Soluqi is one of the first platforms to provide Middle Eastern entrepreneurs with website building software in their local dialect. And with a global goal of providing this same service to users of varying nationalities and languages, Balazs shows no sign of slowing down. We caught up with the man behind the idea to find out more about coding, business strategy and why the name ‘Soluqi’?
Tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Budapest, Hungary – the country where the Rubik’s Cube was invented. From a young age, outdoor sports have always played an important role in my life. My main motivation is to see others benefiting from a product that I brought to life, especially if it is a business-driving solution.
What does the modern businessman do in his spare time?
Simply put, he spends time disconnected from the digital world! Smartphones are making it harder and harder not be constantly ‘connected’. I enjoy kitesurfing for a number of reasons, but mainly because it is a sport, which is about keeping your body in balance. Any sport which is about balance is the ultimate stress-reliever, simply because it requires your full attention.
What gave you the initial idea to launch Soluqi?
I had a similar business concept when I was teenager, when I created a website building platform that was optimised for and targeted to people whose English was poor and for isolated languages that are not supported by other web solutions. The product was a ready-made website that was mainly purchased by Hungarian photographers. The site was initially geared towards photographers as I myself was into portrait and studio photography and realised how difficult it was to create my own personalised, impressive website, in a language I was confident in.
Did you study coding professionally?
I studied coding at school when I was around 15-years-old, but my teachers were not aware of this as I ignored most of the class material and did the bare minimum in order to focus on learning how to code on paper. The upside of it was that I didn’t have to carry many heavy books, I simply purchased a 1,000-page book called ‘Flash Bible’ which was all about building interactive and animated websites.
Why the name Soluqi?
The Soluqi is a dog that’s native to the Middle East, known throughout the region for its lightning fast speed and superior intelligence. It’s only fitting that we named Soluqi after the highly efficient animal, as we aim to provide extremely quick and intelligent web design for users worldwide.
Can you tell us how this will impact the Arabic web?
Arabic, being a right-to-left language, has been left behind by the majority of digital products, especially in the B2B segment. In terms of Arabic web innovation, we are going through extremely exciting times for two reasons: We receive feature requests from our users as if it was the early days of the web asking for things that were popular in the early Noughties like guest books or public visitor counters; On the other hand, we have experienced a great demand for ahead of the curve, futuristic features relying on mobile technologies.
Everyone holds a skill that they excel at. I think everyone should aim to find out what that is.
How does Soluqi help to empower individuals and businesses?
Our platform eliminates cost and language barriers by empowering anyone to build websites without the need for any technical skills. We save our users money and time and we drive revenue by enabling anyone to start selling their products and promoting their businesses online in Arabic or English (and soon other languages as well).
A word of advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
My coach, who has trained many Olympic champion paddlers, always told me that everyone holds a skill that they excel at. I think everyone should aim to find out what that is, but the trick is also to figure out how the unique skill that you possess can enable you to help and connect with the world.
What are your future plans for Soluqi and what can we expect in the next six months?
E-commerce is a definite priority for us, but unlike competitors, we believe the e-commerce functionality is not about the number of features you have but how much value those features create. We are inspired by Apple design and products, and will bring similar aesthetics forward when launching our e-commerce solution.