Herfy to open outlets in Bangladesh

Herfy CEO Ahmed H. Al-Said, Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi, and Greenland chairman Mohammad Abdul Hye cut the cake to celebrate the signing of franchise agreement in Riyadh. (AN photo by Iqbal Hossain)
Updated 04 June 2016

Herfy to open outlets in Bangladesh

RIYADH: Herfy, a major Saudi fast-food services company, has signed an Area Development Franchise Agreement with Greenland Services Ltd., a business unit of Greenland Group of Bangladesh, to expand its business horizon beyond the Middle East.
The agreement spells out a vision to open 30 Herfy outlets in Bangladesh in a staggered schedule within a few years.
A signing ceremony for the agreement held here recently was attended by Herfy CEO Ahmed H. Al-Said, Bangladesh Ambassador Golam Moshi and Greeland Chairman Mohammad Abdul Hye.
The ceremony was also attended by a large number of guests and
Diplomats, top executives of the Herfy Food Services led by Al-Said, and a large number of guests were also present.
This is the first agreement of its kind between the private sector of the two countries as the Bangladesh economy remained strong and resilient despite external and internal challenges.
In fact, Bangladesh is among the top 12 developing countries with a population of over 20 million, which achieved 6 plus percent growth in 2016.
Now, Bangladesh needs to focus on a growth agenda centered on sustainable and inclusive growth.
Referring to the Herfy-Greenland deal, a press statement said that the agreement entitles Greenland to open 30 stores in Bangladesh within a few years from now. Herfy, as a market leader in fast-food, aspires to expand its presence in other countries. “The business accord that ensures opening of Herfy restaurants in Bangladesh is the first step toward that direction,” said Abdul Hye.
He pointed out that the first Herfy restaurant will be opened this year. He added that Greenland was interested to bring 100 percent halal and hygienic food to the Bangladesh market following the deal with Herfy.
The move to open Herfy dine-in and drive-through restaurants in Bangladesh is significant keeping in view the rapid growth of the fast-food industry sector of Bangladesh.
The food taking habits, especially in the fast-food segment, has been changed a lot over last decade among the people of that South Asian nation.
A large number of Bangladeshi nationals, who have been residing and working in the Kingdom, have developed tastes and likings for Saudi fast-foods including Herfy.
“Today, Herfy is a major fast food restaurant chain in the Kingdom and one of the largest in the Middle East, surpassing international chains in terms of presence,” the statement added.

Miami to become new powerhouse of tech startups

Updated 7 min 49 sec ago

Miami to become new powerhouse of tech startups

  • That diversity offers startups access to markets on the US East Coast, Latin America and Europe, according to experts

MIAMI: Miami is famous for beach parties, gators that wander onto golf courses and iguanas that tumble out of palm trees.

But now the city of “Scarface” and “Miami Vice” is vying to become a new powerhouse of tech startups that some in the business hope will spawn a novel phenomenon — the “iguanacorn.”

The word is meant to represent the tropical answer to the Silicon Valley “unicorns,” startups that are worth more than $1 billion.

While still lagging behind San Francisco and New York, the Florida city is trying to position itself as a tech hub, and already has its first “unicorns” under its belt. They include ParkJockey, which has disrupted the car parking sector, and Magic Leap, which takes users into the world of augmented reality.

Looking to surf the Florida tech wave, so-called startup accelerators — firms that invest in fledgling tech ventures and speed up their early development — are starting to pop up in southern Florida.

Among the leaders is 500 Startups, which opened a Miami branch last year, as well as TheVentureCity, set up two years ago to offer opportunities to Latin American and European entrepreneurs who lack Silicon Valley contacts.

“Not everyone comes from Stanford or Columbia, from MIT, and has their own ‘network’ built up in San Francisco,” said Laura Gonzalez-Estefani, a former Facebook executive and co-founder of TheVentureCity.

The idea of her company is to “identify the best businesses outside of Silicon Valley and give them a boost,” she told AFP. She jokingly refers to such ventures as “iguanacorns.”

“‘Iguanacorns’ is the way we tag the unicorns that are coming from emerging tech hubs,” she said.

In keeping with that idea, her office is decorated with pictures of unicorns and their tropical, reptilian cousins.

Ana Gonzalez, head of 500 Startups Miami — which has its main headquarters in Silicon Valley — said that Miami’s “entrepreneurial ecosystem is at an inflection point.”

Her goal too is to “connect resources and expertise from Silicon Valley with Latin America and the Southeast United States.”

Miami is already an international city, home to a diverse mix of Latinos and Europeans who can snack on Cuban croquettes or cross the street and find Russian “syrnikis,” pancakes stuffed with cottage cheese.

Fifty-three percent of the city’s 2.7 million residents are foreign-born, and locals joke that Miami is the only foreign city Americans can visit without a passport.

That diversity offers startups access to markets on the US East Coast, Latin America and Europe, according to experts.

Additional draws include low taxes, a lower cost of living compared to San Francisco and New York, and a pleasant climate — if you don’t mind hurricanes.

“A big percentage of our entrepreneurs are not from here,” said Brian Breslin, head of the University of Miami’s Entrepreneurship Center.

“Whether it’s South America or Europe or other parts of the United States, they’re coming here for lifestyle reasons, cost-of-living reasons, safety/security, access to different markets. So there’s a lot of different value-adds of being here compared to, say, going to San Francisco, or New York, or Boston, or any of the other traditional tech hubs,” he said.

According to 2019’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report, which analyzes the health of tech ecosystems around the world, Miami is one of the ten cities to emerge as a hub this year, and ranks in the top 30 of the most important startup centers globally.

Tech sector workers in the city increased by 40 percent between 2012 and 2018, the report said, noting that “Miami is becoming a tech powerhouse.”

And Breslin said the cycle of growth in more established tech hubs indicates that more expansion is yet to come.

“I don’t think we’ve peaked yet. I think there’s still growth to be had,” he said.

“People go work at Facebook, or Google, make a ton of money and go start a new business. And we’re just now getting to that point where people made a lot of money working at Chewy.com, at Ultimate Software, hopefully soon at Magic Leap, and then those people will turn around and start the next wave of businesses,” he said.