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Understanding Frappe Ecosystem in UAE
This article covers my learning about UAE's growth as a country, and how Frappe Community is evolving in the region


Umair Sayed


Jan, 1 2024



min read

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a story of a global city built in the very modern times. Since my childhood, I have been hearing about my relatives traveling to the UAE to build their careers and businesses. UAE had almost become synonymous to my understand of bahar gaon (foreign country).

Till late 1960s, Dubai was primarily a farming village, surviving on fish and pearl farming. They were reeling from scarcity of basic infrastructure like electricity, water and roads. Dubai didn’t even have a deep-sea port, to allow large ships to park.

Dubai ports in 1960's

Hence, when was say, UAE is built in modern times, it as early as in last 30-40 years. With the vision to build the global city, UAE opened their gates for the global citizens. What's really facinating is that UAE is a success story primarily built by a global community. This aligns nicely with Frappe and open-source philosophy.

Shaikh Zaid road in Dubai

Here, I will share my experience of visiting UAE in the last two months, meeting the Frappe Partners, Customers and fan-boys in different events.

Visiting GITEX

GITEX, hosted at World Trade Center, is one of the largest Technologies Exhibition in GCC, which attracts businesses and visitors from 150+ countries. GITEX was spread across 7-8 large halls, which would require 4-5 days to skim through and have some conversations.

Surprisingly, this time we had about four Frappe Partners who were exhibiting at GITEX. Before my UAE visit, for months, I was visiting partners to educate them about marketing and best practices through the Partner Maturity model. It was time to support the partner who took the initiative for creating brand awareness for themselves and for Frappe.

Frappe Partners at GITEX

It was great to see that partners were confident and bold with Frappe’s positioning. They enthusiastically shared their experiences of migrating customers from SAP, Oracle and even the smallest accounting apps to ERPNext. Also, they evangelized open-source as a concept, mentioning Frappe as a live example. While there was great energy put-in by the Partners, visitor matched their wave-length pretty well. I met visitors from large conglomerates who came to explore Frappe / ERPNext, and asked advanced questions as to how they can build apps for specific business-domain, which no other ERPs offers, and integrate with their existing mega deployment. The GITEX visitors included:

* End-users and business owner who were already benefiting from Frappe’s open-source apps
* Community partners who were building their businesses on Frappe apps
* Fan-boys who are watching afar and appreciating work being done by Frappe team

The response at the conference was so motivating that one of the partners decided to set-up a satellite office in Dubai on the second day of expo. After attending participants at the conference, I kept meeting community members at GITEX. It was nice to give face to the name I had been interacting with for years. We had community members who even traveled from countries like Iraq and Egypt, to catch-up at GITEX.

Frappe Community at GITEX

Meeting Frappe Partners in UAE

While GITEX was being concluded, I already initiated interaction with the Frappe Partner who delivered ERPNext / Frappe to 300+ companies in the UAE. I visited their offices, met their team, and also conducted Partner Maturity audits. For me, it felt like “yet another partner visit”. However, for the partner’s team, it was a nice morale boost. They belonged to a community and were cared for by an OEM (Frappe). One partner even mentioned that:

“Till now, ERPNext was nothing more than a one-more-software-app offered by us. now that you have visited and audited us, like no other software OEM does, we are keen on making Frappe apps as a primary offering of our company”.

Official Frappe Partners in UAE

Partners also capitalized on my visit to introduce me to their customers. More than often, meeting Customers is like meeting fan-boys. They are our pumping force on the ground who does the magic of “word of mouth” publicity for Frappe apps, the most authentic marketing any product could get. In-fact one customer took us to one of their contacts right-away, where we showed Frappe’s magic and the customer added his weight to prove Framework's capabilities.

Building Trust

ERP product by a very nature is "the most mission critical" task. Hence, it requires perseverance from a partner and leap-of-faith from the customer to align for an implementation. Building trust is first goal to be achieved,. This is as crucial as building a top-class ERP solution. Without the strong ecosystem, you could have great product also being under-performing. In this trip, instilling the confidence among our own partners and their customer was an immediate outcome and learning for me.

It was Vivek (from QCS) who took me for most of the customer visits. These customers were using ERPNext, but had little understanding of who Frappe Technologies is, and how do they survive. When we met these customers together, Vivek was impressed to the Customer's turn-around on our proposal (like FrappeCloud). As per his observation, the customer's response to someone coming from OEM was why too positive and prompt, as compared to themselves. This also made Vivek (and other partners) way more confident in offering services around Frappe / ERPNext.

Now, it was the time to build this trust at a scale. The simple answer to this was, Frappe Local event in Dubai.

When we proposed the idea of doing a local event in Dubai, it was not just partner, but customers also showed immense interest in participating. The only pending task was deciding the venue and making a noise about the event. However, I didn't knew that Frappe Local would be announced just the day after I arrived back to Mumbai, my hometown.

Click here to learn about what happened at Frappe - Local Dubai

Published by

Umair Sayed


Jan, 1 2024


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Paul Mugambi


3 days


Beautiful read, and an insight into an individual I respect and have learned a lot from. Am inspired to trust the process and never give up.


Anna Dane


5 days


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