Starting a business from scratch is a daunting task but for one Heriot-Watt student it was an opportunity he could not ignore.
Hridayy Agrawal (19) is currently juggling his time between his online business, Emycco.com, and his studies at the School of Social Sciences in Dubai.
The entrepreneur, who is now in his second year of a Bachelor of Business Administration course, decided aged 17 to set-up what would become the UAE's first online market place specialising in industrial goods for business and industry.
The learning environment at Heriot-Watt University has been invaluable to me as a young entrepreneur.
It hasn't been an easy rise for the young businessman who explained: "Developing the site took around six months to complete but not long after we launched in August last year, disaster struck.
"The site crashed and all the data was lost. It was the worst possible start and it took months before we could get the site up and running again."
In February this year, Emycco.com, relaunched and Hridayy was forced to start over, "Those first few months were tough. There wasn’t a single order for three or four months. Barely four visitors would view the site in a given day - some days there would be no-one.
"The biggest problem for me is the UAE market, particularly the industrial sector, as it didn’t have a habit of buying online. That remains a major obstacle but one I want to overcome."
Faced with a lack of orders, Hridayy decided a new approach was needed in order to win new business. He focussed on social media and encouraged his staff to work creatively.
By the end of August 2017, Emycco.com had turned its fortunes around and was in profit. Hridayy hasn’t looked back and now sells more than 500 products from earthing rods, ejector pins, dies and molds to tools, safety equipment’s and a lot more.
He added: "The learning environment at Heriot-Watt University has been invaluable to me as a young entrepreneur. It is an institution which encourages its students to achieve all that they can and that is something I will always be grateful for."