Complex Made Simple

Ideas91’s road to success: from distribution to knowledge advisory

Through its flexibility and great connectivity, Dubai was the right platform for Ideas91's rapid growth, providing it with multiple opportunities to expand its businesses and to explore other world markets. Rohit Dev, Co-Founder and MD of Ideas91 explains:

Ideas91 was established in 2009 as a distributor, kitchenware sourcing consultant and online retailer in home appliances and electronics Ideas91 works with large corporations with contracts in excess of $10 Million on a yearly procurement basis Robinson’s has been a supporter of SMEs and entrepreneurs in their quest to achieve business, life and lifestyle sustainability such as with Ideas91

Belief, hard work, and passion for changing lives and creating a difference, is the secret sauce for any entrepreneur’s success.

Today, Rohit Dev, Co-Founder and MD of Ideas91, one of the largest distribution arms across Middle East, Asia and Africa for products in the home segment, and a knowledge advisory in that sector, embodies those principles.

He built his company from scratch in the UAE, a country renowned for supporting smart, and courageous undertakings, and for its founders’ never die, never back down attitude, that built a country from scratch to outmatch the most modern of metropolises.

Rohit Dev’s proven track record as a businessman

Rohit Dev, A Harvard Business School alumni and a gold medalist in Engineering, suddenly found himself after graduating having to abandon a thriving empire that his family had built, and parting ways with his uncle whose business had suffered from a financial crisis.

 “There were tons of challenges. You would put in 16-hour days and sometimes you wonder whether you’d be able to get (it) back, but our positivity to be successful and making it big, always kept us running,” says Rohit.

“That has defined me in a very large manner. I always believe continue to run, continue to be passionate and you will be successful.”

Rohit is a proven businessman, having as Director and Partner relaunched ELEKTA Gulf, a full service wholesaler and distributor for electronics, audio/visual, small appliances and white goods to retail customers, taking it in 1998 from the brink of extinction to 35% annual growth over a 10-year period, with contracts in excess of $10 Million on a yearly procurement. 

Read more: The UAE luxury industry’s success story

Ideas91’s road to success: from distribution to knowledge advisory

Started in 2009, Ideas91 began operations as a distributor, later on expanding its scope of work to knowledge advisory as a sourcing consultant and online retailer.

The company has grown enormously every year at over 50% and successfully launching more than 100 products in 21 markets.  

“Our consultancy services have garnered international attention and interest from Fortune 500 companies. We work with large companies, brands and retailers across the world, to remove pain points in the procurement process, often a company’s biggest cost item,” Rohit says.

Dubai, UAE as a growth platform to explore world markets

And what better place than the UAE, for ideas91, and the many startups and entrepreneurs that call the country home. 

The UAE is today a thriving metropolis that has captured the imagination of countless generations.

In a recent interview with CNBC, Rohit said Dubai has given businesses a great opportunity to expand and that his company’s success relies on Dubai’s entrenched position as a global networker.

“Dubai has given us a great opportunity to expand our businesses, has the greatest connectivity, and one of the reasons why I am successful is our being based in Dubai and ability to explore other world markets,” Rohit said.

He added that the entrepreneurship spirit in Dubai, where the government “lets you do the business without too much bureaucracy”, has also played a role in giving his company all the tools to become successful.

The main challenges are rental and manpower costs, he said, adding: “Dubai gives you all the tools to become successful, but the important aspect in Dubai is that you do need to control your cost, because that’s important and if you do that, Dubai is the best place to run your business from.”  

Read more: How did the UAE become a successful media hub?

Supporting sustainability and entrepreneurship

Robinsons has adopted a culture of heritage and business sustainability, throughout its history, but especially since being acquired in 2008 by Al-Futtaim Group, ushering in a new area of retail, catering unique services such as personal shopping, lifestyle innovation, fashion and home collection. Robinsons has been a supporter of SME’s and entrepreneurs in their quest to achieve business, life and lifestyle sustainability such as with Ideas91, Alfardan, professionals at Dubai Media City and more.

Al Futtaim Group has been growing across all categories in leaps and bounds since 1955, playing a role in promoting sustainability by touching lives, and inspiring a generation of entrepreneurs and dreamers that seek higher grounds in life and a better life for all.

This series is brought to you by Robinsons: 

Watch the interview with Rohit Dev, Ideas 91’s Co-founder & MD