On Wednesday January 27th the first E-business Improvement Conference took place in Isfahan, Iran. The conference focused on various topics regarding to starting an online business in Iran, the developments in this sector and overcoming its challenges.

The speakers at the event talked about the latest trends and visions in this field from different perspectives and gave a general overview of online business in Iran. Here’s a brief summary of the talks.

Reza Omidsalari – CEO of Pardakht E-commerce Service Provider

Omidsalari gave a speech on the significance of logistics in online retails. He stated that Iran stands in 122nd place out of 155 countries listed in Logistics Performance Index. He talked about the role of logistics in e-commerce and the management of supply chain management, packaging, inventory and transportation. He then talked about the pros and cons of having a private logistics and working with third party logistics providers, stating that outsourcing logistics to a expert company could bring more flexibility, efficiency in human resources and more focus on the company’s core competency.

Seyed Nasiredin Zoee – Chairman of Iran’s committee of e-commerce

Zoee gave a speech about the role of e-commerce in economic developments. He talked about the growth rate of Global GDP, stating that in 2015 the global GDP at Market Prices was $73,479 billion and that the Share of E-Commerce in this market is 2.6 percent.

Majid Dodehaki – Founder of E-commerce Monitor (ECM)

Dodehaki talked about E-commerce, user behaviors and statistics from Iranians. Dodehaki stated that In the first 9 months of the current Persian calendar, 135.8 million transactions were taken place in Iran. Top 4 provinces in Iran with the most online transactions are Tehran, Razavi Khorasan, Gilan and Isfahan with 73.8%, 3.4%, 3.2% and 2.6 percent respectively. Dodehaki said online transactions compared to the total number of transactions is 3 percent.

Reza Olfat Nasab – Secretary of the Association of Online Business

Olfat Nasab gave his talk on the obstacles facing the development and the growth of e-commerce websites. Olfat Nasab said e-commerce laws in Iran were enforced almost 12 years ago. stating that there were not that many online businesses operating in Iran. Olfat nasab told that today there are over 14,000 verified websites which have the E-Namad seal but the laws have not changed since. He then added that the current competition between online businesses is not fair.

Ramtin Monazahian – Founder and CEO of Bamilo

Monazahian’s speech topic was “How e-commerce will shape Retail Market in 20 years”. Monazahian stated that there are 3 mega trends that drive the e-commerce growth in Iran: smartphones ubiquitous, rising middle classes and the leapfrogging physical retail. He then talked about the dramatic effects of smartphone usage in Iran stating that 50% of the orders on Bamilo online shop come from mobile devices.

Ahmadreza Masrour – Co-founder and CEO of DMOND Accelerator

Masrour gave a speech on startup accelerator’s role in entrepreneurial ecosystems. Masrour talked about the high potential of youth and the large number of well-educated people in Iran. He stated that startup accelerators could help drive entrepreneurship in the country and help lower the 12.7% unemployment rate. Dmond accelerator was founded in 2014 in Tehran’s Sharif University and is currently operating from Tehran University with 2 other branches in Tabriz and Shiraz.

E-business Improvement Conference ended with presentations from 3 startups, namely: Akhbar Rasmi, a news distribution platform; Touchy App, an e-commerce app builder and Foodmap, an online food ordering service in Isfahan.

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