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Perihan Abouzeid, founder of PeriCare

Perihan looks for people with a ‘can-do’ attitude and who are hungry to learn

Perihan Abouzeid set up PeriCare, a Dubai-based company focused on building products that serve the needs of working mothers and mothers on the go. It became a revenue-generating startup within the first month of operations and has featured at major events like Gitex and Dubai Design Week.

What does your company do?

Our flagship product is a standalone nursing pod that provides mothers with a comfortable, private and hygienic space to pump or breastfeed their babies. The pod is suitable for any commercial outlet to serve mothers when shopping or visiting corporate buildings and workplaces.

We enjoy huge support from mothers – our target market – and have successfully validated our business from all stakeholders.

What do you look for when hiring talent?  

It’s all about the attitude. I look for people who are “can-do” and hungry to learn. Equally important are those who believe in our mission: that we are bigger than just a business. A good attitude is a choice, everything else is an acquired skill. 

What counts for more – luck or hard work?   

I believe you will never be lucky without putting in the hard work. Working hard is the seed you plant, and good luck is one of the nutrients that makes your plant grow faster. 

What was your biggest ‘lucky’ moment?  

Professionally, I believe I have earned all my successes. But I feel lucky when I’m at the right place at the right time.

After exiting my previous media businesses and leaving my corporate career after I had my daughter, the best example of that is going to a Crunchmoms meet-up where I met Sophie Smith, founder and CEO of Nabta Health, and eventually co-founding PeriCare together. If I had skipped on that engagement, PeriCare would probably never have happened. 

What one thing do you wish you’d done differently?   

There’s a lot I’d have done differently, but perhaps the biggest thing would be to choose my investors carefully. Basically, pick those that offer value beyond money.

If you could rule the world for a day, what three things would you change?   

  1. I’d enforce more parent friendly labour policies, especially for working mothers.
  2. Create incentives for businesses to invest in a zero-carbon footprint.
  3. Invest in progressive education for talented kids.

What three factors do entrepreneurs misjudge about the Gulf market?

  1. That it’s an easy market to capture and make money quickly.
  2. That it’s a one-size fits all.
  3. And that it’s so easy to raise funds. The Gulf market is a mature one that demands hard work and intelligence to succeed. 

Dream mentor?

Barbara Corcoran. She is an inspiring self-made entrepreneur, who started as a waitress and rose to the top in New York City real estate – a male-dominated and cut-throat industry.

Barbara is also a successful investor herself and producer within the media industry, which is where my previous business success lies, so I am sure we would have a lot to talk about!