Faisal Salem Bin Haider at his office in Dubai. He started the online grocery project five years back and launched the app in May 2017. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Despite competition heating up in the online grocery sector, Dukkaani aims to do the same thing but in a much smarter way.

There are established offline players apart from the e-commerce sites and start-ups, which are flourishing in the UAE.

Faisal Bin Haider, founder and CEO of Dukkaani, said he realised that there are excellent ideas in the market, but not up to the professional level.

“Most of the applications till today are not native applications that provide fast and optimised performance that takes advantage of the latest technology. Most of the apps provide about six items to compare but Dukkaani provides 20 items for shoppers to compare. I did not copy what is available in the market and have added more professional and value-added features to the app,” he said.

Dh1m

Amount invested in Dukkaani

Even though people’s lifestyles have become better and easier, he said that grocery shopping has remained traditional.

“Today’s supermarkets are an air-conditioned warehouse. About 80 per cent of our weekly orders are the same and for that, shoppers don’t need to go to the supermarket and waste their time. They will still go to the supermarket but to enjoy and for selecting something different,” he said.

He started the online grocery project five years back and launched the app in May 2017.

The platform is ready for multi-vendors and multi-currencies.

“My intention was not to travel in the red ocean strategy but in the blue ocean strategy,” he said.

Faisal Salem Bin Haider, CEO & Founder, Dukkaani Smart Shopping, poses for the picture at his office in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Red ocean strategy means all the industries in existence today while the blue ocean strategy means a method of creating a new business strategy by creating new demand in a non-competitive market.

Dukkani works with Union Coop, Aswaaq and Fresh ‘n as suppliers and it is in talks with other big hypermarket chains. It has 9,000 customers as of now and 40,000 products.

When Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO, started Amazon Go, Haider said that it met the requirements of the western people, but he did not know what the Mena people wanted and their culture.

$500000

Amount to be raised on Eureeca crowdfunding platform

However, he said that hypermarkets will be a permanent place for brands to present their products in a bid to convince the customers to change their preference of products.

Dukkaani aims to make use of artificial intelligence in its second phase of operations to track consumers’ shopping behaviours and they [shoppers] will receive an interactive graphical dashboard with the data collected and their purchasing patterns.

“The app will record all purchase history and customers can re-order the purchase with just a click. After scanning the receipts of two or three purchases orders, I will be able to build a pattern of a shopper’s buying and consumer behaviour and remind them when it is time to reorder,” he said.

Haider’s third phase of expansion is to have an automated fulfilment centre equipped with robots collecting and handling customers’ orders.

Haider is in a move to raise cash and is on Eureeca crowdfunding platform by selling equity.

“I am raising $500,000 (Dh1.84 million) by selling 15 per cent equity stake. The proceedings will be used to expand beyond Dubai and in Saudi Arabia. I expect the fund to be in my bank account in April 2019,” he said.

Haider has invested Dh1 million into Dukkaani.

Profile

Faisal Salem Bin Haider, CEO & Founder, Dukkaani Smart Shopping, poses for the picture at his office in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai born and bred Faisal Bin Haider, who graduated in Computer Science from Al Ain University in 1990, went to the US to continue his Master’s Degree in 1995 but did not complete it. He came back to Dubai and joined Al Bayan newspaper as IT Manager.

When Dubai Internet City started, Haider sent a proposal to Ahmad Bin Byat, former Executive Chairman of Tecom Investments, to do an e-commerce platform for the grocery sector, but the market was not ready for online grocery at that time.

Haider continued his work during that time in IT and was promoted as CEO of Masar Printing and Publishing, which prints Al Bayan Newspaper, Emirates Business 24/7 and Emarat Al Youm, in 2006.

In 2009, Tawseel Distribution and Logistics were also added to Haider’s portfolio.

He is also an Executive Board member in DCCI Printing and Publishing Group and a member in the Mohammad Bin Rashid Programme for Leadership Programme.