iSagha is the first application to provide gold prices and jewelry sale service in Egypt and the Arab world.
Said Embaby, CEO of iSagha, said the company aims to offer gold prices in the local market through a safe means in line with the global market standards, in addition to marketing the products of gold companies and shops to the largest number of customers.
In his interview with Daily News Egypt, Said explained that the company is trying to use information technology (IT) to serve its consumers, as most of the people nowadays have access to internet.
When was the company established?
The company was established in December 2016 as an Egyptian joint stock company. Flat6labs has a 10% share of the capital estimated at EGP 5.5m.
How did you come up with your business idea?
Gold trade is my family business. I tried to use technology to develop the gold sector. iSagha was my solution to allow everyone to follow gold prices throughout the country.
In the past, gold shops used the phone to follow the gold prices. If phone lines were broken, we could not complete major gold sales until the official gold prices were confirmed at that time.
The gold prices change throughout the day and no trading can be made without knowing the excat price of gold to avoid any loss.
Do you have the intention to manufacture and market jewellery?
My company does not intend to engage in the manufacturing or trading of local or imported gold, and our work is limited to exhibiting and marketing gold products for the benefit of other gold companies and shops. We are not competitors but partners who seek to increase gold sales.
What is the size of iSagha users?
We have over 20,000 users, including 5,000 jewellers and traders.
How many gold companies and shops does iSagha deal with?
We have no jewellery companies so far, but we have contracts with 155 gold shops to exhibit and sell their products through the company’s platform.
What are the real benefits of the application?
iSagha allows traders and consumers to know gold prices without manipulation. Gold prices in Egypt are unfair, as some of them do not reflect the decline or rise in the global gold prices.
The price of gold in the local market is determined according to the prices of other commodities and the US dollar value. Egypt is the only country where traders determine gold prices.
Does this require the state to control gold prices?
I do not prefer the state’s intervention to regulate the gold industry and trade because many officials are not familiar with this profession. The market should regulate itself, through innovation and the creation of marketing methods that address current generations rather than traditional ways.
Will selling jewellery via internet become an alternative for shops?
Modern technology should be used to allow companies and shops to market their products to as many potential customers as possible.
Selling jewellery online will not be an alternative, but rather a way to market products. It is also an opportunity for gold shops to expand online instead of opening new branches at different locations to increase their customer base, especially with the high costs of opening new branches.
As the gold products will be exhibited online, this will reduce the robbery risk.
How did both consumers and traders react to the idea?
At first, gold traders were enthusiast for the idea of displaying and selling their products online. However, younger generations praised the idea, and the situation changed after they achieved sales through the platform.
The demand from consumers was not high at first as the society needs more time to get use to buy gold and jewellery online. Many consumers are used to deal with certain jewellers in their neighbourhoods.
How iSagha works?
Gold traders create their accounts on the application to display their products, and customers can browse the featured items and choose whatever they want. We also provide delivering service for customers.
How much is your commission?
We charge shops a 3-10% commission of the value of sold items.
What guarantees do you provide to consumers?
The company provides guarantees to consumers in terms of dealing with reputable dealers, verifying the authenticity of the offered products.
The company protects the rights of both the trader and the consumer. The site offers the selling and buying prices of each item. It also shows the profit margin at the time of selling, as anyone can sell his jewellery with no more than 2-5% profit margin of its value.
The invoice guarantees the consumer’s right and there are all sealed by iSagha. You can return any gold item but must be in the same condition.
Does the company interfere in determining the gold craftsmanship fee?
The company is not responsible for that, and we try to create free competition between the shops, which eventually is the best for consumers. However, the company guarantees providing consumers with products that meet the legal standards.
What is the demand rate for wedding jewellery on your app?
The demand for wedding jewellery through the site is low compared to other items such gold bullions, while the demand for gold products is higher than gold bullion.
The growth of the volume of small gold jewellery sales is based on a piece rather than a weight basis, in addition, gold bullion and gold coins sales were growing during the price fluctuation period, as they attract those who want to invest in them.
What is the size of the company’s sales last year? And your target this year?
Our sales reached EGP 2.5m in the past year, with a target of EGP 5m this year. It’s still low because the society is still not familiar with the concept of purchasing gold online. The company intends to launch new services during the coming period to encourage consumers to invest in gold or makes purchases through the internet.
Are there new services to be offered to consumers?
We have been trying for a year to provide e-payment service on our website, and we have launched the service at the beginning of this month. At first, banks refused to allow e-payment for gold and silver products trading, as the Central Bank of Egypt considers gold as cash equivalent.
Does the company intend to enter into new partnerships?
The growth rate of the company is good, but slow, and we are trying to expand the company’s activity and look for foreign or local shareholders.