Abdul Rahman Abid
Meddy, the Qatar-based online medical appointment booking platform, recently made headlines with raising nearly $2.5 million (equivalent to about QR9 million) in a Series A funding venture. What started off as a simple class project in university seems to be turned into a major entrepreneurial success.
One of the crucial players in this transformation has been Abed Alkarim Khattab, Meddy’s Chief Operating Officer (COO), and according to Khattab, it has been quite a journey. He said that the drive, passion and belief that one exhibits while working on an entrepreneurial project is what made the journey exciting for him. That is why he said he chose to focus on Entrepreneurship as part of his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree. “I wanted to have a company that I would be proud to say about ‘I worked on this and the team worked on this,’” Khattab said.
Khattab and his colleagues refer to their brainchild as the ‘Talabat of doctors,’ a platform that people can use to find all the information they desire about doctors before choosing one to visit. Currently, Meddy has partnered with over 2,000 doctors from over 250 private clinics. This network, however, is bound to expand after the company’s exceptional performance at the Series A funding, according to Khattab. Meddy will add new faces to its team as it plans on “launching a lot of new products soon,” Khattab said. Among the new features is a blog called ‘Hakeem’ that is focused on telling the readers how they can best make use of Meddy’s services, he added. “A lot of exciting things are coming, for sure!” Khattab said.
Meddy’s success story is not free of ups and downs, of course. For Khattab, the things that one takes for granted the most when establishing a business are the ones that pose the biggest challenge later on. Reluctantly speaking about Meddy’s own struggles as a start-up, Khattab used an analogy to say that new businesses often do not invest enough on customer service training. In a restaurant, he said, for example, money is spent on how the menu looks like and how the food tastes like, but rarely do restaurants think about investing on waiters, the first, and sometimes the only, points of contact between the restaurant and the customers. He said, “The ones that you think are probably the easiest to deal with…turn out to be the hardest ones to deal with, I am pretty sure of that,” Khattab said.
Khattab’s advice to up-and-coming entrepreneurs is simple, to leave no stone unturned when doing the market research for your product category. “Ensure that there is a need for your product, for your service, then absolutely, that’s the way to go,” he added. Khattab said that he does not believe that big time entrepreneurial decisions should be based upon hunches, instead, thorough market research and analysis is the way to go. “Read a book on Unit Economics when starting a business,” Khattab said, “that’s one advice I’d give to budding entrepreneurs. I just wish someone had given us that advice when we were starting,” he added.
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