‘Upstarts’ - the CNN International series exploring global start-ups – this week profiles Dubai start-up Mybox.
Founder and CEO of Mybox, Bader Al Kalooti, tells CNN all about his business – a smart locker system placed in residential and commercial buildings through which customers access a variety of services, including laundry, repairs and alterations.
Al Kalooti tells CNN: “Some people's business revolves from their passion. In my case it was my passion for starting a business. Mybox is an innovative platform that's changing the way goods and services are distributed to consumers… Laundry isn't the most sexy of industries to get into. It's not the best pick up line in a bar. But it's a very fundamental business and it touches a lot of people.”
On the ‘light bulb’ moment for Mybox, he explains: “When I first realised that a better way to deliver laundry could be made possible using smart lockers, and the second eureka moment when we realised that these locker systems could also be used for other services under the Mybox brand.”
Al Kalooti speaks highly of being a start-up in Dubai: “Being a start-up in Dubai is great. First off the infrastructure has come a long way, it's a gateway to the rest of the world. It has a very fresh energy about the city and there's a start-up buzz that you can feed off that's contagious.”
He also thinks that the services offered by Mybox are ideal for Dubai’s culture: “It's a business that is predicated around the culture and the paradigm of Dubai. People are always on the go and they don't have much time and the last thing anyone wants to take care of is tedious errands and chores. The user simply walks up to the kiosk logs in selects the services that they want. They're able to tailor their clothes, fix their devices.”
And his advice for other start-ups? Al Kalooti explains: “You need to have a great team, you need to be well funded and you need to have a solid execution plan. When you are comfortable in your own day job, you kind of weigh the pros and cons of shaking up your world, so to speak. But if you don't have that passion, if you don't have that willingness to sacrifice and commit to something then you should think twice about starting up.”
‘Upstarts’ airs in ‘CNNMoney View with Nina Dos Santos’ at the following time on CNN International:
Thursday 22 December at 1500 GST