UAE-Based VIDAVitamins Is Keeping Customers First While Making Inroads Into The Billion-Dollar Multivitamins And Supplements Market
Launched by serial entrepreneur Gusai AlMomani in late 2020, the startup was created with a mission to ease the process of choosing multivitamins and dietary supplements by making use of algorithms driven by artificial intelligence.
A report by Fortune Business Insights valued the global multivitamins and supplements market to be worth US$129.6 billion in 2021, and that factor alone is good enough to understand why that’s the industry that the UAE-based healthtech startup VIDAVitamins is tapping into.
Launched by serial entrepreneur Gusai AlMomani in late 2020, the startup was created with a mission to ease the process of choosing multivitamins and dietary supplements by making use of algorithms driven by artificial intelligence (AI). “VIDAVitamins offers its members with personalized vitamins and supplements subscriptions tailored exactly to their needs and required dosages,” AlMomani says. “We also offer premium services such as your own dedicated nutritionists, who will regularly offer coaching about your specific lifestyle. At VIDAVitamins, we have our own lab where we can provide customers with detailed blood analysis, including vitamin levels, mineral levels, and even your collagen levels! For premium customers, we even offer to collect your blood samples at home, or you can visit any one of our 18 locations in the UAE.”
VIDAVitamins currently stores the medicines it sells at three different facilities across the UAE, each located in the Emirates of Dubai, Sharjah, and Abu Dhabi. All of the multivitamins and supplements it offers have been passed as per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) standards, and they are also registered by the Dubai Municipality and Dubai Health Authority (DHA). With such an all-rounded approach, it is clear how the startup hopes to assist its customers choose the right supplements, without having to go through a tiring or time-consuming process.
But as AlMomani delves into the driving force behind launching his startup, it becomes evident that distributing multivitamins as per customer preferences is not the only goal for VIDAVitamins. There is one other very significant factor that the founder has taken into consideration: the hassles of paying massive lump sums when seeking help from nutritionists. Indeed, it is a step that is often very necessary in gauging what kind of supplements a particular individual requires. But AlMomani hopes the costs attached to it can be negated, or at least reduced, through VIDAVitamins’ services. “UAE governmental research shows that at least 70% of people living in the country have vitamin deficiencies, and another similarly high percentage suffer from malnutrition,” he elaborates. “But healthcare access is expensive in the UAE- you’re expected to pay AED400-850 for simply consulting a nutritionist. At VIDAVitamins, we believe knowledge should always be free of charge!”
A typical VIDAVitamins Package. Source: VIDAVitamins
It is this idea that led AlMomani to turn his primary attention towards creating an AI-driven algorithm that would not only make it easier for customers to make informed decisions while choosing multivitamins, but also cut down the excessive expenditure involved in such decision-making process. “We worked for 14 months with consultants in the USA to understand how to include human learning methods in our algorithm, while onboarding the advice of leading doctors and nutritionists onto it, to create a quiz,” AlMomani explains. “Based on a given customer’s answers and goals, the quiz will determine the most suitable plan for them and will also replicate the experience of visiting a nutritionist. To us, this is amazing, because we are using the legacy of many doctors to develop an algorithm that addresses the problems of customers and patients. What this entails is that even when a leading doctor is no longer practicing, our technology can still use his/her knowledge while rendering a diagnosis for a customer!”
The customer thus comes first for VIDAVitamins, and this point is further strengthened as AlMomani explains what he believes to be his startup’s unique selling point (USP). “Apart from everything I’ve mentioned, the way we package our plans is suitable for the everyday busy man or woman, be it a full-time homemaker/partner, or a business executive- that is our USP!” he mentions. “Every personalized pouch is individually packaged for 30 days to cover use for a full month, reducing the need to carry unnecessary bottles and jars of supplements- you only carry a small sachet for your daily intake.” The startup has also ensured the use of sustainable, biodegradable, and recycled material for its packaging across all of its storage facilities. “We don’t even import recycled paper, which is much cheaper than local recycled paper,” remarks AlMomani. “All the packaging is done in the UAE, and everything is handmade. There are three quality checks before a customer receives her/his plan, and we don’t hesitate to bin everything if there is more than 5% human error in a package- it’s a company policy, our customers only deserve the very best.”
At this point, one may perhaps be a little intrigued about the person who formulated VIDAVitamins’ vision in the first place: AlMomani, who bills himself as his startup’s Chief Futurist Officer. For the founder, who has had previous business experience in the fields of industrial manufacturing, textiles, and technology, his idea of leadership is one that is entirely people-centric. “Nothing is impossible in life, and I try to instill this principle in my team,” he says. “Good attitude towards people will get you to the top in business. I dislike the emerging entrepreneurs’ mindset of being a ‘wolf entrepreneur,’ or the concept of ‘nobody cares about you.’ Selfishness is not a moral human trait, and I believe most of my successes are credited to having a good reputation amongst the people I came across in my life.”
And it’s this sentiment that AlMomani hopes will govern the growth of VIDAVitamins as a business. “We will cause disruption in the UAE healthtech and medtech market, particularly because we don’t believe customers should be paying for knowledge,” AlMomani declares. “Healthcare is not a luxury, and it should be easily accessible by everyone. We also disagree with unfair margins in pharmaceutical markets. With our business model and low overheads, we believe other pharmaceutical groups will struggle to keep up with our low margins. At the end of the day, VIDAVitamins is an ethical company that believes in empowering its customers!”