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We had the pleasure of sitting down with the inspirational Mompreneur behind one of Dubai’s business stars, mrUsta, Dunia Othman.
Mompreneurs ME: Tell us about your company
Dunia: mrUsta is an open, online marketplace that allows customers to find quality service providers (‘Ustas’). Customers deal directly with the Ustas with no middlemen and free of charge and receive offers from multiple Ustas based on their requirements. Customers simply choose the preferred offer to complete their job, and rate the Ustas on the platform based on their performance. The service is web-based, but for a more immersive experience, we recommend that customers download our app, which is available for both Android and iOS phones.
Mompreneurs ME: How did the idea of starting it come about and who inspired you?
Dunia: mrUsta was conceptualized a few years back when our air conditioner broke down in the middle of the UAE’s sweltering summer. After countless phone calls that yielded no results and what seemed like hundreds of broken promises, we came to the realization that there was a need to connect customers in need directly with service providers in a convenient manner. When we asked others friends they all shared similar stories. This is where the platform was first started.
Mompreneurs ME: What is the best part of what you do and the toughest?
Dunia: The best part is seeing the impact on people, really helping the customers get their service requirements met. So when a customer thanks us for the platform and wishes us the best and tells all their friends about us.
The toughest part is to keep pushing forward even when most things aren’t going your way. And we saw a lot of that in the initial phases of the business. The first 1-2 years feels like you are going uphill with a heavy weight while everyone else is trying to pull you down.
Mompreneurs ME: How many kids do you have and how old are they?
Dunia: 1 child – she is 8 months old
Mompreneurs ME: How do you juggle work and life balance?
Dunia: I try to be as organized as possible and I set up a strong support system.
Mompreneurs ME: What’s a book you always recommend and why?
Dunia: “Art of War” by Sun Tzu
Setting up a strategy with many unknown elements is the life of a startup and this is where I found this book useful.
Mompreneurs ME: What advice would you give a Mompreneur who was just starting out?
Dunia: I would actually advise them to be 100% sure before they start. This journey is tough, long and lonely and if you are not in it for the right reasons you will want to give up. You need to be prepared for hard work and perseverance.
Mompreneurs ME: Your favorite quote is…
Dunia: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Einstein