When it comes to opportunities in e-commerce and retail, Iran holds great promise.
Multiple-years of sanctions have kept global giants like Amazon and Apple out of the country. But now that the sanctions against the country have ended, Brittain Ladd, a former senior manager with the leading consulting firm Deloitte and a globally recognized expert on business, strategy, supply chain management and operations, believes that it is in the best interest of all to work with Iran.
Mr. Brittain Ladd has lived and worked in the Middle East, China and Europe, and has written extensively on business trends and is a highly sought-after speaker on the subject. He is now with Amazon designing and implementing leading edge global supply chain as well as cross border and logistics strategies.
In an interview with Financial Tribune, Ladd detailed his views about the unique investment opportunities in Iran. He also shared his insight about the future of e-commerce and trends in the fast-growing and highly competitive industry.
Q- What are Iran's potentials in both brick and mortar, and e-commerce retailing?
A- Iran has an educated, surging middle-income population of almost 80 million people who desire access to brands and products from designers and manufacturers globally. Retailers and designers have taken notice and as sanctions are lifted, Iran will experience a retail revolution.
E-commerce companies that are allowed to legally operate in Iran will find a large customer base waiting to buy many products online. Due to the lack of trained retail staff, a lack of retail-friendly real estate and a lack of logistics and distribution capabilities necessary for supporting large retail stores, I believe e-commerce will prove a popular option.
I also believe that fashion designers will be influenced by Iranian culture and history resulting in apparel inspired by Iran. I must point out that to the majority of the world, very little is known about Iran. For individuals such as me who have an exceptional amount of knowledge about Iran’s history, religion, politics, culture, arts and economy, we understand that Iran has the potential to exert a tremendous amount of influence across many topics globally.
I have had the pleasure of working with Iranians over the years and I have corresponded with government officials from Iran who voiced their sincere desire for Iran to become an economic engine. I am often asked if American companies will enter Iran if sanctions and restrictions are lifted and I have no doubt that they will.
I am often asked if I would ever work in Iran directly with the government on economic policy or for a large company wanting to expand and grow, and my answer is yes, absolutely. I love the people of Iran and I believe Iran is an exceptionally beautiful country.
Q- What steps entrepreneurs should follow in emerging economies?
A- By far the best advice I can offer is don’t let geography become an excuse for failing. What I mean is this: I have worked with entrepreneurs in Africa, India, Latin America and the Middle East.
Although there are legitimate challenges and constraints confronting entrepreneurs in those regions, the challenges and constraints are not so large that they cannot be overcome. In many instances, there is no solution for removing a constraint but there is a solution for going over, under, or around the constraint.
Entrepreneurs need to focus efforts on improvising, adapting and innovating, as doing so will prepare them to be able to overcome obstacles and increase their odds of success.
The rest of the interview is not about Iran, mainly. You can read it here, however, if interested.
Photo source: Internet, intellika site