Ahmad Fareed Al Saif is the CEO and Founder of Alefredo Books (2019 – Now), an online platform that provides technical and educational solutions for school and university students. Al-Saif earned his MBA in 2020 & his BSc in Mechanical Engineering in 2013 from the University of Jordan.
This platform provides an online marketplace for selling used academic books and supporting educational materials, and also provides an interactive assessment tool that helps students locate their educational weaknesses and recommends supporting material to strengthen them.
“The idea came to me while I was studying for my master's degree, I couldn’t find and buy used books in an organised and practical way,” says Al Saif.
Alefredo Books has also a higher goal of serving and positively impacting society, Al Saif indicated: “Families can create additional income by selling their used books and save money by buying used books at half the price or less.” In addition, the company seeks to establish a culture of used books, book reusing and environmental preservation, and intellectual property.
The establishment has won many awards, most notably the Community Leadership Award for the year 2020 at the first Community Leadership Summit in Amman. In addition to over 5000 thousand happy customers, the young company managed to build ties with 12 international organisations including the UNDP, Swiss Embassy, and Plan International, and 4 Jordanian universities.
Al Saif who has around 10 years of experience in the private sector and ecosystem, has also developed the Jo Drive application in 2018; a free social application that aims to raise the level of social solidarity and environmental awareness amongst neighbours and inhabitants of the same residential area and strengthen the relationships and social bonds between them.
Jo Drive links neighbours and residents of the same area who have the same work and study destinations to share the same transportation. “I managed the whole development stages and user experience developments with the contractor, and customer feedback, public relation, 2 years of working that allowed me to enter the entrepreneurship world and the ecosystem,” said Al Saif. The application recorded 7k downloads in 9 Months, and over 100,000 followers on social media platforms.
The entrepreneur is a recipient of several national and international awards in innovation and entrepreneurship from UNDP, Embassy of Switzerland in Jordan and Plan International. He is also the winner of 30 under 30 Unicorn Award and Social Enterprise Award 2021.
Al Saif says his time at UJ was an effective source of inspiration. "Since I was enthused by the idea of creating a platform for buying and selling used books, and then wanting to work on the idea and develop it further, the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at the University provided great support and inspiration in developing the project and crystallising the idea and turning it into a company."
When asked about what piece of advice would he give to current students and aspiring graduates? Al Saif says it is to pursue their dreams. “Don’t give up, don’t underestimate your project, keep trying, and most importantly, believe in yourself and your team, listen to them and accept criticism, and, last but not least, apologise for any mistakes you make in your business, whether to your customers or team members. It is the reputation that counts by the end of day," he said.