It has been 12 years since Dr. Elias Abboud, 42, who works within the UAE, moved to Dubai to pursue enterprise within the pharmaceutical business. However lengthy earlier than he did, Abboud labored as a medical consultant in Syria, the nation the place he spent his adolescence.
“My first job as a medical consultant in 2003 earned me a month-to-month wage of $250 (Dh918). Later, I joined a chemical firm as a supervisor for $800 (Dh2,938). Quickly after, I used to be promoted to a advertising and marketing place. a supervisor with a wage of $1,200 (Dh4,407),” he stated, whereas speaking about his job.
“Three years later, I obtained a wage of $3,000 (Dh11,017) from one other chemical firm. Later, I moved to Dubai, earned Dh8,000 in 2011 as a advertising and marketing supervisor and later earned Dh22,000 in 2014, proper. earlier than that I’m going out by myself to launch a ‘FemTech’ firm specializing in nanotechnology-based female hygiene merchandise.”
Femtech is a time period used within the class of software program, diagnostics, merchandise, and providers that use know-how to concentrate on girls’s well being.
The time period ‘FemTech’ was coined in 2016 by Danish web entrepreneur Ida Tin. Inside just some years, it has grown to incorporate a spread of technology-enabled, consumer-focused merchandise and options.
Constructing a enterprise base
Academically and professionally skilled as a pharmacist and with work expertise as a medical consultant, he gained an understanding of the workings of the pharmaceutical business. This information, aside from his MBA in advertising and marketing, grew to become the premise for beginning his enterprise.
Abboud revealed how all his financial savings as much as that time got here in at first, after which he acquired his brother to speculate. Abboud gathered Dh400,000 in financial savings since 2011 when he launched his enterprise in 2020. “I’ve saved issues in good condition in the case of cash – which continues to be mirrored within the firm’s funds.”
How did you pay on your startup prices?
Beginning the enterprise from the bottom up, Abboud has reinvested the entire firm’s income to develop and develop. Nevertheless, he goals to carry the corporate’s first funding spherical in 2023.
He stated, “We’re at the moment negotiating with a number of VCs (Enterprise Capital buyers) for a similar. On the similar time, as the corporate grows and the orders enhance month by month, I’m trying to enhance each upstream and downstream processes, particularly transportation, by hanging new offers and renegotiating to get higher value factors.”
What’s Enterprise Capital (VC) or Enterprise Capitalists (VCs) in startup financing?
Enterprise Capital (VC) is often used to help start-ups and different companies which have the potential for giant and speedy progress. VC companies increase cash from restricted companions (LPs) to spend money on promising startups or enterprise capital funds.
Early stage startups usually do not need entry to loans or capital markets immediately, so that they depend on VC funding as an alternative. In alternate for VC funding, founders supply buyers a share of possession and probably a board seat. VCs will be an essential supply of funding.
What led you to start out a enterprise in female hygiene merchandise?
“In 2012, after I was searching for enterprise alternatives and consulting, I got here throughout an article that stated 70 p.c of girls all over the world face menstrual-related challenges because of the usage of customary sanitary pads accessible available on the market. For somebody with a medical background. and consciousness of the pharma panorama, that was the time to -“Eureka” for the entrepreneur in me,” he added.
“I started to develop my understanding of the challenges of menstruation, I contacted a number of specialists within the female hygiene business all over the world, and I began product improvement. I used to be nicely conscious of the challenges forward however I used to be equally assured within the effectiveness of my merchandise. Though such merchandise had been partially in patents, I used to be in a position to give them readiness to go to market with enterprise mine.”
Nevertheless, though Abboud labored efficiently within the B2B mannequin (Enterprise-to-business (B2B), which is a transaction or enterprise accomplished between one enterprise and one other, corresponding to a wholesaler and a retailer), he quickly realized that the affect was not there. sufficient, and his merchandise had been mendacity on the cabinets of distributors with out reaching finish customers.
Being compelled to modify to a hybrid e-commerce mannequin
“I noticed that direct promoting was not financially possible at the moment. Quickly, to make issues worse, the pandemic improved the efficiency, issuing a clarion name to adapt or quit. Since this was not an possibility, I made a decision to show to a combined e-commerce mannequin by going all-in and getting monetary help to my brother,” added Abboud.
“We launched the web site in August 2020, we processed three orders within the first month, adopted by 15 within the second and, two years later, we’re processing greater than a thousand orders each month. There have been many cycles of trial and error till 2020, however I succeeded in promoting greater than 2 million packets in 14 international locations,” he stated, whereas including that inside a yr of launching this enterprise made Dh760,000, and by 2022, the startup made Dh1.7 million.
Listed here are some essential classes he realized when he first grew to become an entrepreneur
Lesson #1: Align nearly all of enterprise income with advertising and marketing
Among the many essential monetary methods utilized by Abboud, placing about 70 p.c of the gross sales revenue was an essential factor that he realized early on. He thought that, even in case you have a superb product, prospects will solely concentrate on it in the event that they find out about it within the first place.
Subsequently, for Abboud, bridging the hole of brand name consciousness out there is essential. “I exploit a long-term funding methodology, which is why I’ve invested a lot of the cash I’ve invested in promoting in my firm, in creating abilities, and in constructing a group,” he stated.
We launched the web site in August 2020, we processed three orders within the first month, adopted by 15 within the second and, two years on, we’re processing over a thousand orders each month.
– Elias Abboud
Lesson #2: Monitor buyer wants, modify accordingly
He highlighted one in every of his newest challenges after launching an e-commerce mannequin. “The primary batch of merchandise had three sizes. Nevertheless, after receiving early buyer suggestions, we realized that our merchandise didn’t have the sizes that had been in excessive demand within the GCC market.”
“We did not waste time and we elevated the full variety of merchandise to eight. This course of was troublesome and a monetary problem, however we ended up assembly the expectations of consumers and being pushed by objective.”
Lesson #3: Cut back spending by shopping for provides in bulk
“I am at all times searching for aggressive value factors and market circumstances that permit me to barter higher costs with suppliers and logistics companions, however I’ve realized it is essential to chop prices by shopping for uncooked supplies in bulk.”
When requested if he makes use of some other financial savings methods in the case of his enterprise and private funds, Abboud revealed how he divides his and the corporate’s wage into a number of classes.
“As a rule of thumb, I put aside about 10 p.c of my month-to-month wage as a reserve. In terms of enterprise revenue, about 60 p.c goes to advertising and marketing, 30 p.c to salaries, and the remaining 10 p.c to different issues.”