How Yousif Alneamy’s Falaq is Revolutionising Mosul’s Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

Yousif Alneamy, a 32-year-old entrepreneur, is at the forefront of Mosul’s burgeoning tech scene. His journey, however, is not a solo expedition. It’s a story of perseverance, adaptation, and a vision to transform Mosul’s pharmaceutical supply chain.

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His previous experiences led him to launch the city’s first startup back in 2018 – Dakakenna, a B2C marketplace for home appliances and electronics. While managing to attract significant results in terms of customers, awards, and community recognition, Alneamy saw a potential dead end. Struggling to make ends meet, he decided to pivot and start a new business where he came up with an idea that would later shape Mosul’s pharmaceutical supply chain.

While Mosul’s tech landscape is promising, like the rest of Iraq it is in its nascent stages. Alneamy acknowledges this, highlighting the city’s rapid development but its infancy as a major business sector. Global trends are driving a tech-forward approach, with businesses embracing social media and exploring app development. However, there’s a gap between aspiration and optimisation. Sectors lack a tech-driven approach, creating opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs. Obstacles like online payments exist, but Alneamy views them as potential advantages.

Local entrepreneurs could use the lack of online payments as an advantage if they were able to solve it.

Yousif Alneamy, Founder of Falaq

Compared to other regional cities, Mosul’s tech entrepreneurs face distinct challenges. Market size is a hurdle, making it difficult to attract investors. Culturally, convincing customers to adopt new technologies can be tough. But the biggest challenge, according to Alneamy, is building the right team: “You may know what skills are required for a specific job in your company, but the question is can you find that team member?”

Alneamy’s experience reflects these challenges. His previous venture, Dakakenna, struggled due to logistical limitations: “Dakakenna depended heavily on operations and logistics to operate which made it very difficult to expand because Mosul didn’t have reliable shipping companies.”

This led to the pivot towards Falaq, a B2B marketplace connecting pharmacies with local drug warehouses. The transition wasn’t smooth sailing. Convincing established suppliers to join a new platform was a challenge. Here, Alneamy’s experience with Dakakenna proved invaluable. He emphasises how it allowed him to convince suppliers of Falaq’s value proposition.

When we first talked to suppliers, they mentioned that some people tried before us but never been able to launch and we had to show them that we’re different and can adapt faster to their needs.

Yousif Alneamy, Founder of Falaq

With three years since launching and nine dedicated employees, Falaq’s long-term goal is ambitious: digitising Iraq’s entire pharmaceutical supply chain. It’s a daunting task, but Alneamy is determined to take it one step at a time: “We want to digitalise the whole supplier chain of pharmaceuticals in Iraq. Is it difficult? Of course. But we’re ready to try to move one step at a time to reach our goal.”

Critical Look at the Ecosystem

When asked about the role of universities and the government in supporting aspiring tech entrepreneurs, his views were pointed. He believes Iraqi universities are failing to equip students with the skills they promise: “Universities in Iraq are becoming more irrelevant as we go with time. Let them first start teaching their students the skills they promise in their colleges and departments.” He adds “For example, can you say that the accounting department is creating good accountants that could use accounting tools? And this list goes on.”

While Government policies, in Alneamy’s opinion, are not playing a supportive role. He criticises regulations that seem to prioritise revenue generation over fostering innovation: “They have a role and a very bad one. I haven’t seen any new regulation that benefits us in any way. All that I see is a way to take money from companies without any real benefits.” Reflecting on his argument, he wonders “There is a new regulation that all companies in Iraq regardless of the sector are required to register for the “.iq” email domain and the cost is IQD 225,000 yearly. How should this help companies? What if companies already have a domain?”

A Bright Future, Built on Challenges

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Despite these challenges, Alneamy sees a bright future for Iraq’s healthcare industry, mirrored by developments in neighboring countries. Rising competition in private medical facilities is driving more and more adoption of new technologies.

For aspiring entrepreneurs in Mosul, Alneamy’s advice is a dose of tough reality. He acknowledges the immense difficulty of starting and running a company:  “First things first, starting and running a company is a very difficult job and requires a lot of skills, courage, and commitment and most people would fail. It could be a good idea to look for a job instead.”

However, for those who thrive on challenges and problem-solving, the journey of building a successful company can be immensely rewarding. He concludes with a motivational message: “If you like to go through hardships and solve problems from time to time as your company grows, you’ll love the process and observe how things work after many failed attempts. You’ll love the respect of your customers for your company and team. You could change things and create new standards in your sector.”

Abdulla Thaier

Freelance Writer

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