We talked to Mostafa Hamouda, founder of 3elagi, about online pharmacies, and this is what he said about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Mostafa Hamouda: Well, to be honest, we started to cope now with the situation, at the beginning of the pandemic and with the limited information available about it nevertheless about any vaccine, it was a tough time. Now it is much better, we know a lot about it and have multiple vaccines in place, gladly Egypt is starting citizen’s vaccination this month.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded 3elagi.
Mostafa Hamouda: I am a graduate of Computer Science from AinShams University in Egypt, with over 17 years of IT & Healthcare experience working in multiple local and multinational companies in Egypt & the UK.
Founding 3elagi was through a common personal pain that I and my co-founder Haytham had, we both had family cases that needed special treatment and medication (MS & Brain Benign Meningioma), we had to spend time searching for the closest and best medical service as well as required medication. Given our IT background, we decided to launch 3elagi, a one-stop-shop for healthcare products and services, through which you can search, compare and acquire the most suitable, affordable quality healthcare service from more than 2k providers on our platform.
How does 3elagi innovate?
Mostafa Hamouda: We innovate in the way we serve our patients, our main motto is “patient comes first” we make sure all of our activities, technologies, mindset are towards the patients’ wellbeing.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Mostafa Hamouda: We tripled our team since the start of the pandemic, our orders grew 2000% from the same time the year before. The coronavirus pandemic proved that our platform and business model is of great value to the consumer and this just accelerated our growth.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Mostafa Hamouda: We had to change the way we operate, we moved 100% to the work from home model, moved to cloud support apps as well as automation to most of our activities. Time, quality of service was improved.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Mostafa Hamouda: We try not to micromanage, employees during the pandemic are already pressured due to personal challenges, we try as much as we can to make their job easier with tools and software whenever possible.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Mostafa Hamouda: Vezeeta ad Yodawy are our main competitors in Egypt, we are focusing on great customer experience and loyalty programs to differentiate us as well as a number of new services that are planned for this year.
Your final thoughts?
Mostafa Hamouda: Thank you for having us, we really hope that everyone is safe during the pandemic and startups to manage to overcome the challenges caused by the coronavirus.
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