of the dubai government, because that is their vision as well.
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dubai is doing a good job of being entrepreneurial and how it is restructuring its policies, so whether it is getting an entrepreneur visa and reducing the cost of setting up a company, that is stepping stones to something much bigger. i think governments in other parts of the region replicate that model, so it is setting the standard for the wider middle east. you have certainly seen other markets here in the middle east structure trying to liberalise. saudi arabia has big ambitions for the next few years. does dubai stand to potentially lose out, to lose some of the competitive edge? not really, if you ask people, most of the companies reinvest in have a regional expansion plan. so when we give dollars to a company, a lot of that, let's say one third, goes toward saudi arabia anyway, from an investment perspective. so it is a regional thing. it's a springboard, almost? yes, but all the countries
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are interconnected. intertwined, correct. what he is saying, sorry, he is absolutely correct. you have to attract talent, because when you are doing all these start—ups, the number one thing is the people, the people make the company. dubai allows you an opportunity that can attract talent, because the city itself is so international. both of you probably started your businesses a little earlier, before the vibrant ecosystem for incubators accelerators came in from the ground. right now, we have dozens of incubators, industry specific, and accelerators, who provide not only physical space, office space, the network, and even site funding and some support, but also, serving as a launch pad for international expansion. when you are advising companies who may be moving from start—up to small and medium—sized business level, what is the secret to scaling in a place like this? what is the secret...
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maybe you don't want to give that away on television! i think the way we look at it, we need to really spend time investing and finding out which ones will be scalable. when we say that, we mean hyper growth, regional expansion... those are rare. it could be tackling a huge problem that has a large market, or it could be the property finder for example. a few other companies are attacking related problems that allow for the growth potential. so it is about finding the right talent and emerging market, regulatory hurdles exist and that is also potentially a barrier, if you solve those issues, you can build around your business. so it depends. but it is essentially about execution and it is very fragmented, so to do that, you need high—quality talent in every market, not just dubai, it has be saudi, egypt, and the wider region. so there is no secret. no!
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that is all super super interesting, thank you for your thoughts on that. we will step away for a second to say, we have heard a lot about the opportunities dubai offers, but starting a business anywhere is never easy. this region has unique opportunities and unique headaches. i caught up with two entrepreneurs whose experience ranges from video production to restaurants. we are at wild peeta — a gourmet shawarma restaurant right now. it's not common for emiratis to be entrepreneurs, we predominantly work in the government sector. so when we graduated, my brother and ifrom university, there was the option of working with the government. at the same time, we wanted to see if we had the skills and capabilities and the competitiveness to work in the private sector. we'd been brewing this concept
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of a gourmet shawarma restaurant for about seven years, and we opened up wild peeta in 2009, right when a global recession hit. i think we made some good decisions, but we also made a lot of bad decisions. in 2012, when we shut down wild peeta, it was the birth of peeta planet, the tv show. did you put a chilli in there, man? just a couple. so that was a journey of two years, 2a episodes, we visited every continent, dressed like this. that series ended up broadcasting to 15 million homes around the world, through the internet and through cable tv. we looked at each other and we were like, let's
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bring back la peeta. so while we were travelling around the world, meeting people in the food industry, so whether it was street food, or a proper restaurant, we learnt a lot from that. we picked up a lot of recipes as well. we did reach out to investors and nobody wanted to invest in us. i think this is one of the biggest challenges in the middle east — finding investment. let's talk now about some of the challenges that are unique to this city and this region. you are known to be quite outspoken about some of the challenges. you told a magazine in 2016 that a lot of the upstart costs can be quite high, that you spend a lot of your funding on business licenses, something like half. can you explain that a little bit? the business licenses and the regulatory environment and the challenge that you face when it comes to starting your business here? absolutely. soican... i have a unique experience,
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because i started a company in silicon valley and exited, and i have started a company here. so i have... ab test... yes, i have the views from both sides of the globe. the biggest challenge for any start—up, you will definitely attest, is raising money. money is the one thing that is very hard to come by, raising money is extremely difficult. usually, this region of the world is just starting. the ecosystem in silicon valley is rich, but here, we are just starting. so drawing attention to fundraising, as a start—up, and also as a venture capitalist, is very tough. we need more companies like careem and souq to hit that billion dollar mark, so that people can see that there are talents. so there is more confidence amongst the vc types? it's where we get our money from, our limited partners, who are slowly getting to grips with the region and the opportunities that it presents. but it takes a lot of education and role models. the challenge is the cost of living,
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affordable housing, these drive the costs of salaries, generally, overheads on the team. visa costs, that is often a problem, which is now being addressed by the government. incorporation costs, like i mentioned, global markets are making it affordable to get a license, less than $1000, have five visas and start a tech company. before, it used to be closer to $10,000, or even $20,000. absolutely, just think, in silicon valley, you can operate a company in your mother's garage. you hook up to your mom's wi—fi, you get a license online for $114, and you literally get 20 guys working for equity in a garage. you could then build a $1 billion company and there are tonnes of those stories in silicon valley. so how do we make it that easy? access to capital is very tough. the part of start—ups, we are always looking for money, because we take 1—5 years, sometimes six years, sometimes ten years to get to profitability. so we are constantly looking for money. sorry to interrupt, but i wanted
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to add that for us, when we started, the ecosystem didn't exist at the seed stage — the really early stage. today, that gap has been somewhat filled with enough investors. the challenge is now the growth stage, so it the ten plus rounds of million dollars of funding. that's where there are gaps. freedom house, the international human rights watchdog, classifies the uae is not free, those are their words. does that make it hard for you guys, or business leaders here, to recruit people from western or a more liberal countries and bring them in here? for the technology sector, that is what we invest in, i think it is attracting talent. in dubai, they have done a fantasticjob of doing that. a lot of workers, expat workers, come here, because there is little or no income tax for the worker.
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but that also creates a sort of a transient nature of the workforce, a lot of people come for a couple of years, save up some money, go home, buy a house... that transient nature, does that create any obstacles when it comes to long—term growth and long—term sustainability? laughing sorry, go ahead... no no, go ahead! it depends. you can argue that even in places like dubai, it is still quite transient. in dubai specifically, it is a challenge. what they are trying to do with the new visa regulations that are changing, to bring scientists and engineers and entrepreneurs, extending their visa for ten years, that will give you a bit more time to spend... and to put roots down in the country? yeah. you know, it is not... there is a pool of engineers out there. there is definitely a pool of engineers that you can hire, but the top brilliant engineers in the world, the innovators, the game changer engineers, the ones who dare to think outside
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the box, the top of the top, those guys are recruited from people all over the world. they are recruited from people from google, facebook, these guys are in demand, from the best universities in the world. how do you make it attractive for them to come here? halfway around the world... how do you make it... the guys that graduate from the top schools, how do you make it attractive for them and say, listen, come here, and work here, and be based here when we are competing with companies all over the world who are offering other things? perhaps permanent residency, or a chance to bring the whole family... that is part of the challenge that i have found with recruiting, not engineers, but the best of the best engineers, because we are competing with the rest of the world. i want to ask you... right, am i...? yeah, i agree with you, but i think young people are much more impact driven, and i think dubai is a gateway to the emerging markets.
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not necessarily the west, where the problems are nicer or easier problems, you are really solving impact for problems by starting businesses here that can cater to the wider, notjust middle east, but emerging market issue. and i think a lot of these entrepreneurs or engineers today want to be part of something that is really impactful. and so there are stories where we have seen a lot of our founders attract talent from the leaders in the global tech community. i want to come in here, in this conversation, we are ignoring another pool of talent that we haven't... that still hasn't untaped and unlocked as much as we wish. it is the emirati talent... of course. who traditionally don't work in the private sector here, right? the government has put in place a number of measures and initiatives to stimulate the employment of emirati talent in the private sector first of all, in general. and explaining the career path
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in the private sector, rather than the government, and what the benefits can be there. i want, from our experience, as the dubai chamber and dubai drop in hub, we see a growing number of emirati female engineers who are partnering with expat non—engineers to build their companies and specifically in the tech field. so we ran the emirati training, a series of training, and 75% of females with technology start—ups, and they keep growing. this is something that would be interesting in how we can further work with this. that leads me to the question i wanted to ask. a lot of people in the west would look at the middle east and say, it is conservative, it is a muslim country, maybe women face some sort of restriction on either launching a business or in their everyday life. have you faced any challenges yourself as a female entrepreneur here in the uae and in dubai specifically? i'm going to tell you that it is not a uae situation. women are challenged being in the tech space in silicon valley.
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it is not a dubai issue, it is a woman issue. yes, it has been extremely challenging. it has been extremely challenging, as a woman, in the tech space, it has been challenging. i can honestly tell you, with all complete honestly, that yes, it is. uae in general, and dubai, in terms of the female leadership, i think they are very much ahead of a lot of other countries. it all comes down to the role models. we have a number of females leading huge offices and family businesses here. again, emiratis, non—emiratis, and we need more role models, this is how we can do this. i agree, and i am proud to be a role model for fetcher, as a woman, no question about it. do you think dubai, over the next few years, decades, will be the home for a truly global company? a company that, whether it is a user in china, or a user in the us or brazil, will have some sort of interaction with?
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that is a great question. aspirationally, yes. i think that what we see from our first set of investments to our second, which we are doing now, is that the problems being sold are either larger in the middle east, so emerging markets, like i mentioned, or actually, some are global. the only challenge with global opportunities is that the access to capital needs to come from international investors. because the region has not yet funded those kind of companies, and that kind of skill. so whether it stays in dubai, or is born in dubai, i think that will be the difference. i personally believe that there will be an international global company that has been born in dubai, but maybe shifts internationally to other markets, which personally, would be a shame. but at the same time, it would be great, because of the impact and this can create role models. i guess, aspirationally, yeah. probably not.
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practically? 0r practically, dubai born, international headquarters. guys, i feel like we could talk about all of this for the next few hours, but unfortunately, we are out of time. so thank you all for your time and perspectives today. that is all the time we have for this edition of talking business. join us next time and in the meantime, check us out at hello there. the second half of the weekend is looking fine and sunny for most areas of the uk, with a chilly wind out and about. yesterday we had some sparkling visibility, clear blue skies across the highlands of scotland. we had a number of beautiful weather watch pictures sent into us. but you know what? 0ur weather patterns are all interlinked. what happens to the north—west of us, near the arctic circle,
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north iceland, we had to temperatures up to 17 celsius. just astonishing. 1a degrees above normal. it has set in place a chain reaction. the warm air will go into the arctic and the arctic responds by chucking cold air out across northern europe that ultimately is heading to our shores in the next couple of days. a change in the weather is just around the corner. before we get that it will be a chilly start to the day this morning because we have had these clear skies for most of the night. that has allowed temperatures to plunge. because the breeze has stayed up there is not too much frost out and about. temperatures in the towns and cities have got down into low single figures. in some of the deeper valleys in the highlands of scotland, the grampians, there are patches of frost where the winds have managed to fall light. here is a weather chart through the rest of the day today. high pressure still influencing the weather, dragging the dry air in from europe. that is significant because that is why we are not seeing much in the way of cloud. that said, there may be patches of cloud through the vale of york and eastern areas of scotland to start the day. these will probably be in and break up to give sunshine.
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a much sunnier day for northern ireland. most of us it will be fine, settle, and sunny. a chilly breeze blowing through out day. temperatures near normal for the time of year, 10—12 degrees, perhaps feeling cool around the coastline of east anglia, southern parts of england as well. we start to see those changes taking place with the weather as we look at the chart for monday. more cloud moving in. it will be thick enough to bring light rain or drizzle around some of the western coasts of scotland. the western areas of england. lots of cloud around, cool winds. temperatures starting to edge down a little bit. but the really cold air doesn't arrive until we get on into tuesday. temperatures will be struggling. six degrees or so in london. notice we still have some spots of blue on the charts. some rain and drizzle across england and wales. a cool down for scotland and northern ireland. the coldest bit will be further southwards. this is the outlook. not a bad day for today. a downward spiral with temperatures. looking into the middle of the week, cardiff, just five degrees by wednesday.
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winter is coming. hello and welcome to bbc news. i'm reged ahmad. president trump is in california to see the damage caused by the us state's worst ever wildfires. visiting the town of paradise, which was largely destroyed, mr trump said everybody had done incredible work to respond to the disaster. he also revisited his claim that poor forest management was to blame. at least 71 people have died and about1,000 are still unaccounted for. dan johnson has this report from paradise. in the ruins of paradise, the president got his own clear view ofjust how devastating this fire was, and he offered his sympathy to the people of this town, and the families
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