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Locale Founder Ian Ohan Aims To Subvert The Manner In Which Food Aggregators Currently Operate In The UAE Ohan is hoping to subvert the ways things currently operate by launching Locale, which he has branded as the country's first food aggregator "with a heart."

By Aby Sam Thomas Edited by Aby Thomas

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Ian Ohan, founder, Locale

At a time when the top food aggregators in the UAE's F&B space are notorious for their single-minded pursuits of profit (often at the expense of the entrepreneurs actually fueling this ecosystem), Ian Ohan is hoping to subvert the ways thing currently operate by launching Locale, which he has branded as the country's first food aggregator "with a heart."

Ohan, who is the founder and CEO of KRUSH Brands, a homegrown full-service, multi-kitchen, brand development, operating, and franchising company that's behind popular F&B concepts like Freedom Pizza, Salad Jar, and several others, says that Locale has been designed to be an economically sustainable ecosystem for the UAE's innovative entrepreneurs in the F&B space -aka foodpreneurs- to thrive and reconnect with the communities in which they operate. "Locale is the only true alternative to the harmful third-party delivery ecosystem, which charges unsustainably high fees to the most innovative and passionate people in our industry, globally," Ohan says. "Locale is not about making money on delivery, technology, advertising, nor fees- our objective is to minimize these costs for all. Instead, Locale is about making money on great food."

Looking at Locale from an entrepreneur's point of view, its appeal is easy to see- it's been built by foodpreneurs for foodpreneurs, and that'd explain how, besides the seven brands in the KRUSH Brands portfolio, the aggregator has already got fellow homegrown players like artisanal bakery Viking Bageri and meal plan concept JetLagged Chef to list on it. "Customers are enjoying the clean and customer-focused interface of Locale- no advertisements, no questionable customer reviews, and it rejects the paradox of too many, poor quality choices," Ohan says. "When customers come to Locale, they know that each brand is high quality, and service is backed up by Locale's fully integrated technology, operating and delivery capabilities, and powered by the love of great foodpreneurs."

As someone who has been following Ohan and his pursuits in the UAE's F&B ecosystem for a long time now, it's pretty apparent to me that that Ohan is someone who believes in the power of food to bring people together, and that is what he wishes to safeguard with Locale. "For Locale, great food is not a commodity," Ohan declares. "Silicon Valley money exploited the weakness of our industry, which is also our greatest strength- our singular focus on and passion for food, people, and experience. We are taking it back. Locale fills the gap -great food technology, convenience, multi-kitchen operating efficiencies, last mile logistics- but this is not our product. Our product is great food."

And in case you're wondering why that matters, Ohan has his answer ready. "Food is culture," he declares. "We celebrate with food, commiserate with food, and commune with food. It enriches the fabric of our lives. There is no greater gift than when someone gives something of themselves to create something to be enjoyed by others. Our goal is to preserve and protect this culture- the creators, the people, and most importantly, the food they create."

Source: Locale

'Trep Talk: Ian Ohan explains how to make an idea a great one

Solve a real problem "Create solutions that solve real problems. Whether that is doing something better or creating a solution to an outstanding issue, great ideas solve real problems."

Care about the why (and the how) "Great ideas should add value to people. The why and how you do something are often the cornerstones of great ideas that manifest cultural importance."

Execute well "In order for a great idea to reach fruition, it must be executed well. Great ideas without great execution typically are not realized. Focus on execution."

Locale is one of the companies included in the 2022 edition of our annual 10 Great Ideas feature, which celebrates individuals and innovations that impress with their ingenuity. Check out the full list of 10 Great Ideas in our print issue here.

Related: Vietnamese Foodies Owner And Executive Chef Lily Hoa Nguyen On Growing Her Business From Strength To Strength

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Editor in Chief, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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