Archive for October 2012

With increasing attention on a growing “skills gap” in many countries, it is important to ensure that there is conceptual clarity surrounding the term. The term “skills gap” is often incorrectly used as a catchall term describing both quantitative shortages in external labor markets as well as qualitative skills deficiencies internal to the firm.

A multicountry, practice-based review of employer surveys reveals a distinction between skills deficiencies found in the external labor market (‘skills shortages’) and those applicable to a firm’s existing workforce (‘skills gaps’). Previous employer surveys conducted primarily in the UK define a skills shortage as an expressed difficulty in recruiting individuals from the external labor market under current market conditions with a particular skill set due a low number of applicants caused by least one of the following reasons: lack of required skills; lack of work experience a company demands; or lack of qualifications a company demands (Shah and Burke 2003; Paterson, Visser et al. 2008; Education Analytical Services 2010; Shury, Winterbotham et al. 2010). Because skills shortages apply to the external labor market while skills gaps apply internally to the firm, these survey approaches imply the two concepts of a skills shortage and a skills gap are separate and distinct phenomena.

The Inadequacy of the Pricing Mechanism in Solving Skills Deficiencies

The view that skills deficiencies are ephemeral and disappear as labor markets adjust is widely held (See for example Hay, Faruq et al. 2011). Underpinning this view is a belief that the pricing mechanism, exercised through expected wage returns and premia that motivate individual investment in particular types of skills and the ability of firms to increase extrinsic pay to obtain particular skills, leads to allocative efficiency within labor markets. However, persistent skills deficiencies over the last decade reported in several countries that began instituting national skills surveys in the early 2000s challenge the assumption that skill deficiencies are short lived and the effectiveness of the pricing mechanism in reducing the occurrence of deficiencies (Shah and Burke 2003; Paterson, Visser et al. 2008; Education Analytical Services 2010; Shury, Winterbotham et al. 2010).

The cobweb theory explains how labor market adjustments related to professions requiring training that delays labor market entry might mitigate the effect of the pricing mechanism on skills supply and complicate reaching market equilibrium. Shifts in the underlying supply of and demand for skills require time to reestablish market equilibrium due to the lag in time it takes to develop particular skills. For example, in analyzing the markets for lawyers and engineers, Freeman (1975; 1976) finds that the duration of the training period to obtain particular labor market skills and accompanying lag in labor market entry due to the training period can result in cyclical shortage-surplus cycles in professional labor markets. Freeman employs the cobweb model to show that supply of particular labor market skills is highly related to the economics of a profession, such as expected salary, and other forces that signal ongoing job opportunities and the state of the market such as R&D, output levels, and competition from others with similar skills. An important finding of Freeman’s model is that forces signaling professional opportunity and market health are more influential in motivating the supply of particular skillsets than salaries. Various factors are at play that signal increasing demand for a particular skillset, but the supply of individuals with those skills is delayed by the amount of time training to acquire a particular skills set takes. The time lag between the duration of the training period and labor market entry may potentially explain how labor market adjustment caused by adaptive expectations could potentially lead to endogenous cyclical cycles of skills shortages. While there is no similar theory regarding skills gaps, empirical studies also cast doubt on the pricing mechanism as a corrective measure to eliminate internal skills deficiencies. In skills surveys across a number of countries, firms consistently rank increasing pay or relying on the market mechanism amongst the least used measures to overcome skills gaps (Young and Morrell 2006; Management 2009; Shury, Vivian et al. 2009; Education Analytical Services 2010; Shury, Winterbotham et al. 2010).

Given the questionable role of price adjustment in remedying immediate labor market skills deficiencies, such as skills gaps, ensuring conceptual clarity, understanding the causes and consequences, and considering potential solutions is critical. Rather than an ephemeral shock, skills gaps have been a persistent issue immune to corrective market forces that affect the workforce of firms in many countries.

Tahseen Consulting’s Related Work on Education and Skills Formation

Creating National Skills Formation for Knowledge-based Development

How Skills Gaps Impact Firm Performance in the Arab World

Knowledge-based economic development has become closely intertwined with national competitiveness and economic policies that support integration and diversification, innovation, technology development, entrepreneurship, workforce skills development and job creation, adoption of high performance organizational structures, and ICT infrastructure development (Planning 2010). Through the engagement of international organizations such as the World Bank and the UN with the region, the concept of knowledge-based economy has taken on an expanded meaning in the Arab region. The Arabized concept of knowledge economy is also fused with other development challenges not part of the Western conception of the term such as large-scale education and training system reform; environmental sustainability; social and cultural development including issues surrounding identity, language, equality; political participation and reform; and healthcare reform (Program 2002; Program 2003; United Nations Educational 2005; Bank 2007; Foundation and Program 2009).

 

Influenced by the gradual adoption of knowledge-economy as a widespread regional policy goal beginning in the early 1990s and the work of international organizations, in January 2007 the Planning Council of Qatar and Qatar Foundation sought the assistance of the World Bank to perform a knowledge economy assessment and articulate a vision for Qatar. At the time, a background analysis for the World Bank report observed the following education and training issues “few links and formal relationships between the training institutions and the needs of the labor market; education and training institutions are highly separated with little coordination; no linkages between training and job career prospect; and most of the training centers lack human and financial resources. In general, there is a lack of an overall strategy for workforce development in Qatar (Institute 2007).”

 

The Qatar National Vision 2030 advances a broad vision for the education and training system: “Qatar aims to build a modern world-class educational system that provides students with a first-rate education, comparable to that offered anywhere in the world.” The National Development Strategy 2011-2016 describes the underlying thrust of the education and training system in both economic and socio-cultural outcomes. In terms of fostering economic development towards a diversified, knowledge-based economy, innovation in science, medicine, and industry is emphasized along with upgrading and deepening the education, knowledge, and skills of Qataris for increased private sector employment participation. In terms of catalyzing socio-cultural outcomes, the skills formation system is linked with outcomes  such as religious, moral, and ethical values, national identity, preservation of traditions and cultural heritage, a well-rounded and engaged citizenry, a cohesive, participatory society, improved decisions about health, marriage, parenting,  and social responsibility (Planning 2011).

 

Primarily receiving technical assistance for institutional capacity development as aid from international organizations, the Qatari government, through the Supreme Education Council, serves as the regulator, provider, and funder of the education and training system while playing a strong role in defining industrial economic development policy. Thus, the Qatari government is in a unique position of coordinating education and training outputs with economic development needs without relying on external financial assistance. In this respect, the Qatar National Vision sets three system-wide education and training policy objectives to achieve world-class standards:

Education and Training System Policy Principles in Qatar

These policy principles are at the heart of the advanced performance management framework for K-12 education system reform that aligns ministry and sector strategies with the development goals established by the Qatar National Development Strategy 2011-2016 and the Qatar National Vision 2030

By defining specific policy areas for education reform, a performance management framework was devised to track delivery upon goals set out in the National Development Strategy at two levels to ensure that  empirically supported socio-cultural and economic benefits attributable to education and training are achieved:

  • Policy-based key performance indicators measure system performance relative to the achievement of the overarching policy aims of quality, equity, and portability;
  • Output KPIs measure the effectiveness of the education and training system in terms of achieving academic, social, and economic outcomes which are precursors to the future development of Qatar.

Tahseen Consulting’s Related Work

UNESCO’s 2012 Education for All Global Monitoring Report on Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work cites Tahseen Consulting’s work on national skills formation and skills gaps in Latin America.

Arab companies make up just 1% of the 4,650 organizations which are registered and have filed reports on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database. Global Reporting Initiative registration and filing statistics point towards adoption of reporting standards in only a select few countries, primarily in the Gulf, in the oil and gas, construction, financial services, and telecom sectors and to a more limited extent in the government and healthcare sectors. Even with the growing acceptance of the Global Reporting Initiative’s standards, at least amongst large Arab companies, as a common reporting framework, how and what is being reported differs substantially between companies making the standards more a benchmark of content rather than a framework that enables cross organizational comparison of actual economic, environmental, and social performance. A list of the companies which have registered and filed at least one report is included at the end of this post.

The Dominance of Small and Medium Enterprises Suggests A Reason Why the Global Reporting Initiative’s Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting Standards are Not Widely Used in the Arab World

Though the reasons for the lack of adoption of Global Reporting Initiative standards in the region are unclear, the industrial structure of the region in which small and medium sized enterprises dominate economic activity is one plausible explanation. Much has been written about small and medium sized enterprise opacity in the Arab World stemming from weak financial infrastructure, lack of use of accounting and financial reporting standards, and lack of human resources to implement financial and accounting standards (see for example the 2011 report on the Status of Bank Lending to SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa Region or the reports of the intergovernmental working group of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development on international accounting and reporting standards). The Global Reporting Initiative mission “to make sustainability reporting by all organizations as routine as, and comparable to, financial reporting” suggests a critical causal link between the adoption of financial and accounting reporting standards and corporate social responsibility reporting that allows us to conclude with reverse causal inference that widespread adoption of financial and accounting standards is likely to precede adoption of corporate social responsibility reporting in the region. In this way, the limited use of Arab small and medium sized of financial and accounting standards likely serves as a limiter for the adoption of corporate social responsibility reporting. This logic chain potentially explains why the Arab companies which have registered and have filed reports on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database tend to be comparatively large, publically listed companies which have strong capabilities in applying international financial and accounting standards to regulatory filings.

A Rapid Approach to Appraising the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives of Arab Companies  

Given the scattered use of Global Reporting Initiative standards in the region, Tahseen Consulting has developed an Arab Corporate Social Responsibility Rapid Appraisal Diagnostic based on analysis of a representative sample of 128 regional CSR initiatives and previous literature. Our diagnostic is based on a matrix by which we assess corporate social responsibility initiatives along two dimensions, social and business impact, while balancing philanthropic aspirations with commercial objectives. We view social impact as a sequential path that ranges from charitable activities that are bound by the activities of social sector partners to social investments that facilitate social sector innovation and initiative scaling while building the capabilities of social sector institutions. Similarly we view the business impact of social sector investments as ranging from charity-based initiatives with little business impact to more transformative social sector investments that allow companies to influence social, political, and strategic business factors such as trained workers, R&D, supporting industries, quality of life, and infrastructure.

Tahseen Consulting has developed an Arab Corporate Social Responsibility Rapid Appraisal Diagnostic based on analysis of a representative sample of 128 regional CSR initiatives and previous literature. Our diagnostic is based on a matrix by which we assess corporate social responsibility initiatives along two dimensions, social and business impact, while balancing philanthropic aspirations with commercial objectives.

Our aggregate data analysis of publically available accounts of 128 of the region’s corporate social responsibility programs reveals several key findings about corporate social responsibility in the Arab World:

  • There are few programs that address social and business goals simultaneously
  • Most Arab companies have diffused, unfocused giving
  • Companies are offering small cash donations for operating expenses
  • The emphasis of many CSR programs is publicity, not social impact
  • There are many examples of cause marketing aimed at goodwill over social impact
  • There is very little partnership with other entitles that also have corporate social responsibility programs
  • Many companies support the same entities with little emphasis on innovation

An Example: Appraising the Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives of Majid Al Futtaim Holding

Since 2010, Majid Al Futtaim Holdings, a large family-controlled retail and hospitality conglomerate based in the UAE with operations in several countries in the Arab region, has had a corporate social responsibility strategy in place. Based on publically available sources, Majid Al Futtaim Holding devotes approximately $7.4 million to corporate social responsibility annually which includes both cash and significant in kind donations of commercial space. Based on an analysis of the annual report for their property division which is likely indicative of the practices across other divisions, Majid Al Futtaim Properties has a number of corporate social responsibility policy aims but its current disclosures do not provide sufficient level of detail to adequately assess social impact of their programming or link their programs to the achievement of specific stated social aims. Based on press accounts, Majid Al Futtaim Holdings has approximately 31 corporate social responsibility programs in three focus areas: resource efficiency and sustainability, community and economic development, and employee wellbeing, attitude, and identification. These initiatives are targeted at customers, tenants and suppliers, local communities, and their employees. A list of their CSR initiatives is shown below.

Majid Al Futtaim Holdings Resource Efficiency and Sustainability CSR Activities

Resource Efficiency and Sustainability CSR Activities

Majid Al Futtaim Holding's Community and Economic Development CSR Activities

Majid Al Futtaim Holding’s initiatives are targeted at customers, tenants and suppliers, local communities, and their employees.

Majid Al Futtaim Holding’s Employee Wellbeing, Attitude, and Identification CSR Activities

Based on publically available sources, Majid Al Futtaim Holding devotes approximately $7.4 million to corporate social responsibility annually which includes both cash and significant in kind donations of commercial space.

Though we do not have sufficient information for a detailed social impact assessment of Majid Futtaim Holding’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, we are able to determine that a number of their programs are at the partner-driven stage or represent investments that might require work to more effectively engage the social sector to develop institutional capabilities and more innovative approaches to social challenges. Significant effort must also be placed on scaling innovative activities across the 10+ countries they operate in the region. We have included our assessment of Majid Futtaim Holding’s corporate social responsibility activities using the Arab Corporate Social Responsibility Rapid Appraisal Diagnostic below.

Arab Corporate Social Responsibility Rapid Appraisal Diagnostic for Majid Al Futtaim Holdings

Though we do not have sufficient information for a detailed social impact assessment of Majid Futtaim Holding’s corporate social responsibility initiatives, we are able to determine that a number of their programs are at the partner-driven stage or represent investments that might require work to more effectively engage the social sector to develop institutional capabilities and more innovative approaches to social challenges.

Arab Companies Which Have Filed Reports on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database

UAE (28 companies)

Abraaj Capital

Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company

Abu Dhabi International Centre for Organizational Excellence

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC)

Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA)

Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority

ADCCI (Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry)

Aldar Properties

Borouge

CEMEX UAE

Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi

Department of Municipal Affairs, Abu Dhabi

Department of Transport Abu Dhabi

Dolphin Energy

DU

Dubai Customs

Dubai Properties Group

Emirates Foundation

Energy Management Services

Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD)

Jordan Energy Management Services

Jumeirah Group

Metito

National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD)

RAK CERAMICS

Sama Dubai

Sorouh

Zones Corp

 

Jordan (9 companies)

Arab Bank

Jordan River Foundation (JRF)

Nuqul Group

Aquaba Container Terminal (ACT)

Aramex

Electricity Distribution Company EDCO

Zain Jordan

Schema

Jordan Aircraft Maintenance (Joramco)

 

Saudi Arabia (7 companies)

Dr. Soliman Fakeeh Hospital

Majid Society

Saudi Aramco

The National Commercial Bank (NCB)

The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB)

International Medical Center (IMC)

Zain KSA

 

Kuwait (5 companies)

Burgan Bank

Kuwait Finance Housing

National Bank of Kuwait

Agility

National Real Estate Company

 

Qatar (3 companies)

Qtel

RasGas

QAFCO

 

Oman (2 companies)

National Bank of Oman

Tawasul/Global Connections Center

 

Bahrain (1 company)

Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company

 

Palestine (1 company)

Paltel Group

 

Egypt (1 company)

SEKEM Group

A global economic development narrative based on the transition to knowledge-based economies and accompanying high wage, high skill jobs emerged in the Arab World in the early Nineties very similar to that in the US. Schwalje (2011) shows that seventeen of the twenty-two countries in the Arab World have adopted development of a knowledge-based economy as a medium to long-term economic policy objective. The appeal of an economic development trajectory and policy prescription that promised high skills, high wage jobs was perhaps irresistible in a region facing a youth bulge in which the number of youth 18 – 24 is expected to grow to 88 million by 2030 representing approximately 20% of the population (Secretariat 2008).

The Embrace of Knowledge Economy as an Economic Development Strategy in the Arab World

Schwalje (2011) shows that seventeen of the twenty-two countries in the Arab World have adopted development of a knowledge-based economy as a medium to long-term economic policy objective.

Related Blog Post: In our blog post Knowledge Economy in the Arab World: The Arabization of the Concept of Knowledge Economy we discuss the historical origins of the concept in the region and why the majority of Arab countries have adopted this economic development trajectory in their national development strategies

Initiated under the patronage Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the former President of Tunisia, the World Bank hosted a conference in 2009 that led to the ‘Tunis Declaration on Building Knowledge Economies.’ Referencing the need for the Arab World to create 5 million jobs per year for the next 20 years, the declaration draws a causal relationship between knowledge-based economic development and ensuing job creation which will create the need for increased supplies of high skill workers. The declaration implies that, assuming the Arab World can develop a  “solid education base, a dynamic information infrastructure, an effective innovation system, and a solid economic and institutional regime (Institute 2009),” economic diversification will lead to increased private sector job creation. Unfortunately, for  the 21 signatory countries (Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen) many of these results have not materialized.

In addition to high skill, high wage job creation, however, the Arabization of the concept of knowledge-based economy infused economic development with a host of other development issues such as economic integration and diversification, innovation, entrepreneurship, education and training system reform, environmental sustainability, identity, language, gender equality, and political participation and democratic reform. As in the US, the importation of the knowledge economy concept to the Arab region was accompanied by a similar emphasis on the welfare of individuals being tied directly to their success in gaining and maintaining higher qualifications and skills which could be sold in the labor market to match high wage employment opportunities expected to be generated by emerging high skill, knowledge-based industries.

Related Blog Post: In our blog post Many Arab Countries Are Headed Towards Knowledge-based Economies.. But What are Knowledge-based Industries? we explore how the concept of Knowledge-based industries and economies lacks a clear definition. Defining the size and growth of knowledge-based industries is especially difficult in the Arab region. 

The concept of Knowledge-economy has helped to highlight and promote policy dialogue on key development challenges that the Arab World faces and brought coherence to a variety of socio-economic development discourses. While the Arab countries were good students, as evidenced by their embrace, implementation, and localization of reforms towards knowledge-based economic development, there is, however, little evidence that suggest meaningful job creation as a result of pursuing reforms towards knowledge-based economy.

Employment in Knowledge-based Industries in the Arab World

Over the last decade, human capital investments do not seem to have led to significant increases in job creation in knowledge-based industries. Employment rates in knowledge-based Industries in the Arab World have remained virtually constant.

Registered Users is a Poor Proxy for Active Users

eBay is notoriously guarded about statistics on its user base. From 1996 to 2006, the company released statistics regarding its total number of registered users. Starting in 2001, eBay published a new “active user” metric which was defined as any user who had bid, bought, or sold in the trailing twelve month period. From 2001 to 2006, however, both the total registered number of users and the active user metric were published in official filings which provides an interesting insight into the number of registered users on an online marketplace relative to the number of users who actively use the site. In the case of eBay, on average 42% of its total registered user base actually conducted a transaction on the site annually based on 2001 to 2006 data. A perhaps disturbing finding is that the number of active users showed a declining trend over the few short years that both metrics were made public. This finding shows that publicized numbers of total registered users can be misleading if active users are in fact only a small portion of the registered user base. Since most of the online retailers in the Arab World are private companies, published statistics typically reflect total registered users.

eBay’s Registered Users Versus Active Users

Publicized numbers of total registered users can be misleading if active users are in fact only a small portion of the registered user base. Since most of the online retailers in the Arab World are private companies, published statistics typically reflect total registered users.

The Costs of Maintaining an Active User Base have Increased Dramatically

The data points above highlight two issues of potential concern to online retailers in the Arab World: In order to expand their user bases, they must appeal to and acquire consumers who historically have used traditional means of commerce to purchase goods. At the same time, if consumers are not active on their sites they may be unable to gain efficiencies in operating costs and the costs of acquiring new customers which could adversely impact their businesses. In fact, an Elance posting from 2010 seeking a survey design consultant from Souq.com describes exactly the same issue unfolding in the region:

“One of the issues that Souq.com is facing and that we wish to solve through this study is the stagnation of repeat users. In the last year, we have noticed that if the number of registered users keeps going up, the number of repeat users is not. We are looking for explanations for this phenomenon and to find whether it is related to the brand, the services or the product (site) or a mix of issues.”

Turning back to our eBay example, we observe that sales and marketing expenses, for what eBay calls its “sustaining marketing phase” in which its primary objectives are to create a more managed brand message, acquire new users, and increase the activity of existing users, have increased 72% from 2001 to 2011. As of 2011, eBay spent $24.25 per active user on sales and marketing. However, while sales and marketing has increased dramatically, revenue per active user only increased 30% from 2001 to 2011. While sales and marketing expenses have grown, revenue per active user has exhibited decreasing returns to scale. This is a particularly important lesson for emerging online marketplaces in the region,  suggesting that the “sustaining marketing phase” to maintain an active user base is costly and requires ongoing spending that does not always lead to higher revenue, even for very large marketplaces.

The Costs of Maintaining an Active User Base have Increased Dramatically

While sales and marketing expenses have grown, revenue per active user has exhibited decreasing returns to scale for eBay. This is a particularly important lesson for emerging online marketplaces in the Arab region, suggesting that the “sustaining marketing phase” to maintain an active user base is costly and requires ongoing spending that does not always lead to higher revenue, even for very large marketplaces.

Will Surging Regional Internet Penetration Rates in the Arab World Lead to E-commerce Growth?

In the Arab World, increased internet penetration rates are often cited as a key driver of the potential of e-commerce in the region. However, this assumption ignores economic development trends in the region concerning the growth of middle class consumers over the last decade that heavily influence the buying power of the population in a number of countries.

While internet use increased 27 times to 82 million users over the last decade, the fastest regional growth rate in the world, regional per capita gross domestic product adjusted for purchasing power grew at an annual rate of only 4% to $8,507, with the strongest growth in the Levant and North Africa. However, with the region’s quickly growing population, this growth rate trailed all other developing regions of the world (Bank 2010). Although several of the Arab countries have placed amongst the fastest growing countries in the world, only 105 million, or approximately 30% of the population, are estimated as middle class based on a definition which includes the number of people with daily expenditures between $10 to $100 per day.

It is estimated that the Arab World represents only 6% of the world’s middle class, and spending represents just 4% of total spending by the world’s middle class. By 2030, the middle class is expected to grow to 234 million or 44% of the Arab population, representing 5% of the world’s middle class and 4% of global middle class consumption.  While such estimates are not exact, these figures suggest that large growth rates are slowly producing a growing middle class and eliminating rampant income inequality, but other regions like East and Southeast Asia have made huge gains compared to the Arab World (Secretariat 2008; Kharas and Gertz 2010).

The slow growth of the Arab World’s middle class, who are likely potential users of online marketplaces, makes the assumption that increasing internet penetration rates alone will fuel e-commerce significantly less convincing in the majority of countries in the region. It seems more probable that increasing internet penetration rates might drive registered users, but household income growth trends in a number of countries across the region will ultimately determine how active these users will be. The low level of middle income households in a number of countries in the Arab World suggests that revenue from active users may in fact be much lower in quantitative as well as transaction value terms than international benchmarks like eBay. The lack of a middle class in several Arab countries also suggests a potentially limited geographic target market in the region for online marketplaces.

Estimating the Number of Active Users on Souq.com and MarkaVIP

Based on the eBay assumption that an average of 42% of registered users are active users and publicly available press accounts of the number of registered users, we estimate that Souq.com has approximately 273,000 active users. This means that eBay’s user base is 154 times larger than that of Souq.com. Using the same assumptions, MarkaVIP, which recently hit the 2 million registered user mark, would have an estimated 840,000 users.  However, Groupon’s recent quarterly public filings suggest the registered to active user ratio for daily deal sites may in fact be as low as 20% of registered users with revenue per active customer in the low $70s range (about $26 higher than eBay per active user). Similar to eBay years ago, Groupon stopped releasing figures on its number of registered to active users in February. This means sites like Souq.com could have as low as 130,000 active users, and MarkaVIPs 2 million registered users would potentially be reduced to only 400,000 active users. Though many variables are unknown, it remains uncertain if these rather small active users bases can sustain viable marketplaces without consolidation.

Estimating the Number of Active Users on Souq.com and MarkaVIP

Based on the eBay assumption that an average of 42% of registered users are active users and publicly available press accounts of the number of registered users, we estimate that Souq.com has approximately 273,000 active users.