Friday, December 13, 2019

The beauty of Simplicity

Ghinwa, a karaoke app for amateur singers to promote their talents, was born out of a desire to keep it simple. Co-founder and CEO Mohammed Almunaikh’s philosophy is reflected in the app’s function which allows aspiring talents to get out there to display their skills with just a smartphone. He joins Bahrain This Week to talk about the app and challenges encountered during its development.

Tell us briefly about yourself.

My name is Mohammad Almunaikh, I am Co-founder and CEO of Ghinwa Application. Ghinwa is a mobile application for amateur singers to promote their talents and build a fan base through singing in Karaoke. The cool thing about Ghinwa is that our users do not have to go and wait in line for auditioning any more, all what you need to do is have a smartphone and start singing from your comfort zone and get popular.

Give us a brief summary about your educational and professional background:

I came from an investment background; I have a bachelor degree in accounting. Previous to Ghinwa, I worked at Kuwait investment Authority for seven years. During these times I have had my chances on start side businesses, that’s where I got introduced to entrepreneurship. And then I decided to dedicate my life to it. Because simply it feels good.

When and how did you get around to developing Ghinwa?

Ghinwa’s idea came about on April 2015. I was having lunch with Bader Altahous (Co-founder of Ghinwa) and he pitched the idea to me and in no time we found ourselved fully dedicated to the idea. Then, we approaching Alfonso Fernandez (Co-founder of Ghinwa) to join the team which he agreed to. And Ghinwa was born on October 2015.

‘Ghinwa’ is an interesting name. Tell us more about the application and how did this idea strike you?

The name Ghinwa means A Song in Arabic. We come from the mindset that appreciate simplicity and the beauty it has. We are not fans of complex or unknown names. Ghinwa deliver the exact message we want. As a human when we encounter a beautiful melody or poetry or speech, we tend to say (it is like music to my ears) and in Arabic it is (like a Ghinwa to my ears) And that is exactly what we want to achieve. We want our users to promote their talents and find the ears that appreciate their talents.

What have been the initial challenges and how did you overcome them?

Ghinwa is no different than any other startup. We have to go through the same challenges but in different forms. The challenges are 1) Financial 2) Team 3) Time. And we believe that when we have the team right, all other challenges are minor. It is the team that will move mountains. We are fortunate that Ghinwa is being built by great minds.

How is Ghunwa unique?

Ghinwa uniqueness comes from its simplicity in addressing our users problems. And that is comes from being strictly data driven when deciding any changes. We go to our users, which we appreciate to ask for their view and feedback before we try to build something. The end users are the decision-maker on what we should focus on.

Where do you see Ghinwa in the next 5 years?

Our target in ghinwa is very clear and simple. We want to be able to discover the next Um Kalthoum and the next Mohammad Abdu. In five year you will see many vocal talents that the world would have missed without Ghinwa.

If you were to list 5 essential qualities of a successful entrepreneur, what would they be?

  1. Flexibility
  2. Focus
  3. Perseverance
  4. Grit
  5. High energy

How has Ghinwa developed so far?

Ghinwa developed has exceed our wildest imagination. We are very happy with the level of user traction that we have right now. Ghinwa has won the 1st award in MITEF competition. And we were able to sign many licensing deals. On top of that, we are very pleased to have talented team accepting to work with us in executing Ghinwa’s vision.

What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs of Bahrain?

My message to everyone in life who want to do something is to actually silence the mind. Stay on the question side of the formula. Keep asking yourself “What do I need to do?” rather than jumping into answers that actually either condition your success or limit your potential. Just ask the right questions and follow the leads.

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