Ayrat Kasimov, HalalGuide: ''We were thinking about creating our own cryptocurrency, but we decided not to''
Interview with the creator of the multifunctional resource for the Muslims HalalGuide Ayrat Kasimov. Part 2
Realnoe Vremya publishes the second part of the interview with the creator of the resource for the Muslims HalalGuide Ayrat Kasimov. Our interlocutor tells about the prospects of the Tatar cryptocurrency ITcoin and ''Halal'' mobile tariff and the life in Innopolis and the social network of the Muslims at $100 million.
''When it comes to personal data, not every Muslim goes for it''
Ayrat, there has recently been presented the Tatar cryptocurrency ITcoin, as well as the tariff Azan. How do you assess these projects?
As for the tariff, it will be useful but I don't think that it will have the future. Today everyone is starting to have apps, for example MegaFon and Beeline. The situations cannot be changed with ''texts messages'' alone. Besides, the question of profitability will be raised over some time. Rushan khazrat (Abbyasov – editor's note) implements the same project with Beeline, but more at the federal level. In general, it is a good inception, it's glad that people think in this direction.
The tariff will work, but there is one important point: when it comes to personal data, not every Muslim goes for it. Today we already have the tendency that supposedly today the Muslims are controlled more. I don't think that a person who keeps in mind such thoughts will go and buy a SIM card with the special tariff. Some people even cover cameras on phones (I developed such things and I know that access to the picture can be obtained from firmware), someone always turns off his location, someone use VPN (Russian constantly use it abroad), and here, roughly speaking, they offer to ''tag'' all phones with the tariff. Such concerns may arise, but if the tariff gives benefits, if it has a very rich functionality and if it works well, it will definitely be in demand.
ITcoin, in my opinion, is more a PR move. This currency is limited to meat and, moreover, breeding bulls, which, in Tatarstan, are less than a hundred. Yes, there is the trend with cryptocurrencies, the guys want to get a foothold in it. Maybe something will work out, but I don't see anything important — there is more noise. I don't think everything is ready technically, and, of course, Tatarstan is not going to immerse in ITcoin completely and the rubles will not be cancelled.
We were also thinking about creating our own cryptocurrency once, but we decided not to become part of this yet. There have been registered already 700 cryptocurrencies, over time they will become even more, then they will depreciate, the most living ones will remain, the most valuable ones and only then it will work. Everyone have their bumps and bruises, someone cleverly makes money on this, but we still stand apart. We wanted to implement this because our project is a completely closed ecosystem: a person eats and collects the points, with them they can order a delivery, to donate — they can spend this money inside our system.
''First we did websites, then adapted applications and in the process we realized that the sites we had were lagging very far behind, so we are currently adjusting them. I think that by September we will finish. By this time, we want on the website HalalGuide to have the possibility of ordering qurbani — in Russia it is still a new thing.'' Photo: vk.com
Ayrat, what indicators would you like to achieve in the next five years?
Five years is, of course, a lot — I usually have plans for a maximum a year. Well, look, first we did websites, then adapted applications and in the process we realized that the sites we had were lagging very far behind, so we are currently adjusting them. I think that by September we will finish. By this time, we want on the website HalalGuide to have the possibility of ordering qurbani — in Russia it is still a new thing. Then, we have planned trips to foreign countries — we have a plan by the end of this year to put on monetization 10 countries, well and further — more.
We are often asked a typical investor question ''Assess your market''. It's so big that for our age it will be enough for sure — the industry is very big. No players, no one is here, everything is raw yet.
What about the world?
In the world in the part wholesale market we have competitors in Malaysia – it is the portal Zilzar, HalalGuide has a competitor in Singapore.
Now Google began to analyse well all the queries, it is not interetsed in Christian or Jewish queries, but it is actively interested in Muslim ones. For example, Google has developed two services: for Ramadan and for determining the Qibla. The traffic here is very large.
''The first project received $100 million of investments, money were spent, but even the website was not created''
Aren't you afraid that Google will look at you and do the same thing?
This question we often ask on the selections. Google can now enter the segment of food and to ''beat'' everyone, for example Delivery Hero or Delivery Club. It is much easier to do this them than to go to the Halal segment, where even at the level of certification centres there is fragmentation and misunderstanding, plus other moments won't let some project to enter there and to implement something. It requires connections, elaboration, but the most important is, of course, trust. If now comes a new person (and they are many) and say, ''I have made a social network for Muslims''…
By the way, if I'm not mistaken you did such social network, is it right?
Yes, we did. We have already burnt our fingers. Now we are having another project in process — we will see to what it lead. The first project received $100 million of investments, money were spent, but even the website was not created.
''Google can now enter the segment of food and to ''beat'' everyone, for example Delivery Hero or Delivery Club. It is much easier to do this them than to go to the Halal segment, where even at the level of certification centres there is fragmentation and misunderstanding, plus other moments won't let some project to enter there and to implement something. It requires connections, elaboration, but the most important is, of course, trust.'' Photo: vk.com
By the way, we have our own social network. We were told that we will not have any attention until we do our social network or messenger. Everything is ready, rendered, very well-designed, but we do not start the project yet. This requires a very great work with the spiritual administration, and the attention to us will be special but the success of this project is guaranteed.
Why do we need a Muslim messenger or social network? Facebook, Vkontakte or Telegram are not ok?
The fact of the matter is that, not giving any value, it is difficult to run such project. One needs to give people this value, how it will be different from the rest. People still believe that if they give emoticons in the form of the hijab, it's just ''amaze'' the audience. It is no longer like this.
Ayrat, do you believe that Kazan will become the centre of IT industry in Russia?
In Russia — yes. By the way, we live in Innopolis…
And how is it?
Wonderful. I spent 10 years in Moscow, I used to come home from work late, I used to go to work early, when my daughter was growing up I almost did not see her at all. Now I can devote her more time, we can go to the pool with her at 7 am, to run, play soccer, tennis, everything is free. Plus, in terms of security, everything is under control — there are cameras everywhere.
''Moreover, people want to go there. Now another 16 houses are being under construction, and I assure you, they will be taken at once. Innopolis is a great option for families.'' Photo: Maksim Platonov
I think that there is being development like nowhere in Russia. In Moscow, of course, there are more money, but given that we have the same Innopolis, where all technical developments (the same Sberbank, for example) is relocated, growth will continue. Most importantly, the republic should be ready for it.
Why do you think the republic has no conventional Facebook or another high-profile project?
Well, all over Russia they are not so much. Recently, Anton Olegovich went to Belarus… By the way, do you think this country is active in this plan?
People say that there are many cool professionals.
Very cool — they did a lot of messengers, animation MSQRD that is used in Instagram and Facebook, they have World of Tanks and much more. But people don't know that it is Belarus — this fact becomes known only after purchase. I would like to note that no one still knows who is the creator of Odnoklassniki, then you remember a man from Izhevsk, who now develops a very known platform in the United States to create online stores.