Part of our “Better Together” Photo Story series, featured in the February 2017 issue of Inc. Arabia. Insider stories from sibling and spouse pairs in the MENA Region that co-run companies; and the good and bad that comes with running a family business.
Fahad and Bader Al Kalooti – Dubai, UAE-based Siblings
Originally known as Laundrybox when it launched in 2013, Mybox is an automated locker management system located in buildings all across Dubai. It assists users with daily chores. All they need to do is drop off items in these lockers and select the kind of services they would like, such as laundry, shoe repairing, etc. without having to travel or speak to anyone. Mybox recently expanded to Qatar.
FAHAD: Bader and I are both ex-bankers. With our previous jobs, we were always on the go. So, our parents were slightly hesitant when we told them about starting a laundry company! Later on, though, our family and friends were extremely supportive, and we were able to raise about $1.2 million in a first round from them. We both quit our jobs and spent about a year and a half on R&D for Laundrybox.
We think alike, which means that when we brainstorm together, we come up with great ideas. It is only normal to have an element of competition between siblings, but we both know when to put our egos aside.
As a clear distinction, Bader is the CEO of the company. He is also seven years older, which means that he brings more experience to the table. I look up to him not just as a friend, but also as a mentor. I handle the operational aspect of the business, whereas Bader’s job is more to liaise with investors and manage the fundraising.
The evolution from Laundrybox to Mybox was natural. We listened to our customers, and we knew we had this efficient automated locker system that could be leveraged to provide additional services such as tailoring, shoe repairing, etc. In the coming years, we see Mybox going global and expanding into cities like London, New York, and Singapore.
Photograph by: Anna Nielsen