JEDDAH: Twenty-five-year-old student Abdullah Al-Aidroos came up with the idea for “By Zikir” because he wanted to be able to give gifts that represented his religion and tradition but were also unique.
“I believe that this is a better gift to give to your loved ones; instead of things that are widely found in the market,” he told Arab News.
“By Zikir” is a startup that sells Subhah (beads that are used to keep count while saying prayers). These beads are a part of the Islamic tradition and are often carried in a pocket or a bag. In Al-Aidroos’s opinion, gifts are meant to be individual and that was the main driver behind setting up of his business.
“When I was sure that this was the path I wanted to pursue, I traveled to Egypt and then to Turkey to research the art of making Subhas,” the entrepreneur said. “I bought the raw material from those countries and brought it back to Makkah to design them.”
He said that his friends and family pushed him to start the business officially and gave him a lot of encouragement. A key element of the products he designs is their individuality. “I feel like a part of the maker’s soul becomes a part of the product, since they treat it with care and respect, and I think this gives a personality to the product.”
For the entrepreneur, the main challenge was deciding on the pricing. He explained that Subhah are widely sold and can be purchased at a low price. “Whereas, we worked very hard on our products, they are handmade, and the quality was very high, so the prices were higher as well,” he said.
One of the achievement Al-Aidroos is most proud of from his entrepreneurial journey is how quickly he learnt the basics of running a business. “The budgeting, manufacturing, shipping the raw materials and selling the product took me six months to learn and get used to.”
Long-term, Al-Aidroos hopes to export his products internationally.