A seventeen-year-old student from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai has been named the Youngest Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year at the India-UAE Business Conclave 2021, staged recently under the patronage of Abu Dhabi royal, H.H. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Ahmad Bin Hamadan Bin Mohamad Al Nahyan.
Syed Zain, a first year student of electrical engineering, received the prestigious award during a ceremony staged at The Oberoi, Dubai. The award was conferred in recognition of Zain’s enterprising endeavours while in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Just sixteen years old and still in high school at the time, Zain took the initiative to pursue a new avenue in e-commerce, bringing a range of budget items to an online retail platform.
Zain explained, “I was determined not to waste my time during the lockdown and, coming from an entrepreneurial family, I began exploring ideas for business opportunities. I soon recognized that there was a gap in the market that had huge potential. There has been a growth in the number of discount stores in the retail sector, but when consumers were forced to shop online, there was no strong web presence for these outlets, so I decided to create something to fill that gap.”
The result of Zain’s enterprising idea is blunzo.com, and online platform that sells merchandise priced between just one and thirty dirhams, covering a wide variety of product ranges including beauty & wellness, toys, household goods, electronics, groceries and accessories. The online store requires no minimum spend and offers free delivery across Sharjah, Dubai and Ajman. In the seven months since the platform was launched, business has boomed, and the site now offers shoppers over 600 product lines.
Though still in the early stages of his university studies, Zain is committed to scaling the enterprise further, starting with the roll out of an associated mobile application. He has already grown the marketplace to include a store dedicated to student enterprise. “I wanted to provide an outlet for students to sell their own work, such as artistic creations”, Zain revealed. “To do this, I added a specific space on the site, which has become the first platform of its kind in the UAE where students can sell their products online.”
The India-UAE Business Conclave 2021 was organized by the Global Business Federation and the event’s award ceremony honored the work of a number of leading businesspeople in the region. On receiving the title of Youngest Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2021, Zain said, “I am excited to be recognized as an emerging business talent at an event that celebrates so many established and inspirational leaders in the field. Being selected for this award by an esteemed panel of judges from government and industry encourages me to continue setting and pursuing ambitious goals in the entrepreneurial arena.”