Doctorpreneur to Techpreneur: The Enriching journey of Dr Shanith Mangalat

 

Beginning with a dream to revolutionise multiple sectors, this serial entrepreneur continues to shine through his numerous ventures

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Published: Fri 17 Mar 2023, 1:12 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 Mar 2023, 4:54 PM

“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” — Nolan Bushnell

If there was a stellar example of transforming dreams into reality, it would be Dr Shanith Mangalat. A man of many dreams, immense action and an array of successful ventures. This is his story, carving out his journey.


Dr Shanith carries many labels with him; entrepreneur, doctor, businessman, visionary and more. The chairman and CEO of hnc Healthcare Group, founder and chairman of Ourshopee.com, founder and chairman of Ruky Perfumes, and chairman of DSR Holdings, he carries all these roles and responsibilities with utmost zeal and passion. Along with these titles, Dr Shanith is a promoter of 20 operating companies with an aggregate annual revenue of over $100 million.

His dreams of starting various ventures struck him when he was working as a doctor in Dubai, but let’s go to the beginning, shall we?


Dr Shanith described how the entrepreneurship bug bit him during his postgraduate degree in family medicine at Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad. While working on an e-health project and receiving extensive training, he realised that there was immense potential for the merging of technology and healthcare in the near future.

“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 said.

His entrepreneurship journey began with a company known as Telelink, a venture he co-founded with a group of friends. As budding medical practitioners, Dr Shanith and his friends found great success in their first venture — learning many important lessons that would accompany them throughout their lives. A few years post the success of Telelink, Dr Shanith decided to sell the company, and begin a new chapter in his life. A chapter that would combine his passion to do something new with his profession of saving lives.

OurShopee headquarters in Dubai.
OurShopee headquarters in Dubai.

Tryst with hnc Healthcare Group

Dr Shanith is no stranger to the healthcare sector, In fact, his family in Kerela already owned a prominent hospital, which gave rise to his passion for healthcare. His newest venture in the healthcare sector began with rebranding the hospital under a new banner – hnc Health Group.

Along with the new banner, Dr Shanith focused on making healthcare services more advanced and accessible. His efforts bore fruit as hnc Healthcare Group expanded to three state-of-the-art hospitals and 11 clinics by 2017. And that is not all. While the hospitals are primarily located in Kannur and Kasaragod, seven of the 11 clinics are located in the UAE.

As hnc Healthcare Group continued to grow, Dr Shanith drove his focus to a new pasture, a new venture.

Conceptualising and launching Ourshopee.com

Dubai was a turning point for Dr Shanith, who underwent an attitude transformation that prepared him for the journey ahead. His new mantra was, ‘You don’t hire skills, you hire attitude. Skills can be taught’. This mantra is something he firmly believes in and practices to date.

At that time, the thought of a medical practitioner entering the field of e-commerce was uncommon and very surprising for some people. But nothing deterred Dr Shanith, as he conceptualised Ourshopee.com intending to revolutionise the retail sector in the GCC. He knew his roots, but also had the desire to explore new avenues — which is precisely what he accomplished.

Ourshopee.com was born in 2015, as a one-stop-shop for a variety of products. Dr Shanith focused on making e-commerce an experience for customers, rather than just an alternative to physical shopping. He had capitalised on a booming opportunity.

“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. Furthermore, the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic stimulated the e-commerce sector and people realised its value,” he explained.

As the e-commerce sector continues to grow and thrive, so does Ourshopee.com. The brand has expanded to other countries including Oman, Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. It employs around 250 professionals who share Dr Shanith’s vision. The company will be welcoming 1000 more employees as part of the expansion plans for the next few years.

Ourshopee.com’s growth was recognised at the Asian Arab Awards 2019, where the brand was touted as one of the fastest-growing e-commerce companies in the Middle East. Currently, it also presides among the ‘big10’ — the most valuable online shopping portals in the GCC region.

Saudi OurShopee.com logo release by Essam Lootah, managing director of Emtiyz at BIBAN 2023 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Saudi OurShopee.com logo release by Essam Lootah, managing director of Emtiyz at BIBAN 2023 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Ourshopee.com and its pharmacy launch

The most recent addition to the Ourshopee.com family is the launch of its new online pharmacy, aimed to provide an accessible and convenient platform for customers to access medication. This step is a collaboration between the platform and Z Neem Pharmacy.

Dr Shanith describes this launch as a safe, efficient and user-friendly platform for patients who wish to access medicines and healthcare products from the comfort of their own homes. With the pandemic scare just decreasing, it is understandable that many people wish to utilise technology for their daily requirements.

Dr Shanith said: “As a doctor, it’s one of my dream projects, to launch an online pharmacy. Through this new platform, we ensure the instant availability of medicines to everyone at any time.”

The pharmacy currently provides its services in Dubai, Sharjah, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain. The second phase of the operation will result in the services extending to Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain. The third phase will help the pharmacy reach Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain.

MD Subair N, managing director at Z Neem Healthcare Group had this to say about the new venture: “This potential partnership will help to purchase all our pharma products from anywhere in the UAE effortlessly with quick delivery.”

Binu Thomas, managing director at Tawaseelah Delivery Services, added: “To reach a customer within an hour of the order being received, Ourshopee.com partnered with Tawseelah with an operating fleet of 200 bikes. It will soon expand to a 1,000 fleet to cover every part of the UAE, aiming to become the quickest pharma delivery service in the UAE.”

Receiving best young indian visionary award 2017 in Dubai.
Receiving best young indian visionary award 2017 in Dubai.

Headquartered in Dubai

As his ventures and companies continue to grow and transcend geographical borders, Dr Shanith was asked about his favourite city to do business in. To him, Dubai will always be the preferred destination for his business headquarters. He considers Dubai the gateway to the world, with easy access to countries in the northern African region. Moreover, like many expatriates, he has a deep sense of attachment to the UAE.

In his 13 years as an expatriate in the UAE, he spoke of how the development around him occurred rapidly. He strongly feels that the growth within himself as an entrepreneur is attributed to the atmosphere and enthusiasm for growth in the UAE.

“Whenever we start a new business, we get correct guidelines, and once started, it will not shut if everything is legal,” he added, stating how the law of the land places strong protection laws for both employers and employees.

Other than being his business headquarters, Dubai will always hold a piece of home for Dr Shanith.

Expansion in the Saudi Region

As Saudi Arabia continues opening up to the world and offering myriad opportunities, Dr Shanith commented on the sheer potential of the region.

He talked about the BIBAN 2023 conclave organised by the Saudi Arabian government, saying: “We are immensely proud to expand our geographical footprint to include the key market of Saudi Arabia. Our goal is to provide a world-class, online shopping experience and services to customers across the MENA region and beyond, and this expansion brings us one step closer to that ambition.”

Biban, Saudi Arabia’s largest startup, SME and entrepreneurship conference, took place at the Riyadh Front Exhibition and Conference Center. This year saw international guests from high-value networks and collaborations between government authorities, entrepreneurs and investors from the Saudi Kingdom and beyond. Along with that, the forum provided access to growing markets such as e-commerce, fintech, and F&B, along with many others.

Currently, Saudi Arabia is the 27th largest market for e-commerce, with a predicted revenue of $11,977.7 million by the end of 2023 — placing it ahead of the UAE. The revenue is expected to show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 13.9 per cent, resulting in a projected market volume of $20,155.8 million by 2027.

As a key player in the global startup market, Saudi Arabia has also been reported to be the second-best economy in the world, by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2022 National Entrepreneurship Context Index. This reflects Saudi’s rapidly-advancing startup ecosystem and a wealth of business opportunities for local and international entrepreneurs.

“This victorious journey is proof that if you have a vision then you can achieve any mission. Focusing further to make Ourshopee.com a global e-commerce company, we are proudly announcing future expansions. We are expanding our business to Saudi and Egypt, with an investment of Dh120 million, covering 100 million customers,” added Dr Shanith.

Future Footprint

When asked about other expansions amongst his many businesses, Dr Shanith shared: “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.” For Dr Shanith, the future consists of new opportunities, new avenues, growth, learning, and enriching experiences, all while keeping the satisfaction of his customers at the core of it all.

— ali@khaleejtimes.com


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