Israel has amazing companies, we’d be glad to work together, says Emirati CEO
Israel is very big in retail tech, which the UAE needs, says founder of company that operates 1,800 stores
We’ve been digging into Israel since negotiations took place, and have realized that Israel is very big in retail tech. Israel has some amazing, phenomenal companies and startups that I think a lot of retailers would be interested in conducting business with,” Sima Ganwani Ved, founder and vice chairperson of the Apparel Group, said in an interview during Calcalist and Bank Leumi’s "Economic Opportunities in the UAE" online conference.In an interview with Hagar Ravet, Ganwani Ved shared her hopes that improved diplomatic relations will lead to stronger economies for both countries. “I think it is fantastic, not only from a humane perspective, but also from a business point of view,” she said. The Apparel Group is one of the largest retailers in the Gulf Cooperation Council, and operates nearly 1,800 stores in 14 countries. Ved said her group also works with food and drink companies, such as Tim Horton’s, the popular Canadian coffee company, the Cold Stone Creamery, and Jamie Oliver brands, and others. In addition, the group runs its own ecommerce website, 6thstreet.com. Since the Apparel Group works mainly with retailers to import hundreds of brands into the UAE, joint collaboration could improve the Israeli retail scene as well, she explained. Despite being a small country, Israel has a similar population in size to the UAE, whose GDP and spending are similar as well, she noted. Ven said her group has special programs aimed at promoting women in the industry. She said that although the group’s target market is mainly geared toward women, it struggles to find leading females at its helm, but hopes that relations with Israel can improve this through exchange internships for young women to increase the pool of female candidates for managerial positions.