Ghada Al-Qarni, founder of the LIVIN’G Project: My beginnings were simple with self-financing

Her start was very simple, by participating in fairs and seasonal bazaars; to study the behavior and desires of the customer, and to gain knowledge.

The situation continued in her project for a year; specifically in the last academic year at the university, after which the idea of ​​a permanent presence crystallized through cooperation with local craftsmen, to launch a national brand capable of competing in the local and regional market.
This goal was achieved in early 2014; which is the actual launch of LIVIN’G. In the next paragraphs, Ghada Al-Qarni lists a lot of information about her project.

● Where did you get the funding?

My beginnings were simple with self-financing, which helped that the business model followed at the time, by selling and instant trading, to manage cash flows to meet commitments, administrative expenses, and inventory control, with the expansion of the scope of work and to ensure the success of the business model followed, we began to agree with some success partners From suppliers and service providers on certain payment methods that contributed to managing the budget and financial transactions.

  • What is the biggest challenge you faced in your working life?

As entrepreneurs, we face special obstacles in the beginning. Support and development were not available like what is now e-commerce. We faced, for example, challenges related to logistics and support for technical channels, as well as economic changes that may affect the progress of the project. Sometimes projects lose their flexibility in adapting to these obstacles, which may incur unexpected costs for emerging projects.

  • What is your vision in business?

Innovation, renewal, and not relying on current successes and targets, creating challenges and new methods is the main motive for success.

● What services does the site provide?

LIVIN’G project is an online retailer; dedicated to inspiring customers through a unique blend of products, at LIVIN’G we believe that every piece must tell a story, and since 2014 we have been dedicated to quality, exclusivity, and sustainability.

Today, our team continues to choose products with great care and we make sure that we select products manufactured by locally skilled artisans in fair trade laboratories, from all over the world.

Each piece comes with its history to share with the customer the daily details and be part of their lifestyle.

We offer unique and innovative solutions to help the customer design their home from a distance; Regardless of its geographical location or budget, based on choosing one of our carefully designed packages to simulate the customer’s desire and need.

We aim to provide an unforgettable experience; through it, we make the customer’s home a place that resembles him and to his taste, because we believe that places are not just a place, but a feeling.

  • How do you maintain customer satisfaction?

Nowadays, the customer experience is one of the main factors that differentiate a brand, so it is important to look a little deeper into this; especially with it being the first strategy for online business activities, competition, especially in the field of e-commerce, is fierce in after-sales services.

Our password is “communication” – before and after the sale. By communicating and paying attention to the customer’s voice, and acting on his suggestions, it is possible to reach wider horizons and a larger customer base.

  • ● How do you create a sustainable relationship with the customer?

Like most things in life, customer support is best when there is a strategy behind it; without a plan for how to deal with disgruntled customers, your brand will fail.

When you sell products and services online, your online reputation is all you have.

Up to 80% of people say they would not buy from a brand with negative reviews online; Therefore, building a special strategy to support your brand’s customers, committing to it, and developing it during the growth stages ensures sustainability and continuity.

  • ● We noticed a business development after the Corona pandemic, so how did that happen, especially concerning going to e-commerce?

An electronic transformation is no longer an option; rather, it is an essential factor for the success and continuity of projects; especially after the pandemic that changed the way business is run forever. The most important lessons to be learned from this pandemic are the importance of contingency plans, and sound cash management.

  • ● What are the most important obstacles that may stand in the way of the success of the online store? And how can it be overcome?

The e-commerce market and sector in Saudi Arabia today are facing new challenges and obstacles. It is an extension of the traditional challenges facing large, medium, and small enterprises every day; Perhaps the most common are technical and logistical problems.

Therefore, we see that the most prominent objectives of Vision 2030 are based on the development and excellence of technical and logistical services.

  • What is the importance of innovation? And how can a female entrepreneur bring it into her project?

I believe that innovation is the basis of leadership. The successful exploitation of innovative ideas is crucial for a company to be able to continue, grow, respond to changes, improve its operations, provide new and improved products and services to the market, and increase its efficiency; And most importantly, improve its profitability.

● What are the most important foundations that help in the success of the online store from your point of view?

What is important is sometimes overlooked. The basis for the success of online stores is very simple:

● Distinctive, desirable products that cover needs.

● Smooth user experience for easy shopping and site navigation.

● Professional and clear product images.

● Consistent and thoughtful product descriptions.

The best way to achieve all this is to experience your customer yourself, try to buy your product, and experience it with your project; You will discover your weaknesses, develop them.

● What does the business environment in the Kingdom need?

The business environment has become fertile for growth and progress; In light of the improvement of the technical infrastructure, the diversity of ideas, and the keenness of the young generation to provide a creative product and service.

As entrepreneurs, we hope to find solutions that stifle the monopoly of major companies in all businesses and try to be unique as a service provider or an exclusive product; especially in areas where there is a certain local craft. Diversity of products, providers, and customers is an important economic factor.

● How do you find the Kingdom’s support for female entrepreneurs and the empowerment of Saudi women?

The wise leadership has given Saudi women a lot of support and empowerment; Especially in the field of entrepreneurship, and it has enhanced its social, economic, health and security status and status; Especially in light of the vision of 2030 through the support and presence of training centers specialized in assisting those wishing to engage in self-employment and owners of small and emerging projects.

This was reflected in the improvement of the national economy; which contributed to providing many job opportunities and new jobs, and this contributed to providing an additional source of economic income.
It suffices us to be proud, and one of the great historical achievements in empowering Saudi women during the reign of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz – may God protect him – is the crowning of Riyadh as the capital of Arab women.

● From your point of view, what are the most important promising sectors in the Kingdom?

The Saudi market holds great investment opportunities, and there are many promising sectors; Such as health, culture, entertainment, sports, Hajj, and Umrah, and many sectors need innovation in entrepreneurial projects.

● What is your ambition? How will you develop your business?

My ambition is for LIVIN’G Project to be a leading and sustainable brand in the regional market.
For business development, we have a long-term business plan and marketing strategies that ensure sustainable growth, through which we keep pace with developments in the labor market and changes in consumer behavior, which improves and develops the quality of products, services, and projects.

● What do you advise female entrepreneurs?

Make sure to keep a simple and clear view of your business. keep achievable short goals; Because it will gradually take you towards your dream.

You are likely to encounter some problems and setbacks, and this is normal and part of any fresh start. Remember that a million sufferings are not enough to stop you. Every failure will teach you something, so take every obstacle as a lesson.

Finally, “other women entrepreneurs are not your competitors.” “One woman’s success is the success of women everywhere.” For this reason, it is necessary to support other women entrepreneurs.

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