Considering International Women’s Day was just last week, we are excited to feature P5M as our business of the month for March. Why?! Because not only is this tech company founded by the lovely Anwaar Al-Refae, their team is made up of 53% women!
But what is P5M?
This is a web/mobile app where you can buy passes for a certain number of classes (2, 5, 10, 15 or 30 classes) from their diverse list of studios, gyms and fitness trainers. It’s the perfect solution for those who like a variety in their fitness routines and don’t want to commit to only one gym. This is also the perfect choice for those with a tight schedule looking for flexibility since it gives you a wider range of classes during different time slots.
So, if you have that 1 hour between meetings that you want to work out for, you no longer have the choice of just that 1 spinning class at that gym you signed up months ago. Instead, you can choose between the barre class in the gym next to you or maybe a yoga class a few minutes away or even maybe just open gym time at that amazing gym you went to the last time, depending on your mood and your energy level.
For March, we interviewed Anwaar Al Refae to understand a little more about how P5M came to be and also to understand more about what makes her tick.
Why did you feel that there was a need for P5M in Kuwait?
I’ve always been super active. Growing up, I participated in all the sports in school. Even when I went to university, I would work out 5–6 times a week. When I came back to Kuwait after graduating, I noticed that my activity level dropped significantly and a big reason for that was because the environment didn’t foster an active lifestyle.
When things got busy with family, friends or work, going to the gym or being active didn’t have a place in the lifestyle and so was the first thing to drop. That’s when the idea came to me that it wasn’t that people didn’t want to work out or that they were lazy but rather that the environment really made it difficult for them to do that.
So p5m started as an idea to help foster a healthy lifestyle that will encourage people that are looking to be active and physically healthy to pursue classes and have optimal physical health.
What do you think is p5m’s unique competitive advantage?
p5m’s unique competitive advantage boils down to the people. From the product that the team builds, to the community, to our partners. The fact is that we are creating something that works locally for the community so all the feedback that we get is based on what the people want to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Same with our partners, we listen to their needs whether that’s traffic, revenue or exposure or even just feedback and advice on how to get more people engaged and get them to enjoy leading a healthy lifestyle. Our competitive advantage is the team that we work with on-field and off-field!
Is there any book or podcast that made a particular impact on you as an entrepreneur?
Definitely. There are many but one that I particularly enjoyed reading in terms of understanding social behaviors was ‘Predictably Irrational’ by Dan Ariely. I loved that book in terms of understanding sales and people. Another favorite is ‘Zero to One’ by Peter Thiel. It doesn’t exactly give you a step by step instructions on how to operate a business but it gives you an overview of the types of impact you want to have in the world.
One of my favorite podcasts is by the comedian Joe Rogan who talks about a diverse range of topics. I think understanding a little bit of everything happening around the world is a great way to see and understand what kind of impact you want to have with your business.
What does a regular day look like for you?
On a regular day, I wake up at 5, go to the gym and have my breakfast. Then I come to work and check with each department such as product, marketing, data and see if we’re on track or if there’s any pending work.
After that, I work within the business development part of the business and get that setup. I then work alone on any tasks that require a little extra brainpower.
Once that’s done, I head home and meet either family or friends (not every day but if I am meeting someone, this would be the time), have dinner, watch a show to unwind and go to sleep
How do you use goSell and goCollect to simplify payments for your customers?
goSell has really allowed p5m to revolutionize the fitness industry here in Kuwait. Since before having goSell on p5m, there was no way for people to book and pay online for fitness classes. The only option was to either pay KNET or cash at the gym/facility when you’re visiting. So it allowed us to add value to our business and give our users the accessibility for a healthier lifestyle.
The flexibility and convenience of goCollect, on the other hand, complements the payment gateway and allows us to send any additional bills for an ongoing promotion or if a user wants to extend their membership and they missed the window to automatically extend it within the application. It allows our users to lead an active lifestyle without breaking the momentum.
What is one reason why you would recommend Tap payments to others?
The one reason why I would recommend Tap payments is because, for a small business owner, the prices for the services they offer are extremely reasonable and is more of an asset than a cost.
Knowing what you know today, what would be a piece of advice you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs in Kuwait and the region?
If there is something that I wish I would have known when I first started or something that I’d like to pass on to anyone looking to start their entrepreneurial journey, I would boil that down to 3 things:
- Be focused: There are so many ideas and so many directions that you can take but you have to remember to stay focused on the main problem that you’re solving and take it one step at a time. This is the best way to understand the feedback, whether positive or negative and be able to learn and build off of that.
- Be patient: Success doesn’t happen overnight. Uncontrollable factors within the environment could change the direction of the business but just stay patient during these times and believe in what you’re doing. In most cases, when you’re creating something new it takes a lot of education-whether that’s within the public to foster this new behavior and/or with your partners to make understand the value and importance of working together to create this impact that you want to see within the community. This takes a lot of patience.
- Lean into your fears: There is a saying that goes “Life is lived outside of your comfort zone”. That is true because your comfort zone isn’t actually comfortable. There is a lot of fear, there’s a lot of anxieties and there’s a lot of self-doubt about whether you can do this or if you’re going in the right direction and the fact is that once you lean into that fear and take it step by step to figure out what exactly is outside of that comfort zone is when you’ll actually feel the most comfortable.