November 29, 2017

SMEs and startups need to focus on growth and revenue

“SMEs and startups need to focus on growth and revenue,” according to Hussam Hammo, founder and CEO of Tamatem, the leading mobile games publisher in the Arabic speaking market. Hussam was speaking at Startup Oman’s forum on entrepreneurship held at the Innovation Factory in Knowledge Oasis Muscat recently. More than 40 entrepreneurs, students and young professionals joined the event to hear Hussam’s story. The event was moderated by Walaa Hamdan, General Manager of Startup Oman….

According to Hussam, the business model, monetisation, and revenue streams should be very clear from day one when establishing a business.

“Make ways for the company to become profitable and do not just rely on investors. Rely from yourselves and from your revenues,” he added, citing his experiences in setting up companies that went belly up in the past.

“There is a surge of incubators and accelerators now but fund-raise only if you have a sustainable business model. Fundraising is good but you also need to show to the investors that your idea can generate revenues,” he noted.

Sharing lessons learnt from his journey as an entrepreneur, he said, he was glad to have been able to “move on when Wizard Productions wasn’t successful, instead of investing more time and money into it”.

“Additionally, my learnings include focusing on growth, as mentioned, and sharing with my peers. The more I shared with the other companies in the 500 Startups programme in the US about our business model and concepts, the more I learned from them.”

“People will say, you need to keep all the information to yourself, you should not share your valuations, how much money you raised, who your investors are, how much money you earn, and so on. But I tell you, if you keep everything a secret, you will never grow,” he stressed.

“Hesitation is the worst enemy of SMEs and startups,” he warned entrepreneurs balking at getting out of their comfort zones. “Act today and do not be afraid of failures. Successful businesspeople in the world were once complete failures. Embrace and learn from your failures,” he added.

“The main reason behind my success is focusing on growth and revenue. We focused on generating profit and traction versus focusing on raising investment,” its founder said. Tamatem is currently the leading mobile games publisher in the MENA region, publishing more than 40 games on both Android and iOS, which have achieved more than 45 million downloads.

Earlier, in welcome remarks, Startup Oman Founder Ali Daud, said: “We are thrilled to feature an experienced entrepreneur such as Hussam on the Startup Grind stage. His experience highlights the importance of failure, and persistence in solving a problem. We’re pleased to have hosted a company working on creating content for the Arabic market, especially in such a growing field.”

Article By Jomar Mendoza
Oman Daily Observer

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