Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: UAE expat uses pandemic job loss to give wings to his business dream

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on April 11, 2021
Supplied photo

Paws on Grass delivers fresh grass to subscribers’ doorsteps once in two weeks.

When Pakistani expatriate Bilal Warsi lost his job due to the coronavirus crisis last year, he had two options - brood over the loss or turn adversity into opportunity.

He chose the latter and ‘Paws on Grass’ (POG), was that dream come true where customers can subscribe for patches of fresh, environmentally-friendly grass where pets can ‘do their business’.

“Finding a patch of grass for a pet in the ever-evolving super-city of Dubai is a huge challenge for pet parents. Add to that Covid-19 regulations, and finding a spot where pets could have their bathroom breaks had become a real challenge for owners,” explained Warsi, who has a background in digital marketing.

“With so many residents living in high rise buildings having their own patch of grass makes sense both for pets and the surrounding environment,” said the UAE resident for six years.

The idea for POG came from his sister’s dogs Luna and Pixel. “She [sister] was finding it hard to find a place for them to do their business and began using artificial grass and ‘pee pads’ which left behind a very bad odour,” said Warsi who started researching the right kind of grass for this purpose and areas that would most benefit from them.

“Most of the grass sold in Dubai comes from Al Warsan where suppliers from Al Ain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, and Sharjah come to display the grass,” he explained.

Once he figured out the type of grass that works best and is fully biodegradable, Warsi began packaging them in boxes that customers can replace in two weeks.

“We use neem oil in the grass which is pet friendly. We suggest that our users change the grass at least once in two weeks,” he said.

According to Warsi, there is no installation required and the service is subscription-based. “We have a one to three working days delivery service. Pet owners can take the box in two weeks, fold it, and throw it down their garbage chutes.”

Warsi said though their current product range is more suitable for smaller dogs under 10 kg, they are looking at patches for larger dogs. “Over 75 per cent of our customers have small to mid-sized dogs. We are working on a solution for the larger dogs,” he explained.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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