As with the nature of our business model, traceability and transparency is of utmost importance to us, both in operations for customers buying on the platform (We’ll get to that in the next post) and also in how we run our company internally. It’s because of this ethos that we want our first post to be an introduction — Who the founding team are and how we all came together.
It’s a great story unlike that of the typical startup formation (I admit, I may be biased there though).
Both Ramie and I were at school together in Dubai College — Even when I left in my late teens (bound for the UK, France, and the Americas), we kept in contact regularly as both of us pursued entrepreneurial ventures post-education. Ramie originally founded a successful digital rendering company in Dubai with clients including Emaar for their real estate developments, but found himself drawn to the ocean and in the unlikely direction of starting the region’s only and highly successful Oyster farm, ‘Dibba Bay Oysters’. Now known colloquially in the market as Mr. Oysters, Ramie’s produce can be found throughout Dubai.
Through Dibba Bay, and his network within the industry, he learned of the market opportunities which an e-commerce platform and transparent supply chain model could solve. He began discussing these opportunities with me a few years ago.
My background is tech. I was involved in starting a company called Loyyal where I worked at C-suite level for the duration of my time there — Loyyal continues to be a very successful blockchain infrastructure company focused on the loyalty and rewards industry. I also co-founded Sox in a Box, an e-commerce subscription platform. Most recently, I have been acting Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the Dubai Future Accelerators as well as Blockchain Mentor for H-Farm (Europe’s largest tech accelerator). I relocated full time to Dubai at the start of 2018, so Ramie and I decided that the timing was right!
We met Fahim through mutual friends and we’ve been in similar circles since we were young. In fact, our earliest traceable overlap (and my favorite part of this whole post), is through a music teacher, who at one point or other taught all three of us (at different schools). She recently brought to our attention something even Fahim had forgotten (supposedly) — while at school, in a version of the musical ‘Cats’, Fahim was asked to create a character that was true to himself. Unbeknownst to what he would now be focusing his efforts on as an adult, he decided on “Fishercat’, whose life’s mission was to unite all the fisherman in the region to get better fish! You can imagine the reaction from all of us when we heard the story (I’m still suspicious of how surprised Fahim was about remembering the event, while at the same time, how quickly he managed to find the musical brochure).
Fahim, as his full name hints (Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan al Qasimi) is a born and raised Emirati. He comes from a corporate governance and digitization background with a corporate governance advisory firm under his belt and is the Executive Chairman for Government Relations for the Government of Sharjah, UAE.
As you can tell from our description above, we all come from pretty different backgrounds which provides for relatively little to no overlap in skill set and focus, and our history together means there is a lot of trust in each others capabilities. It makes for a really exciting business dynamic and one that we are excited to grow with and share with new team members and our partners.
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