Since the young age of 14, Khalid AlMutawa had a knack for development (in the technical sense) and creating things: “I enjoy building and inventing new things using whatever material available for me to use.” Still, at 14, developing was just a hobby Khalid didn’t take too seriously, but was passionate about. Years passed and Khalid found himself freelancing during his second year of university and developing both websites and apps full-time. Khalid’s relationship with technology runs deep – he views it as the medium to which he can rely on to problem-solve. How? He builds and develops products that solve any and all issue that he faces – which in turn, make other peoples’ lives easier.
“If you can imagine it, you can build it,” Khalid started. “You can think of mastering technology akin to earning super powers,” he laughed, “it enables you to do something that nobody else can do!” Because technology has no physical limitation, Khalid enjoys using technology to solve problems: “Problem-solving is a nice thing to do!”
Having spent most of his undergrad building and developing projects for companies, Khalid decided to set up his own company – Built Awesome (BAWES). To start, BAWES was a development firm and creative agency that creates solutions and projects for companies. But due to a lack of funds, Khalid decided to go ahead and create their very first tech startup – StudentHub: An online recruitment platform for both students and fresh graduates looking for jobs!
Watching their project succeed, BAWES decided to stop seeking out clients to serve and just keep doing what they’re doing! “Consequently, BAWES shifted into a company which builds successful tech startups inhouse,” Khalid added, “and now we no longer accept clients, only partners.” Now, with four in-house tech startups launched, we at bazaar just had to know more about BAWES. So we sat with Khalid to learn more about their incredible solutions to all our technology qualms.
Why the name – Built Awesome?
I was facing difficulties naming the company when I first started, so I asked my friend Latifa AlMusallam for advice. When she asked me what the company does, my response was, “We build awesome stuff.” That’s when she recommended the name BAWES (Built Awesome). I couldn’t say no to that since it’s exactly what we do.
Can you explain the different tech startups you have under BAWES?
In the last two years we’ve built a good number of tech startups, however we haven’t launched all of them yet. The four we’ve launched are:
- StudentHub.co – Recruitment platform for students and fresh graduates.
- plugn.io – an Instagram comment management system for teams.
- TheWhiteBook.com.kw – an event planning platform.
- XyStudio.co – for online design services.
How did Plugn start exactly? What was the market gap you saw?
After launching StudentHub, we’ve had thousands of customers ask us questions on a daily basis. We needed a way to keep track of all the requests coming to us via email, phone, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. to ensure we offer the best when it comes to customer service. While there are plenty of customer service tools that assist you in that, we settled on using Zendesk. However, there was no tool that assisted us when it came to Instagram. We tried linking Instagram with it and even spoke to the Zendesk team. We even considered alternative platforms, nobody presented me with a solution. So seeing a problem and wanting to solve it, I went ahead and built Plugn.
Who is it useful for?
Plugn.io is good for anyone with an Instagram accountthat receives more comments than they could individually handle, and wants to keep track of all comments and respond to them. It’s also good for social media companies that manage multiple accounts.
What’s next for you and BAWES?
When it comes to tech startups, the best approach is to remain focused. So for now, we will focus on our current projects until we have the resources to start something new.