Blending entertainment and education


May 2, 2024 | By Rupkatha B

Shifa Yusuffali, Founder & CEO, IdeaCrate Edutainment Company

“Our relentless pursuit towards achieving operational excellence, coupled with our unwavering dedication to not only meet but exceed customer expectations reflects our commitment to constantly uplift the regional leisure & entertainment landscape” – Shifa Yusuffali, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, IdeaCrate Edutainment Company

Having grown up in a household where her father – Yusuffali MA – a well-known business personality and mother a brilliant homemaker ensured a nurturing environment sparked in Shifa a keen interest in early childhood studies and a passion for entrepreneurship. But it was only when she started her own family that Shifa encountered difficulties in finding quality entertainment options for her children. Combining her entrepreneurial skills and knowledge of childhood studies, Shifa ventured out to make a meaningful difference in the regional edutainment landscape by launching IdeaCrate Edutainment Company in 2015. Through IdeaCrate, Shifa has used her entrepreneurial passion to transform the ‘children’s play centre’ space from “one of overwhelm, noise and chaos,” to “one of education, inspiration and inclusion.”

IdeaCrate Edutainment Company at a Glance

  • Headquartered in Abu Dhabi.
  • Brand portfolio includes Orange Wheels, Orange Hub and Orange Seeds Nursery.
  • The ‘Orange’ brands are built to offer engaging learning experiences through fun activities.

Inching closer to its 10th anniversary and having achieved considerable growth and success in the UAE’s edutainment market, Shifa now plans to expand the brands under IdeaCrate across the Middle East and beyond, which might involve franchising.

“In 2024-25, our business is poised for strategic expansion, both within the UAE and internationally, curating an immersive experience that seamlessly blends entertainment and education,” she shared. “Locally, we are committed to establishing new venues in strategic locations across the UAE. Our goal is to become a go-to destination for families seeking a balance between leisure and enrichment. Therein our spaces will not only offer top-notch entertainment options but will also host workshops and seminars focused on child development, providing valuable resources for parents. Meanwhile, internationally, we aim to replicate our successful model in carefully chosen locations, ensuring that our venues transcend traditional entertainment by offering a holistic approach to family well-being.”

Asked about how the company has evolved over the past 12 months years, Shifa said, “We’ve taken significant strides towards achieving operational excellence. This initiative was born out of a commitment to enhance efficiency, reduce waste and improve the overall quality of our services. By adopting lean management principles and investing in the right technology, we streamlined our processes and optimised our resource allocation. The cornerstone of this transformation was the implementation of a comprehensive operational review system, designed to continuously monitor performance, identify bottlenecks and implement corrective actions swiftly. This proactive approach to operations management has not only increased our agility but also elevated our ability to respond to customer needs with greater speed and accuracy.”

As a result of these efforts, IdeaCrate has seen a “marked improvement” in their operational KPIs, including reduced lead times, higher productivity and improved customer satisfaction scores. “This focus on operational excellence has not only enhanced our competitive edge but also reinforced our commitment to delivering unparalleled value to our customers,” Shifa concluded.

Pick up the April edition of IMAGES RetailME Magazine to read about ‘50 Outstanding Women in MENA Retail’.

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