These Are The Top 5 Omani Startups Of 2018

22 Dec 2018
POSTED BY Alvin Thomas

The spirit of enterprise shows no sign of slowing down for young Omanis. These are the top 5 businesses that were set up in Oman this year.

1) Sain Bags

Key product: Bio-degradable bags

“I’m not plastic,” reads the words printed on the shopping bag. Sain Bags’ plastic alternative may look like a regular plastic bag from a shopping centre but is actually bamboo – and 100 per cent bio-degradable. Created in Indonesia – where the bamboo is also procured from – the idea stems from the owner Husain Mohammed Baomar’s love for the environment.

He tells: “Growing up on a farm had its effects on me. I respect the environment and will do everything in my power to protect it.” Oddly enough, his groundbreaking product was first recognised by Bahrain, who immediately signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to supply them the product. The product will also be shipped to other GCC countries including Qatar, and companies such as L’Oréal Asia, Air Asia, Hino trucks, and various other hotels are also availing the company’s services, thereby setting the company’s overall production value to 70mn bags.

2) Gabol Watch

Key product: Automatic diver’s watches

There’s something oddly satisfying about gazing upon an Arabic watch face on a diver’s watch, and no less, on one that’s designed by an Omani. Limited to 300 watches, founder Adnan Gabol al Balushi completes the watches with a Japan-derived NH35 automatic movement and a marine-grade brass body. The watches are water-resistant up to 200 metres and as an added treat, the brass body is activated to accumulate patina – a bluish-green film that coats the surface – to give it a retro look after diving. Adnan tells us: “Everyone has a calling and for me, it was watches.

Adnan Gabol al Balushi

So, even though I run other companies, I made sure that I found the time and money to invest in watches. The intention is to create a name – and moreover, uphold the ‘Made in Oman’ tag.

3) 3rd Street Donuts

Key products: Doughnuts, shakes, coffees, etc.

From the kitchen of SK Donuts in the USA to the founder of 3rd Street Donuts in Oman, young entrepreneur Mundhir al Alawi has come a long way in his gastronomical journey. Nothing short of inspirational, this Omani has grabbed the attention of the masses with his fluffy and cream-filled doughnuts and specially-crafted coffee blends.

It’s no wonder that his café is packed to the brim on weekends, with the kitchen working overtime to keep the stock flowing. The passion is evident in his eye and he even approaches customers personally for feedback. His explanation? – “There’s nothing more satisfying than a happy customer. And, while we’re only starting up here in Oman, we conducted months of preparations before we opened up.

So, we would donate doughnuts to people outside the shop and ask them for their opinion. What you eat today is the hundreds of hours of hard work and equal number of discarded batters – it’s hard work but incredibly fulfilling.

4) Ki-Bros Production

Key products: Video production, scriptwriting, animation, visualisation, etc.

Off-screen magicians Yasir al Kiyumi and Dawood al Kiyumi seem to have created a little Hollywood of sorts in Oman with their production studio. With several videos – though mostly ad content and short films at this stage – under the name already, the two brothers and their team seem to have carved out a niche in the market.

Not only has this ensued in some of their best works and releases, it has also led to an almost cult-like following on their social media channels.

5) Pink Line

Key Products/Services: Oman’s first app for female-only taxis

Promising to offer the women in Oman a safe ride back to their destination, a group of developers from Pink Line have come across to launch the nation’s first ever female-only taxi app. While the application will sit among the plethora of booking software currently available online, it will stand out as the only one that offers the service to women with women taxi drivers. Taxis driven by women were launched as early as 2016 in Oman but the services were still localised and customers unaware of where they could find them – so the app will definitely sit well with the women of Oman. Moreover, the app also won the ‘Startup Weekend’ programme that was held as a part of the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018 that was attended by entrepreneurs from all parts of the country.

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