Exclusive Twffaha Interview – Employment portal for women in the Middle East
Not only is this an exclusive interview but also our first interview request via Twitter. We sent a direct tweet to the founder and VP of Marketing, Ashraf Mansoor asking for an exclusive interview. He was very gracious to participate and discuss Twffaha, a new job recruitment portal specifically for women in the Middle East. Twffaha is based in Sudan and has already been featured on several sites, check out this review from StartupArabia. This interview marks their first media article via a Western Muslim site. Ashraf is also very kind to offer our female readers looking for work in the Middle East a beta invite to their site. Read the interview for instructions.
IslamCrunch: What is your web application/service about?
Twffaha: We connect women who are looking for jobs to employers who are looking to recruit women for certain vacancies. Twffaha is the only portal specialized in recruiting women in the Middle East.
IslamCrunch: Why did you start this project?
Twffaha: We feel that the online recruitment market in the Middle East is already full with prominent players. However, as a job seeker or employer you will find it harder every time you look for a job or advertising a job in case
you were an employer. The market needs to be more organized, and that
can be achieved by exploiting niches and adding value for both parties, job seekers by offering them a portal that is only aimed at women, and employers by reducing their recruiting costs and offering them more focused job postings.
IslamCrunch: How does your project relate to Muslims? Or is your project geared towards a general audience?
Twffaha: Twffaha.com is geared toward a general audience, we do not ask for
information regarding your religion background. However, we do not allow
employers to post jobs related to activities we deem illegal in Islam. For example,
if an employer posted a related to Alcohol/Bars through our service we will remove the job posting and refund him/her.
IslamCrunch: How much time do you devote to its growth?
Twffaha: As a startup we devote a large chunk of our time in developing, marketing, and managing Twffaha.com in order to ensure it will keep growing organically. Working for 50 hours a week is our average.
IslamCrunch: How large is your team and what are your backgrounds?
Twffaha: The team behind the service comes from different cultures and background. We are well experienced with web development as Twffaha is actually our third project, although it is the first one we operate solely. Our team currently consists of two main members Ashraf Mansoor who is in charge of Development and Marketing and Ammar Mustafa who is responsible for Operations and Sales. We are looking to hire 3 more talented individuals to join our team in the following 2-3 months enshallah.
IslamCrunch: What is your design/service philosophy?
Twffaha: We believe that simplicity is the factor that determines success in the current web era. That’s why our users will notice that Twffaha has a very elegant yet simple to use user interface (UI). As for our services we will offer only the basic services an employer or a job seeker needs in order to avoid being overwhelmed by unnecessary services.
IslamCrunch: What technologies are you currently using?
IslamCrunch: What are the most requested features from your users/community?
Twffaha: Our beta users have been a great support to us. We receive requests for features regularly. One which is worth mentioning is that the website should be accessible through mobile phones, which we are currently working on.
IslamCrunch: Where do you see the project heading in the next the next 2 years?
Twffaha: We would expect Twffaha to continue its strong growth, have a good portfolio of recruiters under our umbrella. We are also planning to launch the website in other languages including Arabic, and leverage our service by integrating Twffaha with well established social networking tools.
IslamCrunch: What is the greatest challenge to your success?
Twffaha: Convincing employers to migrate from the current platforms they use and adopt the Twffaha platform. But we are glad to see that the migration is happening but in a relatively slow manner.
IslamCrunch: Do you have a business model? If so, what is it?
Twffaha: We charge employers for listing there job vacancies on Twffaha.com.
Also, employers will be thrilled to find out that there job postings will be added to Simply Hired which is the world largest jobs search engine free of charge. The service will always be free of charge for job seekers.
IslamCrunch: If you’re able to disclose this information, how much traffic or usage do you see on an average day?
Twffaha: Our website is relatively new, and we have not launched in private beta yet. So we can not disclose how much traffic we get, because we believe that the numbers are insignificant and are not a good measure. But, we would like to share the fact that after 2 weeks of private beta launching we have received enough traffic that we are looking to scale our infrastructure to accommodate the great number of early adopters.
IslamCrunch: Are there any aspects of this project that has made you proud?
Twffaha: Yes, we received heaps of nice feedback from women who praised
the service and adopted Twffaha as it was their own product. The reaction
of the community has been overwhelming and made us proud.
IslamCrunch: How would you describe the shift that’s occurring with the web right now to future generations?
Twffaha: The current generation of the web or what is referred to as web 2.0 is about social graphs, taking advantage of your connections and available social tools to leverage and empower your message. The next wave will be about controlling the noise of the hectic number of social network tools available.
IslamCrunch: What site(s) do you visit everyday other than your own?
Twffaha: Techcrunch.com, Mashable.com, ReadWriteWeb.com and
IslamCrunch: Which social media tools do you use? Why do you prefer these tools?
Twffaha: We use Facebook to improve the awareness about our brand. Twitter
is our main way of communicating with the technology community. We also use
Huddle.net as our main collaboration tool along with PBWiki.com.
IslamCrunch: Does social media and social networking play an important role in promotion of your organization?
Twffaha: Definitely. Facebook alone constituted almost 30 percent of hits we received in the early days. Twitter played an important role in spreading the word about Twffaha and generating the buzz needed.
IslamCrunch: What do you hope IslamCrunch can help you to accomplish?
Twffaha: Publicity. In fact we are offering invites to everyone who e-mail
email@example.com with Islamcrunch as the subject.
IslamCrunch: If you could collaborate with another organization or participate on another project, please list them here.
Twffaha: We are looking for Arabic/Muslim social networks that have released
an API, so we can develop a version of Twffaha accessible from these
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