Across the MENA region, there are 20 million children with disabilities and learning difficulties: over half of them do not receive proper care. Without this care, disabled children at home are not able to reach their potential. This creates a difficult learning environment and places a lot of pressure on families. Costly rehabilitation centers that can be located hundreds of miles away simply aren’t a workable solution for millions of these less fortunate kids. Particularly at a time when large swathes of the world are under lockdown, parents need remote help with looking after their children. Also the therapists need an efficient, secure way to manage their patients remotely at home, and assign clear home tasks to them.
The evidence of the need
4 years ago my son Mohammed came to life, a few days after his birth he was diagnosed with many problems such as terticulas in his neck,..etc that need functional and physical therapy. This was a great challenge to us to reach the rehabilitation center in Tel Aviv regularly, because we couldn’t get permission each time. When we could not reach the hospital in Tel Aviv, we used to call the therapist, and then he gave us a set of instructions and exercises to apply with Mohammed at home, which is basically one of the tasks the therapists give parents at the end of each rehabilitation session. These exercises helped to alleviate Mohammed's symptoms during periods of interruption, which led us to go deeper into the problem we face, and discovered that it is a general problem in the MENA and the world.
There are more than 10 million children in the MENA region don’t have accessibility to the rehabilitation centers, and 40m in the world, that is why we decided to find a real solution for all those people, and bring therapy home for them, and started a successful business that is related to my career path as kids trainer as well. Nothing better than working on a business that you have a big passion for, it’s very motivating for me.
After a deep market, competitors, and customers study, I got a real proof that my idea will work well and worth turning it into real business, so I decided to move forward and started gathering the team and building the product.
Our customer and market studies depend on a lot of data gathering and analysis techniques. First, we used an internet research about the problem, the customers, the competitors and their competitive advantages. This was the first proof that there is a problem in the accessibility of the rehabilitation centers for more than 10 million kids in the MENA region, and that there is no Arabic solution to solve this problem properly. This problem is happening due to the huge lack of caring centers for those kids, in addition to that most of these centers are centralized in the main cities, which makes it very difficult
and expensive for a lot of families to reach regularly. Moreover, there is a serious lack of the Arabic content about home development and education of kids with difficulties, which makes it a big challenge for the moms to figure out how to spend quality time with them, and to develop their skills at the same time.
Next, we started the real customer validation, we met locally and online with 30 women fr om Palestine, who are potential customers of our app, and asked them a lot of non-directed questions about their kids rehabilitation’s journey, which was the first indication that there is a need for the App in Palestine.
Then we used an online questionnaire, and directed it to mothers of kids with difficulties in the MENA region, to search their problems, rehabilitation journey buying habits, Etc, 370 mothers filled in the questionnaire, and depending on their answer we got a strong indication of the real market needs.
For example, 55% of the mothers don’t have regular accessibility to the rehabilitation centers, 70% don’t know how to spend the time of their disabled kids at home, 80% search for online activities for their disabled kids, 65% search for resources to increase their kids cognitive skills.
The fourth stage with the market validation was after building the MVP, we sent the application to 20 mothers of kids with disabilities and learning difficulties to test, and if they have intention to sign it. They gave us great feedback about the user experience, and 60% of them signed that they have intention to subscribe for the premium subscription. After analyzing all the previous interviews in depth and studying all the features that attracted the mothers to follow up or move away fr om a certain project, we came to the conclusion that the most missing Arab projects’ features for people with special needs and learning difficulties that are currently on the Internet is the allocation of treatment programs that provide them to be suitable to the situation of each child based on his abilities and needs. And the lack of a system of assessment of the abilities of children at every stage, in order to make parents sure that the development of the child's abilities are on track. Which led us to choose these two characteristics to be the core values that we offer to customers and make us ahead of other projects, wh ere it covers the needs of the missing in the Arab market now?
For the foreign projects that offer the same services we offer, the current advantage we offer to our Arabic market is the Arabic language, wh ere we take care of the activities that we offer, both written and pictured in the videos talking on the use of smooth Arabic language understandable to most of the local dialects in the Arab world. But we must always pay attention to the plans of these projects to expand to other markets such as the Arab market, so we chose a different age group does not provide these services to them, Kinedu application, which is the strongest competitor to our project in the global market covers the needs of children up to the age of only 4 years, We focused on starting from the age of 3 years, so that we will soon be able to cover a higher rate of life than these projects.
Although we got a proven indication about the customer’s needs, we didn’t stop the customer validation process, now we are preparing to finish the assessment system for the first year of the child age, and we are collecting more potential customers contacts for the test.
The Covid-19 quarantine maximize the need to our app, most disabled kids who attended rehabilitation centers lost the chance for regular visits to the centers, and their therapist either stop their rehabilitation exercises until the end of the quarantine, or using nonprofessional ways to connect with their patients, and to assign tasks to them. This situation is great indication about the urgent need of our project to be available during the quarantine.