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The recent years have witnessed s series of changes that have now made supply chains more long and complicated than ever. With the arrival of the online market natural disasters and other extreme weather conditions have lost their monopoly as being the only threat to chains. The vulnerability of the system like information technology fragmentation, political unrest, cybercrime, and the higher cost of trade finance and insurance have increased the risks manifolds (ABUKUMAIL, ALRASHIDI, & ATTA, 2018). Jamalon is currently the largest and only online bookstore in the middle east and offers more than 10 million Arabic and English book titles with customized payments and home delivery services that suit the needs of the Arab region.
Alongside the stories of many other successful entrepreneurial ventures lies the story of Jamalon. According to their CEO and founder Ala’ Al Sallal, the Amman based retailer started small when they realized that a majority of Arab speaking audience in the region could not read a majority of popular English works like for example the Harry Potter series. Being an avid reader Al Sallal along with 40 other volunteers translated the book and made it available for download. The Book had over a million hits thus signaling the demand for digital literature in Arabic (Zia, 2018). It was an underserved market that was not structured thus the company became a huge stepping stone in the Arabic publishing industry It has raised a total of 10 million dollars in investments, established warehouses throughout the middle east and London. It over 3000 connections with different Arab booksellers and publishers and has become the biggest retailer of Arabic books in the region.
Before starting a discussion on the different threats and disruptions that Jamalon might face in the long run and how they might be affected, the most imminent risk for the venture needs to be acknowledged. Recent surveys and statistics show that the Arab World as a whole published fewer amounts of books than some European countries. The causes of this disheartening catastrophe can be pointed out for reasons like extreme censorship, copyright infringement issues and lack of a proper product distribution channel.if this fragmentation of the market is addressed properly these issues can be turned into opportunities that will serve and strengthen the publishing industry of the whole Middle East.
Natural disasters are predominant in the middle east. From regular sandstorms that disrupt the delivery services to constant possibilities of earthquakes that threat demand and supply services, Jamalon faces threats from natural catastrophes like any other venture. Regular disruptions are caused by different elements of the supply chain for the brand (Dennis, 2018). Issues like lack of compliance among warehouse managements retailers failing to grasp the emergence of the digital trends in the publishing industry create regular disruptions for the ventures.
When Al Sallal started his business venture he found many problems in the Arabic publishing industry the biggest among them was the lack of a proper distribution channel. Through the readers want to discover new books they are unable to do so since the local bookstores need a lot of time to restock due to different restrictions that are faced by the region due to is tumultuous international situation (Rhumorbarbe & Damien, 2018). Also, the authors in the region find themselves in a bind when they find that there wor cannot be distributed through the region with ease (Malhotra, 2018). The only time when readers are able to buy books freely are at book fairs that happen once a year were they can get them from the publishers directly. When a publisher picks up a new book can only distribute it via the few book fairs that are organised over one years time with any kind of promotion or redistribution. About only 20,000 books are produced in arabic by local publishers in comparison to the hundreds of thousands published by their English counterparts. Jamalon has introduced the first on demand print service in the region that has given such authors an opportunity for self publishing their own books thus increasing production of Arabic books every year (Lui, Bartosiak, Piccoli, & Sadhya, 2018). Though there are lax in the infrastructure Jamalon has created a distribution chain that fulfill the serious requirements of the region thus managing a chain a disruptions in its respective industrial segment.
The main goal of Jamalon is to fill a disruptive crack between books and their readers in the Middle East. the service gives self publishing opportunities to authors and opens new doors for authors and publishers alike who lack the option of going through traditional printing methods due to issues like budget, timeframe and a lack of proper distribution channel.
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