Day 4:

22 February 2017

“So apparently, the UAE doesn’t only consist of Dubai! Our morning began at 8:00am with a two hour journey to Abu Dhabi. Having realized of how culturally and linguistically diverse our group was, Osman urged each individual to improvise a speech at the front of the bus in their mother-tongue. These included German, French, Arabic, Hindi, Cantonese, Urdu, and for me, Malayalam. Our “speeches” soon became (terrible) impersonations of a tour guide, with individuals pointing out random buildings, cars and trees we drove by. This was met with lots of laughter and more importantly, an inherent admiration for our respective backgrounds. Definitely a moment I will remember!

In Abu Dhabi, we first visited the Etihad Innovation Centre. The global aviation industry is getting increasingly competitive, forcing airlines to be at the cutting edge of innovation in a bid to win and retain passengers. EIC was a well-designed state-of-the-art research and development centre for Etihad Airways. We explored the A787 and A380 Economy/Business/First Classes fleets. The centre is also home to Etihad’s Innovation Training Academy which comprises the largest A380 and B787 cabin service and safety trainers in the world. The first class cabins were visibly a source of fascination for the group!

Next, we visited Alliot Management Consulting (AMC), one of the leading Business Management Consulting firms operating in the U.A.E. We spoke directly to Managing Director, Dr. Syed Qaiser Anis, who is a prominent and sought-after voice in accounting, auditing and consulting sectors. StackFarm’s elevator pitch was well-received, and Dr. Anis expressed interest in purchasing our product for for himself! After this interaction, we concluded that it our next step forward should include the creation of a secondary, working prototype that was to-scale.

It is important to know the legal and economic implications of starting a business in a new country. The Canadian Embassy helped deepen our understanding of these sectors, and provided us with great information on the retail industry. The U.A.E retail market is growing in the grocery sector, which lays opportunities for both domestic and international retailers to expand their business in the country.A whopping 75 percent of all food is imported into the U.A.E, and consumers today are demanding healthier, cleaner, and more accessible foods. These statistics support StackFarm’s business model, and we intend to incorporate it into our final pitch.

We completed the day in Abu Dhabi with a visit to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is also the sepulchre of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Founder and first President of the United Arab Emirates.

Looking forward to tomorrow, where we can compile all the the advice we received to create a business model.”

– Lakshmi Menon

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