His previous experience as an entrepreneur is vast, including co-founding several companies in the UAE and landing major business deals for multi-million dollar brands and startups. He has been chosen as one of the "10 Most Influential Entrepreneurs from Dubai in 2022" by The Gulf Entrepreneur. His current startup, TERRA, is focused on revolutionizing the standard transportation system toward a sustainable and innovative mobility future.
Husam's passion for mobility and climate change has taken him on a journey of discovering unique solutions for every city, country, and region. He founded Terra Tech in 2006 as a solution to a problem that was often overlooked and ignored: how to get vehicles, people, and equipment across inhospitable terrain and poor ground conditions, safely and efficiently.
Understanding Unique Mobility Challenges of Every Country
Husam's extensive travels allowed him to gain insights into the unique mobility challenges of every country. He realized that mobility in each country has its own identity, and the solutions for climate change and transportation are unique to every city. He witnessed the mirrors in India, where all the cars have broken mirrors on the side of the car and learned that there is no space because there’s too much traffic. When you buy a car in Bombay, you will take it directly to the garage, where they will remove the mirrors, the side mirror. He also witnessed the use of motorbikes as regular taxis in Congo, as there are no asphalt roads in the country.
Overcoming unique UAE challenges by Finding a Unique UAE Solution
Husam came back to Dubai with a new vision in mind: to find a unique solution for the UAE. When asked about the inspiration behind the startup, Zammar said, "I feel like any startup begins with solving a problem. When I'm out and about, I see 100,000 bikes trying to cross the road, and I wonder why we don't have an ecosystem that replaces them with environmentally friendly and sustainable options."
Zammar’s research showed that there are approximately 92,000 motorbikes in the UAE, and each one can produce more carbon dioxide than a car. This is because the car manufacturing industry is more advanced, with better filters and processes to take care of the carbon dioxide, while the motorbike industry keeps things simple.
Husam added, "In Dubai, you have to change the oil of a motorbike every week, whereas, for a car, it could be two to five months. We need to change the status quo and make sustainable transport accessible to everyone."
Electricity over oil
Terra Tech faced a unique challenge when it decided to supply electric motors in the region. They quickly realized that a traditional charging system for the motorbikes wouldn't work as they needed to be eco-friendly and sustainable, while also adapting to the hot and humid weather conditions that can cause issues with battery life.
Zammar and his team started studying possible solutions for the delivery and mobility problems they faced. He said, "We needed a solution that was environmentally friendly, sustainable, and would work in harmony with the environment." However, finding a solution that would be suitable for the weather conditions of Dubai without breaking the bank was a challenge.
Zammar and his team turned to Tesla's cooling system for their batteries in electric cars but realized that the motorbike's smaller size made it impossible to implement. The last issue was the mileage or the kilometer, which was a critical problem for delivery drivers who needed to travel 250-300 kilometers daily. Existing electrical motorbikes in the region could only manage 120 to 150 kilometers at best, and this simply wasn't enough.
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Changing the standard electric mobility system with on-demand service features
Terra Tech's solution was to implement a swapping system for the batteries, allowing drivers to easily change them when needed. "Our motorbike will notify the driver when the battery is at 20%, and they will be directed to the nearest swapping station. They can reserve the battery in advance and swap it in just 10 seconds before continuing their journey," Zammar explained. With this system, the drivers get notifications if there is a fully charged battery near them that is not in use, further reducing downtime.
Zammar continued, "We have reached a limitless range and sustainable transport with this solution. Based on this, we began fabricating batteries that were more suitable for the weather conditions here."
To solve this problem, Husam founded Terra Tech, a company that focuses on providing eco-friendly and cost-effective mobility solutions for the UAE. They introduced solutions that were specific to the region and the industries in the UAE. They listened to their clients and examined their needs and requirements. The company offers micro-mobility solutions, such as e-bikes that are designed for urban environments and can help reduce carbon emissions.
When services changed, did Terra Tech change also?
Husam's vision for Terra Tech is to provide mobility for every region, country, and city. He said, "We want to provide mobility solutions that are specific to every region and country. We want to create an ecosystem that is sustainable, innovative, and cost-effective. Our goal is to reduce carbon emissions and make mobility accessible to everyone." Husam is adamant that this vision will never change.
But as their mission expanded so did their vision. Their services opened up a new debate about Terra Tech’s identity. Husam explains “We didn’t know our identity. Are we a battery manufacturer? Or, are we charging swiping unit manufacturers or motorbikes? Or, are we a tech company doing platform or dashboard mobile application for the bike?” Ultimately, they settled on their identity as they dug deeper
into action. So later on they found that they are a tech company providing energy per subscription to the user as a B2B because now in UAE they are the only business provider for this service.
Driving full speed ahead
As Terratech has grown, so has its client base, not only have they been supplying solutions to the region’s event industry, but also works with the construction, oil & gas, marine, and film industries, sporting venues, government departments, and multi-national companies and organizations.
Terra Tech's innovative approach to sustainable transport is new to the UAE, and with their electric motorbikes and battery-swapping system, they are constantly in search of a way forward to a greener future.