Dubai: Students to launch app for low-income people to buy groceries at reduced prices – News | News Bharat

The initial focus will be on vegetables and bakery items, with the possibility of expansion into dairy and meat products in the future.

Published: Friday, December 2, 2022, 06:00

Students at a Dubai school are launching a sustainable initiative to support low-income people by allowing them to buy groceries that are about to expire at a reduced price.

GEMS Modern Academy students aim to reduce waste from supermarkets and grocery stores by developing a website and app. The app tracks products that are nearing their expiration date, allowing consumers to purchase them at a lower price.

The Ubuntu project was very well positioned at the global food security hackathon – Food for Future Summit, held earlier this year. The students also managed to raise over Dh10,000 as part of their DubaiNEXT crowdfunding campaign.

Explaining the Ubuntu project, GEMS Modern Academy grade 12 student Anitej Chanda says, “We developed the project idea at our school’s incubation center under the guidance of our teacher, Eriyat Lakshmi Devi, and published a paper of research that detailed market analysis and relevant perspectives in the International Journal of Innovative Science and Research Technology.

Another student involved in the project, Siddharth Singh, says, “We identified that consumers prefer optimal food products because of the lack of price difference between optimal and suboptimal products.

“By taking advantage of a newly introduced price differential, consumers can save on groceries while maintaining the quality of fresh foods. Simply put, foods that are close to their expiration date are more affordable.”

They point out that suboptimal products, even if they are of satisfactory quality, often result in a large amount of food waste.

“The reduced prices of our application encourage consumers to buy those products that would otherwise be discarded, avoiding unnecessary waste. In addition, the data collected has the potential to help retailers develop methods to reduce retail waste while meeting CSR goals,” explains Ayesh Kadike.

The team stresses that the initial focus will be on vegetables and bakery items, with the possibility of expansion into dairy and meat products in the future.


Co-founder Hari Chandrasekhar says: “We have had promising talks with numerous grocery store bosses across Dubai, but are yet to confirm our first official partnership as we are still developing and refining our product.

“As part of our long-term plan, we intend to expand beyond retail to include restaurants and other establishments. Once we officially launch our product (publicly) we hope to form partnerships.”

Throwing light on what prompted the students to launch the initiative, Krishna Panicker says, “It’s a result of realization rather than inspiration. One of our co-founders, Siddharth, enjoyed a buffet at a restaurant in Fujairah and sampled several dishes. He noticed a display outside the restaurant showing the amount of food wasted in the establishment. He noted that the 68 kg wasted that day could have fed 130 people.”

The student, Sahith Reddy, says, “It was a shocking realization when we realized that we too contribute to these numbers in our own way. We worked on our idea that very night when Siddharth came home and now, a year later, the Ubuntu Project has taken off. With the support of our friends, family, and most importantly, our school, we have been able to take this project further than we ever imagined.”

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