UAE: Hub for startup success stories

By: Sandhya D'Mello / Khaleej Times


SOURCE: Khaleej Times - UAE: Hub for startup success stories

Microsoft Ignite Tour was focused on assembling developers and IT professionals to learn, explore and connect with the community.

The UAE startup industry is all set to witness more success stories such as Careem as the region offers tremendous potential, said Lathika Pai, country head, Microsoft for Startups Mena, who was on her official visit here for Microsoft's Ignite conference.

The two-day event - which concluded on Thursday - offered upwards of 100 workshops and more than 350 globally renowned experts to delegates looking to expand their skillsets or discuss important issues facing the technology industry.

Pai, a strong supporter of women entreprenuers and empowerment, said: "Microsoft is here to support the UAE's startup ecosystem through our programmes where we offer expertise at local as well as global level. Investors are surely looking more to invest in the UAE as the success stories continue to emerge, specially post Careem-Uber deal.

The Microsoft Ignite Tour was focused on assembling developers and IT professionals to learn, explore and connect with the community and gain practical insights into the future of areas in technology such as cloud, data, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

"Microsoft's mission is to help every individual and organisation on the planet to achieve more," said Sayed Hashish, regional general manager, Microsoft Gulf. "Microsoft Ignite - The Tour Dubai, offered a platform for the region's innovators to grow their skill-bases as they continue to use digital transformation to engage customers, empower employees, optimise operations and reinvent products, services and business models. It has always been a pleasure to hear from a wide array of technology professionals on the challenges they face, and to help them overcome those obstacles by evolving their skills and deepening their expertise."

Another focus of the Ignite Tour's Dubai stopover was the Diversity and Technology track, which explores how diverse and inclusive workplaces can be a springboard, not only for corporate success, but for job creation and GDP growth. Ignite attendees had the chance to unlock their own potential for promoting diversity-and-inclusion initiatives within their own organisations when they hear from industry specialists with track records on making a difference.

"When employees know that their contributions will be recognised and appreciated regardless of their background or circumstances, they are more likely to become innovators, which can only be good news for their employers and society at large," said Hashish, Microsoft Gulf. "Diversity and inclusion are a key part of our evolving culture at Microsoft and we are keenly focused on attracting, recruiting, and retaining diverse talent in the tech space."

Anu Sabapathy, HR Director, Microsoft Gulf, said: "Microsoft Ignite is a free form of event for all IT professionals to come and learn and grow and upskill themselves to be ready for the future, right. So, it's really about building capabilities for the future and really helping to bridge the skills gap that we have, and that is going on in the industry right now. For my role, especially with regards to the diversity in tech, it's igniting creativity awareness and really learnings about diversity and inclusion. Inclusion in general is a big part of our culture at Microsoft, and we have made huge efforts with regards to being the driving force in terms of the conversations that we have on the world's stage with regards to this.