Star Tech: How this young entrepreneur found his niche start-up during Covid-19

Abin Jacob Mathew's company aims to become the largest mechatronic technology provider in the region by 2024, amid its stunning growth since


Mazhar Farooqui

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Does transformation depend on technology or people?
Does transformation depend on technology or people?

Published: Thu 18 Nov 2021, 10:39 PM

Like many youngsters, Abin Jacob Mathew came to Dubai on a visit visa with stars in his eyes.

The year was 2016. Mathew, then 23, had a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics.

Initially, he had worked briefly as a robotics tutor and later as research and development engineer in his hometown Bengaluru, India.

Greener pastures awaited him in the city of dreams.

“It was my first overseas trip. I stayed with my cousin in Sharjah and would travel to Dubai daily with copies of my resume, which I would drop off to prospective employers. I used to cover anywhere between 20 and 25 offices in a day, often walking for hours under a scorching sun,” Mathew recalled.

The effort paid off.

After two months, he found what he was looking for — a job as a mechatronics engineer at an event technology solutions company in Dubai.

For the uninitiated, mechatronics is an interdisciplinary engineering field that combines principles from mechanics, electronics, computer engineering, robotics and automatic control.

Mathew rose through the ranks and was promoted as technology project manager within six months.

Soon, he was executing mega projects across the region. But when the Covid-19 hit the world and shuttered businesses, Mathew decided to launch his own start-up.

“The pandemic changed the technology sector. Suddenly, businesses were looking to automate and optimise processes and develop intelligent solutions using mechatronics. There couldn’t have been a better time to launch my venture Magna Innovations,” he said.

“Thankfully, I stumbled upon In5, an enabling platform for entrepreneurs and start-ups that fosters innovation and helps new ideas reach the marketplace. They liked my idea and guided me through the process of opening a company, besides giving a massive fee subsidy,” said Mathew, who is now the chief executive officer (CEO) of Magna Innovations.

The trust reposed in the start-up, headquartered at In5 Design at Dubai Design District, was not misplaced.

Barely two years old, the company has now emerged as a one-stop shop for end-to-end solutions to interactive mechatronic products in the region.

Their clients include both government organisations and corporate houses.

“We bring innovation to people. Today’s advertising and marketing industries have two types of engagement needs — people to product and people to people. At Magna Innovations, we use a combination of mechanical, electronics, computer and control engineering fields to create a product holistically and enhance people to product engagement. The company also provides new experiences for B2C marketing using augmented reality and virtual reality, custom application, microsites, webapps and QR codes,” he added.

Mathew said their market encompasses media, fit-out construction, events and exhibition.

The worldwide marketing automation technology market is predicted to grow from $15.6 (Dh57.30) billion in 2019 to $25.1 (Dh92.19) billion in 2023, according to research and advisor firm Forrester.

The Forrester study also revealed that 55 per cent of chief marketing officers would increase spending on marketing technology over the next year.

Similarly, exhibition and event companies are investing heavily in event technology, with 52 per cent expected to ramp their budget in coming years to make events more technology-friendly

Mathew wants to have a piece of the pie. “We aspire to be the largest mechatronic technology provider in the Middle East by 2024,” he added.

If his company’s stunning growth is anything to go by, he’s not far off the mark.


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