Mona Ataya is a woman who doesn’t do things by halves.
“My mission is to make Mumzworld the undisputed leader in mother and baby shopping,” she says of the e-commerce business she founded in 2011 which already stocks 90,000 products and expects to hit 200,000 registered users by the middle of 2014.
Having recorded 23-times growth in sales, six-times growth in registrations and a 40 percent consumer loyalty rate within its first eighteen months, Mumzworld has established itself as the go-to website for mothers, but according to Ataya this is just the beginning.
“I wasn’t empowered when I became a mother and I want to empower the women who are mothers now. I felt constantly compromised by prices and quality,” she continues. “It’s a personal mission to give mothers the best they can get.”
Given her track record, perhaps this comes as no surprise. Even a quick glance at her CV shows Ataya to be a continual high achiever with a desire to excel.
After graduating with a dual honours degree in marketing and finance, Ataya worked on leading brands for fast-moving consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble in the USA before joining its rival Johnson and Johnson in both MENA and Europe.
It was during her time with Johnson and Johnson that she first found her feet as an entrepreneur.
Contacted by her brother Rabea, she was invited to help revolutionise the way people found and applied for jobs in the Middle East.
“I was called by Rabea, who is the CEO of Bayt.com. He wanted to reinvent recruitment in the Arab world,” she recalls. “In 2000 the information and communication flow between job sector and employers was limited. You had to know people, there were logistical complexities, and so on.
“The whole idea of an online recruitment site was unheard of, and it was also the time of the internet burst. People were losing money online, and it was not the place to be. But the concept was compelling and important for the region, so I was intrigued.
“Also, the team he had put together was the best of the best. Rabea was a seasoned entrepreneur and knew everybody there was to know, so the key persons who came together were amazing. I thought this team and this concept was really quite exciting, so I took a leap of faith and I left a career that was very successful and vertical to start a career as an entrepreneur.”
The success of Bayt.com speaks for itself. Having started with “one sofa, a desk, and a shoe-string budget,” the company became a force to be reckoned with within months and now, thirteen years later, it is the largest recruitment site in the Arab world.
“There are now 450 employees, and eight million people finding jobs on the site,” says Ataya. It’s gone from strength to strength over the years and I’m so happy to have been part of that.”
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