Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Mike Khouri has a new business model with Shu2Do. Satish Kumar / The National
Mike Khouri has a new business model with Shu2Do. Satish Kumar / The National

iPhone app can vouch for local shopping deals

The Life: Mike Khouri is the founder of Shu2Do, an app for mobiles that provides vouchers for local shoppers. He talks about why his company is a complement to the group-buying craze.

AMike Khouri was born and raised in the Emirates and is the founder of Shu2Do, a new app for mobile devices that provides vouchers for local shoppers. He talks about why he thinks his company is a complement - not a copycat - to the group-buying craze.

How does Shu2Do work?

It's a free iPhone app that provides exclusive vouchers for people on the go. When you open the app, you choose which category you're looking for, or choose "near me". From there you open up the voucher, download it and its automatically saved to your phone.

There are already group-buying sites such as Groupon, GoNabit and Cobone that offer similar deals. Why is there a need for this?

It's funny you say that. A year ago when I started pitching the concept to businesses they thought "you are an SMS [text-messaging] or loyalty programme". I was basically getting pigeonholed, and now I'm getting pigeonholed into these group-buying programmes.

So how is your scheme different?

With all these group-buying sites, you have to pay up front and don't know when you'll redeem. Consumers pay me nothing to use the service. We connect them with a platform they go to through their mobile phone. It gives you so much to explore, and it's a lot more interactive and real-time.

Is this a different model for businesses that participate?

The idea is that they can specifically decide when they need [consumers] the most and direct it at that given time. [Shoppers] open up the wallet when they're near the store and have [the deal] then.

What inspired you to come up with idea?

I was travelling in the UK and came across the iPhone app development craze. I knew the Entertainer [voucher book] here and group-buying initiatives were coming online. I wondered how could we go to a platform that could always be with you?

Do you think the industry is entering a wave of consolidation after the GoNabit sale this week?

I believe the tactic of buying established brands in new markets is something the heavyweights will continue to do as their pursuit for global dominance continues. Where there is room to adapt however is for smaller group-buying initiatives to diversify their models to become dedicated in serving more niche consumer needs.

What's your niche?

Group-buying sites and their consumers share a common trait - they aren't very loyal to the merchants they promote. A daily deal means they're looking out for the next best deal which means return customers are a very low conversion. This is how a model such as Shu2Do is very different. We partner with merchants with the intention of helping them broadcast their marketing messages on a platform that is affordable, mobile and location driven.

What else is unique about your service?

What it got down to was an idea of how I'd love to see everything be paperless. Consumers are used to the paper trail of having a voucher and redeeming it - buying a deal, printing it and going out with it. It's very old-school. I'm trying to move forward.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Miele coffee maker making Cappuccino at Miele Gallery in Sama Tower in Dubai. The cost of this coffee maker is around Dh 17,000. Pawan Singh / The National

Space-age coffee comes at a price from Miele

Miele have taken the coffee machine to a new level with its Dh17,000 offering that is built into your kitchen.

 The bridge of Seajacks Hydra, as the wind farm installation vessel undergoes finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Building the Seajacks Hydra

The Seajacks Hydra, a wind farm installation vessel, is undergoing finishing touches and testing works at Lamprell’s Hamriyah facility in Sharjah before its planned delivery on June 2, 2014.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 The rush of new supply of hotel rooms pushed Dubai occupancy rates down to 87 per cent. Sarah Dea / The National

Dubai hotel room rates rise 10 per cent

The rush of new supply pushed occupancy rates down to 87 per cent, a dip of 2.6 per cent from the previous year. Winter months are the strongest for Dubai hotels, with occupancy and prices falling to half their peaks by July.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National