We had a chance to interview Mona Ataya she is the CEO and founder of Mumzworld.
Q.Tell us about yourself. (Education, background, experience etc)
Ans. I started my career at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati at age 20 after graduating with a dual honors degree in marketing and finance. I later moved back to the Middle East region working with another FMCG giant, Johnson and Johnson MENA followed by Johnson and Johnson Europe managing a broad portfolio of leading global brands.
My first entrepreneurial venture in the Middle East region was Bayt.com – the Middle East’s pioneering and today largest jobs marketplace. This venture had and continues to have a huge social impact by connecting millions of job seekers and employers faster, easier and more effectively than ever. We started Mumzworld with the hope we would also have a positive impact – by empowering mothers to do the best they can for this next generation, be well informed and confident in the purchasing decisions for their children. Our vision is to help make a mother’s life easier by giving her access to the single largest compendium of products all under one roof at the best everyday low prices delivered to her quickly and seamlessly while also giving her comprehensive content in Arabic and English to make informed risk free purchase decisions for herself and her family. As a mother of three myself I am driven by a relentless desire to give my children the best always and I know every parent out there feels the same.
Q. Tell us about Mumzworld?
Ans. Mumzworld is the first and largest online shopping website in the Middle East for everything mother, baby and child. As a virtual shopping space founded by mums, for mums, we like to consider ourselves a friend for mothers in the region; providing busy mothers with access to an unrivalled range of amazing products, a speedy delivery service, and more importantly, access to an online and offline community of likeminded mothers.
Our product range spans everything from a mothers mandatory requirements to niche finds and global award winners and best sellers not found anywhere in the region. We offer 120,000 products sources globally, with 20,000 of these products found exclusively on Mumzworld.
Driven by our desire to empower women to make the best decisions for their children, we recognise the importance of offering mothers both quality and value for money, as well as a streamlined shopping experience. Offering reliability, product reviews and comprehensive information, Mumzworld ensures efficient use of a mother’s precious time whether in the comfort of their own home, or on the go.
Q. What made you to choose this kind of business?
Ans. Leena and I are both seasoned entrepreneurs driven by one desire and that is to help grow the regional ecosystem and create brands that add consumer value to the Middle East market. Collectively, we have launched multiple leading businesses over the years. After becoming a mother I soon realized that there was no one-stop shop in the UAE where mothers could quickly and conveniently compare and purchase quality products for their children. As a mother, I did not feel empowered with choice and I was unsure of the right purchase decisions for my children. I had endless questions about what to buy, where to buy, how much to pay and who could help me. I spent a lot of time online researching which products were safe, what to read to my children and how to raise smart, contributing and happy kids. Once you educate yourself about what you should buy, the next question is where to find it.
And so we founded Mumzworld with the clear vision of it being more than just an online shopping outlet. Offering product information, tailored content, and reviews helping buyers make informed decisions, discuss and share experiences of parenthood and child rearing, we have built an extensive community of mothers over the past five years with hundreds of thousands of mothers coming to us daily from across the GCC and internationally for their buying needs.
Q. What motivates you in moving forward?
Ans. I have always been motivated by projects that I believe can have an important social impact.
Q. How you define entrepreneurship?
Ans. Entrepreneurship is a 24-hour job, 365 days a year. Alongside motherhood, it is the toughest job out there because you face rejection, disappointment and exhaustion on a daily basis. It’s not an easy life, and it’s certainly not for everyone.
As an entrepreneur, you’re driven by a vision and passion to create something important and worthy of the personal sacrifice that the entrepreneurial life demands. You have to push yourself, show self-discipline and dig deep to keep going until you catch a break. It can be hard to maintain positivity and keep the faith, until you see that glimmer of hope and remember why you started doing what you’re doing in the first place. Then you’re renewed with a fresh sense of purpose to start all over again, do better and go further.
Q. Tell us about your hobbies?
Ans. I enjoy playing piano in my spare time, reading and horse riding that I recently returned to.
Q. How do you define success?
Ans. Success to me, is creating value and positive social impact. Our greatest challenge with Mumzworld was pioneering a business when the e-commerce ecosystem was still very underdeveloped. In order to deliver a superior online experience we are dependent on a sophisticated ecosystem of fast and reliable couriers, payment gateways that work, suppliers that have enough stock etc. That unfortunately is a work in progress. We learnt quickly that to deliver the level of excellence we expect of ourselves and our customers we had to build exceptional and proprietary partnerships that would allow us to set and manage these high standards. It has not been easy and we are not even close to the level of service we expect of ourselves and for our customers. Nonthelesss, our very high loyalty with today more than 55% of our customer coming back to buy again and again and being recognized as the go to destination for mothers shopping, suggests that we have done things right. Again, we will continue pushing the boundaries to achieve the ultimate consumer experience. That is ultimate success – listening to your customer and understanding exactly what she needs and when she needs it and delivering it with uncompromised obsessive excellence every single time. The result – is a business with intrinsic value and long standing positive social impact.
Q. One piece of advice that you would like to give to young entrepreneurs or startups?
Ans. It is crucial for entrepreneurs to be very clear about their reasons behind getting into this field. You need to be 100% sure of why you are doing what you are doing. If your vision is compelling and important enough to you, then just keep on going. Be focused, be creative, surround yourself with winners, and you will get to where you need to be eventually.
Q. Where you see yourself and your startup in 10 years?
Ans. We are building the largest online community of mothers in the region to support each other, guide each other and learn from each us. We have a lot of very exciting initiatives in the pipeline for this year to make the experience on Mumzworld unparalleled for all mothers – all of which have the consumer at the forefront. We are aggressively expanding to new markets through affiliations and on the ground presence, and are constantly refining our services to make life easier for busy mums. We are about to launch a tailored Mumzworld shopping platform for our loyal and growing consumer base in KSA, which is the first step towards localisation for our key markets.
Q. What you would like to say about 100Tech.co ?
Ans. Tech blogs are important for startups and entrepreneurs, especially in the fast paced e-commerce sector. Technology is at the core of our offering and we work hard to perfect our customer offering and stay at the forefront of the industry, so we appreciate your support and the fact you took the time to speak with us today!
In the end we would like to say thanks to Mona for giving us her precious time and also wish good luck to Mumzworld.