Meet The Finalists of Dubai Startup Hub's Smartpreneur Competition 6.0: Hamples – Entrepreneur

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By enabling consumers to try out multiple samples before finalizing on using a particular product, Hamples aims to help them make more informed decisions while purchasing.  
Hamples is one of the top 10 startups pitching for prizes worth a total of AED150,000 at the finals of Dubai Startup Hub’s Smartpreneur Competition 6.0, which will be staged as part of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum 2022 at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 20, 2022. Register HERE to be a part of the event.   
“As parents, we bought ten different kinds of toothpaste for our two-year-old to try out before we found the best one for her.” This is the example that Gaurav Oberoi, who co-founded direct-to-consumer (D2C) digital discovery platform Hamples with his wife Aditi Oberoi, uses to explain the crux of the issue his startup is trying to solve. “Although there are many online and offline channels for us to buy from, there are no options for us to try products before we purchase them,” says Oberoi. “This gap in the pre-purchase user journey triggered an urge to launch a platform for everyone to discover new launches and try new products, reduce wastage and hereby put an end to buyers’ regrets.” 
Launched in May 2021, the startup’s name was coined together by the husband-and-wife co-founding duo. “Hamples is derived from ‘Happy Samples,’ which basically means happiness comes in small packages- or samples,” Oberoi says, explaining that consumers who’ve registered on Hamples get to try free samples and mini-trial packs, with products ranging from skincare to home care and fragrances as well. Every time users make an order on the e-commerce platform, they also get the opportunity to avail AED20 coupons that can be further used on Hamples. By enabling consumers to try out multiple samples before finalizing on using a particular product, the startup thus aims to help them make more informed decisions while purchasing.  
Oberoi also notes that Hamples is also an enticing option for brand owners to sell their products via “tryvertising”- a trial-based advertising method. “Hamples is a launchpad for brands to shorten the go-to-market journey and get ready access to an in-market audience,” he explains. “Brands can also target future consumers as per region, demographics, lifestyle, personal interests, and other attributes. The platform is designed to make at-home sampling accessible, affordable, and measurable for brands, while simultaneously helping them collect first-party data, generate consumer ratings, social mentions and shares, and also unlock qualitative and quantitative consumer insights.”  
Gaurav Oberoi, co-founder, Hamples.Source:Hamples
With this approach, Oberoi hopes new and/or small homegrown brands, in particular, will be able to reach wider target markets through Hamples. “With Hamples, we want to give an opportunity for talented professionals to bring out their passions and convert them into business ideas, create employment opportunities, and succeed by competing with well-established global players,” Oberoi says.  
Related: Meet The Finalists Of Dubai Startup Hub’s Smartpreneur Competition 6.0: Manhat
Today, Hamples has already launched 500,000 sample units across the UAE. More notably, it has also launched digital sampling campaigns for over 150 brands including Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Britannia, Henkel, IFFCO, PepsiCo, Swiss Image, and Alyssa Ashley, among others. But this entrepreneurial journey didn’t have the easiest of beginnings, Oberoi admits. “Like any other early-stage marketplace, our first and biggest challenge was to convince brands to commit to using the platform before the other, when there was neither supply nor demand on the platform,” he recalls. “We are thankful for the first few brands who trusted us during our initial days, and gave us their samples to showcase on Hamples. Today, we can proudly say that we have retained 100% of our brand partners, and generated high returns for them.” 
Aditi Oberoi, co-founder, Hamples. Source:Hamples
Such successes are a good indication of how Hamples got to be selected as one of the ten finalists for the Dubai Smartpreneur Competition 6.0, with the final ceremony set to be staged as part of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum 2022 at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 20, 2022. However, Oberoi emphasizes that the benefits he and his team have received through the Smartpreneur program go much beyond the cash prizes on offer. “More than a competition, Smartpreneur is a well thought-out platform for startups to learn, reflect, and present their business to the world,” he says. “Apart from the direct prize benefits, one should consider this competition as an opportunity to get trained to draft a pitch deck, receive one-on-one attention from experts, and showcase your business to influencing personalities in the region and beyond.” 
Source:Hamples
Having recently raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round by Nama Ventures, Oberoi is now optimistic about his plans to grow Hamples in the UAE and also expand within the region. “We expect 2022 to be a strategic growth year for many of us,” he says. “With support from our stakeholders, we plan to increase our portfolio of brands, add more categories, and simultaneously increase our audience base. Our vision is to become a destination for users to discover and try new, unique, innovative products and services.” And Hamples is only just getting started, according to the co-founder. “In the coming months, you are going to see many innovative features from Hamples to complement our vision,” states Oberoi.  
‘TREP TALK: Tips for entrepreneurs from Hamples co-founder Gaurav Oberoi 
Don’t over innovate “Technology changes faster than one can imagine. It is important to launch the product, test the market, and continuously innovate throughout the journey. In an open market like the UAE, it is relatively easier to get feedback, and iterate the product offerings to match the local consumer and business needs.” 
Think big- the bigger the better “When it takes the same amount of time and effort to run any small or big business, then why think small? The UAE is the epitome of visionary leadership, and they have set examples for businesses by thinking big, and continuously delivering their vision.” 
Collaborate “Entrepreneurs who embrace the ‘lone wolf’ approach usually live to regret it. Collaboration, both internally with the team and externally with stakeholders, is the key to success in a fast-paced economy like the UAE. Collaboration leads to cost avoidance, cost reductions, business optimization, and faster business decisions.”  
Hamples is one of the top 10 startups pitching for prizes worth a total of AED150,000 at the finals of Dubai Startup Hub’s Smartpreneur Competition 6.0, which will be staged as part of Entrepreneur Middle East’s Enterprise Agility Forum 2022 at Expo 2020 Dubai on January 20, 2022. Register HERE to be a part of the event.   
Related: Meet The Finalists Of Dubai Startup Hub’s Smartpreneur Competition 6.0: EduPloyment
Aalia Mehreen Ahmed
Entrepreneur Middle East Staff
Entrepreneur Middle East Staff
Aalia Mehreen Ahmed
Ihsan Eid Salhia
Tamara Clarke
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