Marius Ciavola

Delivering innovative solutions, building operations, and leading teams to excellence are all part of CEO Marius Ciavola’s portfolio. Now, as the Head of Tradeling, Marius has a wealth of experience in the e-commerce space, having also been instrumental to the company’s set-up. As a B2B e-commerce platform, Tradeling gives markets in the MENA region access to global supply, creating business opportunities that put the company at the fore of digital trade.

For Marius, 2021 was not without its fair share of trials. “The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is a highly dynamic and competitive one due to the influx in investment within different industry sectors. This past year we witnessed a high demand for talents in all fields, but especially in engineering and software development where employers are fighting to find people with specialised skills and the qualifications necessary to perform the job at hand.”

What makes the challenge of attracting top tech talent even more daunting? The fact that it is truly an employee’s market. “We have witnessed a shift in employee needs. Millennials are looking for a positive candidate experience as well – everything from the ease of submitting their application to the level of communication throughout the interview process can impact how prospects see your company.”

The solution, in Marius’s view, is to nurture a strong corporate culture. “Culture is the collection of values that distinguishes a company from its competitors. A strong company culture sends a powerful message about the organisation, its employees and its products or services. We are proud to be a people-first corporation that focuses on employees’ individual needs – away from a one-size-fits-all approach. Putting your employees first is an important component of building an effective work environment.”

With such challenges being addressed as efficiently as possible, Tradeling is gearing up for a packed and profitable 2022. A recent survey carried out by the company among 500 business executives set out to evaluate demand in the MENA region and the opportunity for growth. Findings were very promising as it turns out that online purchase is the primary procurement method across the board. On top of that, an overwhelming majority of the executives expect businesses to use B2B eCommerce even more in the future.

“Globally, B2B has overtaken B2C sales through online transactions. The opportunity is massive, so our goal is to stay focused on building a complete ecosystem for our customers in the region, and to expand our footprint beyond the UAE in 2022. The future is bright and we are ready to become the dominant B2B platform in the region.”

Marius admits to drawing from his Maltese background in the ways he does business. “Like people of other Mediterranean cultures, I usually prefer to create an environment of trust, integrity and honesty before doing business. Similarly, like most Maltese people, I am tolerant of other customs, traditions and religious beliefs – something that is reflected in the company I run, as diversity is one of the key values we embrace.”

Marius concludes by sharing his keys to business success, which can be applied to any context, locally or abroad. “First of all, connect with the right partners and team members, and create the right infrastructure for your company. Then get creative and consider new ideas and innovative solutions. Do your due diligence well. And, finally, be willing to change direction and adjust to your customers’ needs.”

This article is part of the serialisation of interviews featured in MaltaCEOs 2022 – an annual high-end publication bringing together some of the country’s most influential business leaders.


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