In recent years we  face with a new category of young entrepreneurs called startuppers. Zubaydullo Abduqayum, mostly known among IT entrepreneurs of the country is one of them.

A graduate of an ordinary school in the mountainous Muminabad, he was searching for his way for a long period of time, and finally he found it. Now Somon is the author of several IT Projects, including “City Club Dushanbe – is a city in your pocket”.

Finding myself

I was born in Muminabad district in 1995. As far back as school years, like many of my age mates, I often thought what I will be in the future. The future of the rural young people is not bright - most of them leave for labor migration after school or work in agriculture. I would like to have something else, I would like to be in the thick of country’s life, give something new and useful to people. As a young person, of course, I had ambitions – I would like people to recognize me, I want to have many friends. 

After I graduated from school, I had to choose – what to do in the future. With a wish to help the family, once I thought of going to Russia for earnings. But my parents insisted on my entering higher education institution and receiving a university degree.

As advised by my family, I first entered the Border Service Academy of Kazakhstan Committee for National Security. But soon I had to leave the Academy and return home due to my health conditions. In 2014, I entered the Russian and Tajik (Slavonic) University, faculty of philology. Although I studied well, I understood that this is not for me. As early as in my school times I was interested in technologies, Internet and its capabilities. I began studying on my own in this direction, though about how to use IT in life. When I started attending business-clubs, trainings, meetings with advanced entrepreneurs, finally I was convinced that my path is business in the information technologies. I started learning digital technologies used in marketing to advance products and services.

“City in your pocket”

I made the first step 5 years ago by developing a project called “” with my friends. We decided to ease the life of the pupils, students, teachers and those who are interested in syllabuses. The web-site we developed contained general information, materials and articles on literature, mathematics, law, history, philosophy etc.

In 2016, I attended the Forum of young entrepreneurs of Tajikistan “G5 Startup Forum” organized by the Club of young entrepreneurs of the Committee for youth affairs, sports and tourism and “55 Group” in Dushanbe. I was impressed by the level the event was organized. I listened to the stories of successful entrepreneurs of Tajikistan and other countries, their stories on challenging paths to success. They shared up-to-date knowledge and advice, inspired me for new goals and how to reach them.

The same year, we presented our project “Oson-Express” on the delivery of goods and other online services in the competition “Startup Chaykhona”. The project was awarded as “The Best Business Concept”. Bolstered by the success, we moved further, and in two years, prepared a new project called “City Club Dushanbe – City in your Pocket” with my partner Sorbon Boboev with the support of Russian experts. 

What is the project like? There is no a big change in it, such business exists in many countries, but it is making first steps in our country. Unlike other analogous applications, in our free application we have decided to put together several directions such as a reference book, news and online services. It can help find location of any institution, shop or hotel; tell jokes, news, and even share knowledge on history or the sights of the city. In the application, we have decided to place also other information concerning the capital city: public transport schedule, ads of events, services existing in Dushanbe, campaigns, discounts, popular city publics, announcements and many others. Many residents and business structures of the capital city got interested in our project. Having received the first comments and evaluation results, we are now working over improvement of our project. We also plan to launch such an application in Khujand.

“The Tajik Internet” Needs Support

Today I also work over two projects which inspire me.

I would like to improve my first project “”. More correctly, I would like to create two new sites-applications called “Mukhtasar” (In Brief) and “Durnamo” (Outlook).

The point is that it is not easy to find fiction and scientific literature, syllabuses, reference books and other materials in the Tajiki language on the Internet. They are very scarce although available some. Most of the students and teachers know that there is so much to do in this regard.

Taking into account the above-mentioned, we have decided to provide the readers with the known scientific and fiction works and other information in brief on our portal “Mukhtasar”. The portal “Durnamo” is meant for more complete coverage of these materials. Of course, we need assistance from higher education institutions, libraries, students and teachers. We all need it. The “Tajik Internet” needs support.

Startup is the beginning of a long path

Almost everyone thinks about starting own business. But people often face different kinds of challenges hindering implementation of ideas. In order not to lose good ideas, business-incubators, accelerators and other platforms exist. Organizations and companies such as UNDP, StartupStan and Accelerate Prosperity work now with the beginners in business. I believe that they will increase in number year in year out. Startup is only the beginning of a long path.

Our country does not possess big oil and gas reserves; we are not able to compete with the developed countries. However, we do have high potential of young people actively learning new technologies, including information technologies. I think this is the best way for the young people today to make money and be successful in business, and at the same time contribute to the country’s budget with millions.

Recently I learned from the RBC site that the cost of the Airbnb Company, which manages the online-market and hospitality service accessible through the websites and mobile applications, and which does not have its own hotel, increases by 18% and reaches US$30 billion. This is five times expensive than Hyatt Hotels Corporation which has a network of 777 immovable property in 54 countries of the world, including Dushanbe.

We have heard for several times that Internet completely changes our usual business, however, few are aware how to take advantage of new opportunities. Some people still believe that it is impossible to make money through the internet. Why? Skepticism, information protection, or just laziness…? It is hard for me to answer this question.

In my opinion, all is apparent. The world is changing, new technologies, and consequently, new opportunities come out.