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Healthy, wholesome food is a click away
The official launch of Organic & Real in the UAE is scheduled around October 2018.

dubai - Organic & Real.Com is a marketplace for certified organic, natural, vegan and gluten-free products


Sandhya D'Mello

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Published: Mon 23 Jul 2018, 7:58 PM

Last updated: Tue 24 Jul 2018, 12:03 AM

Manu Mahdi is all set to create a healthy organic world through his startup venture Organic & What stemmed from a necessity has turned into a venture that promotes healthy living as a mantra. Organic & Real.Com is one of the largest online marketplaces for certified organic, natural, vegan, gluten-free and free-from range of products, with more than 1,000 items listed across multiple categories. The startup works directly with farmers and certified organic brands to stock fresh and healthy eating options under one roof.

"We started our operations in April 2018, studying the market and upgrading our technology to make buying from Organic & Real an incredible online buying experience. Like any startup, the initial funding has been personal. I want to go for private equity or venture funding for my first overseas expansion to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and one state in India by mid-2019. I decided to strictly maintain an online store policy to scale up my business to 20 countries in the next five years, with India and Asia as a main focus," said the CEO and founder of Organic &

"By 2020, we plan to expand to the rest of the GCC and more states in India. We have been in touch with potential investors and have been appraising them about the growth and progress to ensure that we are on the right track for a large expansion with solid fundamentals and a foundation built in the UAE."

The official launch of Organic & Real in the UAE is scheduled around October 2018, with activities planned to reach out to people and educate them about the benefits of consuming organically produced food. So far, the firm has raised Dh2.75 million as seed funding for two years. The expansion in Saudi Arabia next year is estimated at Dh15 million, which will be raised in 2019.

"We will be adding more certified organic, vegan, gluten-free and free-from range - not certified as organic but produced with no nasties added to it - from all over the world and will be giving the widest healthier choices of food items to everyone. Our campaigns, be it digital activations or brand activations, will focus on creating awareness and educating consumers to switch to healthy eating habits and lifestyle," added Mahdi.

The second half of this year will see Organic & Real.Com kickstart a community - The Tribe - with the purpose of bringing together like-minded people from all walks of life, sharing their life journeys and experiences to support, motivate and inspire more people to switch to a healthier lifestyle and eating habits.

Mahdi's quest to help people make better food choices has been instrumental in the formation of Organic & Prior to O&R, Manu had a successful corporate stint spanning 16 years. A consumer electronics professional, he has worked with corporate giants, including Samsung, Sanyo and Sharp at a senior management level, and then moved to the professional AV industry, before finally taking over the reins of Al Rashidiyah Pvt Polyclinic, a leading medical centre providing healthcare since 1988 and owned by his family.

Mahdi observed that the UAE's startup ecosystem has been developing fast and supporting new initiatives to start, develop and sustain a successful corporate. E-commerce and food and beverage are two key focus areas for venture capitalists and investors. Initiatives such as the incubator licence offering 100 per cent ownership for novel ideas by entrepreneurs; competitions for startups with a financial reward for new ideas; conferences and events promoting a startup mindset and allowing potential investors to identify smart minds and great ideas; and incubation centres where a startup can establish at very minimal initial cost; have all transformed the UAE to a hub promoting new ideas and supporting startups.

Sajith Ansar, CEO of Idea Spice Design and winner of Forbes Top Indian Leaders Award, is Mahdi's mentor in his venture. Ansar said: "The future is only for those who are genuinely trying to make a difference in the world and I believe that Organic & Real has the potential to become one such organisation in the near future. The company's vision was clear to make an investment on healthy food early rather on poor health later. Organic & Real was born with this ideology, to spread the awareness of good food organically produced and I'm glad to be a part of this venture." -

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