The SME Story: Fadi Ghaly, CEO and founder of Count’d
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The SME Story: Fadi Ghaly, CEO and founder of Count’d

The SME Story: Fadi Ghaly, CEO and founder of Count’d

Dubai-based healthy meal subscription app Count’d has plans to expand into Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain next year

count'd Dubai

What were you doing before you started Count’d?
I previously co-founded Under500, a healthy food brand that was the first restaurant to publish each meal’s macros on food delivery aggregators. Under500 has proven itself as the leading brand out of the 100+ brands on the Kitopi platform and has the highest retention.

The process to start Count’d has gone over a number of iterations during the past year. We saw a large market need based on a customer research process, numerous discussions with industry professionals, the global trends we are witnessing and personal frustrations that we faced as we looked to eat healthier.

What is the USP of Count’d?
Count’d is a personalised healthy meal subscription app that leverages insights in real-time to achieve health goals. We do this by offering on-demand curated healthy meals from the health-food restaurants in the city. Count’d offers a simple and effective experience where customers can easily browse and select healthy meals, connect with their fitness tracking wearables and manage their goals – all in one place.

With over 300 healthy meal options from restaurants in the city such as Little Erth, Fitness Feedz and BR8 Kitchen, customers now have the option to subscribe to one, two or three healthy meals per day. Orders can be pre-scheduled for the entire month, with all calories and macros accounted for. We have partnered with cloud kitchens and a number of individual restaurants, where we work with 20+ brands at the moment.

What is the potential market size of the nutrition and wellness tracking market within the UAE/GCC region?
This is an addressable wellness market of $1bn in the UAE and approximately $3bn in the GCC. Dubai Fitness Challenge alone has a million active participants. We also have 400+ gyms in Dubai. We understand that coming out of Covid, people are looking to eat healthy and be mentally and physically fit, however many do not have the time or the energy to plan and prepare their meals.

What are some of the further innovations you plan on the app?
Personalised nutrition is expected to be a $64bn industry by 2024. We are doing considerable research by talking to our target market of millennials, working professionals and wellness enthusiasts. They want more personalisation and hence we are building a product that caters to their needs. In theory, we should receive custom nutrition advice based on our individual biology or genetic profile. With that goal in mind, we will look to engineer individualised diets.

What are your expansion plans for the business?
We are currently only in Dubai, and plan to start operating in Abu Dhabi by October 2021. In 2022, we will enter Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain followed by other international markets.

The one lesson of entrepreneurship that you learnt the hard way?
There have been many, but an important one that I learnt was that things always take longer than we plan or expect. As entrepreneurs, we tend to be very bullish and optimistic, which is extremely important. However, in reality, building a business can cost more and take more time. This impacts the budget, cash flow, fundraising process and the go-to-market strategy. One solution is to onboard experienced advisors to learn the best processes and manage expectations.

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