Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 digital drive shows ‘increased appetite’ for cloud-tech: ClearTax CEO
Saudi Arabia’s “laser focus” on using cloud-based technology to boost its economy has prompted global financial services technology enterprise ClearTax to expand its operations in the Kingdom, according to the company’s CEO.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Archit Gupta praised the Saudi government’s “increased appetite” for such products, and said the rollout in the Kingdom was part of the company’s plans to invest up to $20 million into the region over the next three years.
As a technology solutions provider compliant with the guidelines of the Zakat, Tax and Customs Authority of Saudi Arabia for the first phase of e-invoicing, ClearTax has built a strong footprint in the Kingdom following the launch of its cloud-based electronic invoicing solution for medium to large enterprises in 2021.
Gupta said: “We recognised the vast market potential in the Kingdom as government mandates were to be rolled out in line with the laser focus KSA is demonstrating when it comes to using cloud-based technology to digitalise the economy and promote robust economic growth under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.
“We now have over 200 customers across multiple industries fully onboarded and are now focussed on providing further cloud-based offerings and expanding our customer base, as all VAT-registered businesses seek to adopt new ‘digital by default’ practices.”
Gupta went on to explain that ClearTax has already established partnerships with customers in a range of sectors in Saudi Arabia, including retail, manufacturing, energy, construction, financial services, and technology.
He added: “The ‘cloud first policy’ of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology – the framework built to guide public and private sector companies in cloud-led transformations – demonstrates the commitment the Saudi government has shown in moving towards a paperless, digital environment.
“Positive implications of this include increased efficiency, improved trade transparency and clearer visibility in fraud detection.
“As one of the world’s fastest-growing B2B SaaS companies, we are expanding our operations in Saudi Arabia as we expect to see an increased appetite for cloud-based solutions, with a breadth of digital and cloud-based products that support the digital transformation vision of the Kingdom.”
According to US-based technological research and consulting firm Gartner, 95 percent of new digital workloads are expected to be deployed on cloud-native platforms in the next two years.
ClearTax plans to introduce a suite of products to help over 1.5 million VAT-registered businesses across the Gulf Cooperation Council region adopt digital initiatives.
“As the scale of digitization increases, businesses will need to rapidly adopt digital solutions for more use cases like faster cash collections, automated bank reconciliations, efficient vendor management, credit availability, and optimizing working capital,” said Gupta.
While cloud-based technology is on the rise across the globe, so too are concerns around cyber-security. In December, IT security company Kaspersky revealed that a third of computer users in Saudi Arabia were targeted by cyber criminals in 2022.
This prompted the company’s CEO Eugene Kaspersky to tell Arab News that governments should introduce regulations for cybersecurity systems and require businesses to adhere to the related guidelines in the same way they do for fire hazards regulations.
Gupta insisted that ClearTax takes cybersecurity “very seriously”, and added: “ClearTax cloud platform is hosted inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and complies with the data residency requirements by the government.”
Cleartax was showcasing at the Zakat Tax and Customs Conference 2023 on Feb. 8 to 9, which was organized by ZATCA at the Ritz-Carlton Riyadh, and held under the patronage of Minister of Finance and ZATCA chairman Mohamed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan.