Building An E-com Empire

Dr. Shanith Mangalat, Founder, DRS Holdings,, hnc healthcare group and Ruky Perfumes, credits the positive and welcoming ecosystem of the UAE in helping Indians like himself

Published: Thu 26 Jan 2023, 10:19 AM

A medical doctor who dreamed to be an entrepreneur and successfully established multiples enterprises. That is the story of Dr. Shanith Mangalat, Founder, DRS Holdings, hnc healthcare group, Ourshopee and Ruky Perfumes. While working as a doctor in Dubai, he always had big dreams, ranging from healthcare to e-commerce to perfumes. It all began with a technology company, Telelink, which he started with a few friends while pursuing his career as a medical practitioner. Though it was a roaring success, he and the partners decided to sell it off, and Dr. Mangalat invested his entire portfolio in healthcare. His family already had a hospital in Kerala, and they rebranded it under the new venture, hnc healthcare group, which proved to be a great success. By 2017, the group had three hospitals and 11 clinics. While the hospitals are mainly in Kannur and Kasaragod, seven clinics are in the UAE and the remaining in Kerala.

Call of e-commerce

Dr. Mangalat got attracted to entrepreneurship while pursuing his post-graduate degree in Family Medicine from Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad. He was associated with their e-health project and got trained in IT-related health. “After I learned IT, I had the feeling that e-commerce will control the world in the future, and that was the stepping stone for my entry into the e-commerce platform, Ourshopee,” he says.

However, he started it only after reaching Dubai, where he cultivated a new attitude. “You don’t hire skills, you hire attitude; you can teach skills,” says the entrepreneur doctor, who has made it a habit to regularly update himself.

There is nothing strange about a medical doctor becoming a healthcare entrepreneur, but entering a new area like e-commerce is something unusual. However, in the case of Dr. Mangalat, it was a well-thought-out decision. When he launched Ourshopee, e-commerce was something new in the GCC. But he knew it would soon be the driving force behind the retail sector.

“In e-commerce, the requirement is very high, because it is a 2.2 trillion-dollar market. Out of that, the MENA region alone is an 8.6 billion-dollar market, which requires many players. Furthermore, the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic stimulated the e-commerce sector and people realised its value,” he says.

The venture started in 2015, and expanded to other countries including Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the next four years and the next would be Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania and other countries. It employs around 250 enthusiastic and experienced professionals in different locations and Dr. Mangalat is expecting 1,000 more people join the company in the next couple of years as part of the expansion plans.

Receiving Best Young Indian Visionary award 2017 by IPA.
Receiving Best Young Indian Visionary award 2017 by IPA.

Global Plan as Dubai as HQ

While Dr. Mangalat has businesses in many cities, however, he prefers to retain Dubai as his business headquarters, which is the gateway to the world and it is quite easy to access places like North Africa from here. Moreover, like any expatriate, he also has a deep attachment towards the UAE.

In his 13 years as an expatriate, the UAE National Day is a great day like August 15 for Indians, says Dr. Mangalat, who has been part of the celebration ever since he reached here. “This is our second mother country and we feel deeply attached to it,” he says, adding that the development here is very fast. He strongly feels that the growth he made as an entrepreneur in the UAE would not have happened at that pace if he were in India. “Whenever we start a new business, we get correct guidelines, and once started, it will not shut if everything is legal,” he says praising the law of the land and the protection laws that are strong for employer and employees.

Future Expansion

On the topic of expanding the business, Dr. Mangalat said that Ourshopee has expanded not only in the Middle East and North Africa region. He said: "We are aiming for the Indian market too by 2025. Our mission is to provide more job opportunities to the top talents of the motherland through this expansion."

He went on to say that the first and most important elements in nation-building are knowledge, literacy, and access to education. "Education, being the spine of every nation is also the key to empowerment. By providing world-class education to our children in India, will definitely bring world-class infrastructure to our nation. Wishing a very happy Republic Day to everyone," he concluded.

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