5 Mins With Mona Ataya, CEO of Mumzworld

The founder of the baby’s clothing empire aims to tap the MENA’s region’s $5 billion annual online spend.

What is Mumzworld focusing on?

We will continue to focus on our products range – we currently stock more than 60,000 skus of the world’s leading brands including Dr. Brown, Nuk, Mattel, Lego and Chicco, Dr Seuss and our SKU range is higher than any other offline retailer in the mother, baby and child sector in the region.

In addition to this we also will focus on our customer service – this is what has really driven Mumzworld’s success since it launched in October and is what sets us apart. From faster delivery times, to bespoke orders and customised gift registries, the complete satisfaction of our customer is at the forefront of everything that we do. The fact that over two thirds of purchases made on Mumzworld are from repeat customers is testament to this.

What are the growth areas currently for your industry?

The mother, baby and child sector is a growth industry in the region with the MENA toy market alone valued at $5.3 billion and growing at 17 per cent versus 0.8 per cent shrinkage globally. This is fuelled by a number of factors including rising birth rates (2.8 per cent and 1.6 per cent in KSA and UAE respectively, versus one per cent and 1.4 per cent in the UK and US).

Are you concerned that the current volatile global economic climate will affect your strategy?

Fortunately e-commerce is a relatively new phenomenon in the region that is only just beginning to gain momentum. Currently online spending by GCC consumers is estimated at $3.5 billion, this is expected to reach $5 billion by end 2012. Internet penetration rates are also very encouraging – currently 70 Million are online in the region, this is expected to reach 150Million by 2015. As more people go online in search of value and quality, whether they are motivated to do so through the economic climate or through their discover of the internet, Mumzworld will benefit from an increase in visitors to our site.

What new products will your company be launching?

70 per cent of our range is from regional suppliers and manufacturers. So essentially most things that you can find today offline for this segment you can find online on mumzworld. We say “when you you’ve shopped mumzworld, you’ve shopped everywhere”.

But 30 per cent of what we have today on mumzworld is exclusive to us in the region and is based on global best sellers in this segment. This 30 per cent will continue to grow as we source more and more unique and exclusive brands on mumzworld.

We are quickly anchoring the brand as the unparalleled catalogue of mother, baby and child products in the region delivered to the consumer in the fastest and most cost-effective manner every time with personalised and exceptional customer care standards.

Will you be expanding into new territory?

We cater to the entire MENA region and that will always be our focus market

What will be the biggest challenges for UAE businesses in your sector in the coming months?

As with any market segment the biggest challenge the e-commerce industry faces is staying abreast of industry developments and technologies. Having been part of the team that launched the region’s largest recruitment portal, Bayt.com, I have seen first-hand how important it is to invest in the ongoing development of any online business to ensure that it is running at maximum efficacy and is 100 per cent secure for all it users.

Will you be hiring?

We doubled our headcount in 2012.

What’s your leadership style?

Hire leaders and empower them to demonstrate their unique strengths everyday – and reward where reward is due.

What makes the perfect employee?

Leadership, entrepreneurship, ownership, out of the box creative thinking and loyalty.

Define success in five words…

Creating positive change.


Three tips for becoming the boss…

– Hard work
– Dedication
– People Skills

When I’m not at work I like to…

Read with my children