Editor’s Note: This is one in a alternation of Plain Dealer profiles on breadth immigrant business owners.
WESTLAKE, Ohio — Walk into the offices of Pandata, and the aboriginal affair you apprehension is a zoo’s account of pandas. Tiny beautiful pandas, creamy blimp pandas, Warhol-esque pandas and artificial pandas beautify every apparent and bank in the abstracts science company’s Westlake offices.
“I’ve been banned from bringing any added pandas into the office,” joked Pandata architect Cal Al-Dhubaib, 28.
Pandas are the aggregation amulet because Pandata has “panda” in it, explained Al-Dhubaib (pronounced Du BA be), who grew up in Saudi Arabia but spent summers with his American ancestors in Streetsboro. He started Pandata as a apprentice at Case Western Reserve University.
His multicultural acquaintance helped him begin a abstracts science consulting aggregation that helps organizations use avant-garde technology to break business problems. The aggregation has nine full- and part-time employees, with affairs to add three new full-time jobs.
“Cal’s immigrant acquaintance gives him a altered outsiders perspective,” said Jane Alexander, arch agenda advice administrator for the Cleveland Architecture of Art, which is a Pandata client. “This altered point of appearance contributes to his avant-garde spirit, acceptance him to see gaps and opportunities in areas that others ability overlook.”
Pandata helped the architecture assay abstracts aggregate from monitors that logged area visitors went and how continued they backward in anniversary gallery. The activity focused on the ARTLENS Gallery, area architecture visitors use technology to collaborate with and apprentice about images of altar in the museum’s collections.
“We abstruse that visitors who absorb added than bristles account in ARTLENS Arcade absorb (an additional) 30-plus account added in the added galleries,” Alexander said in an email. “This was a huge advice in acceptance the success of the goals of our alternate space.”
Al-Dhubaib grew up in Saudi Arabia architecture Lego robots and arena soccer in a adjacency abounding with bodies of assorted nationalities. “Hearing a adopted accent was exciting, not threatening,” Al-Dhubaib said.
Yet he had ties to the United States. His mother, who grew up in Maple Heights, and his ancestor met as acceptance at the University of Akron.
When he visited ancestors in Northeast Ohio every summer, he was afraid by the abridgement of assortment in some cities, and how it was advised abrupt to allege a adopted language. “Those kinds of things bent me by surprise,” he said.
Al-Dhubaib has bifold citizenship and considers himself an agent for two countries he loves, but sometimes his indigenous accomplishments creates amateurishness in business settings.
Because he sounds and looks American, some bodies don’t apprehend he is Saudi and say inappropriate things. He chooses to see those moments as blessings because they accord him acumen into added people’s bare thoughts.
“As continued as we can accept a dialogue, I’m not upset. Let’s ask anniversary added questions,” Al-Dhubaib said.
Company began at CWRU
As a boyhood attractive at colleges, Al-Dhubaib was able to casting his net added than most. He won a academy scholarship from Saudi Aramco, the Saudi Arabian oil aggregation that is one of the better companies in the world. Al-Dhubaib’s parents were active there.
He chose CWRU over the University of San Diego. “I didn’t Google the weather,” he deadpanned.
While at CWRU, he started a brief software business alleged Triple Analytics. He larboard the Saudi Aramco scholarship affairs and had to booty out apprentice loans to break in school.
When he put $3,000 on a acclaim agenda to alpha Pandata in 2016, he was atrocious to prove he could run a acknowledged business. First, Al-Dhubaib did some brooding about what went amiss with his aboriginal company.
“I wasn’t listening,” he said. “Pandata is all about alert to the chump and market.”
Al-Dhubaib accelerating from CWRU with a amount in bloom affliction abstracts science in 2016.
Pandata is self-funded through acquirement it takes in. “Customers vote with their feet. Either they pay, or they don’t pay,” Al-Dhubaib said.
When he’s not abacus to his panda collection, he enjoys bedrock climbing, active and travel. A New Year’s resolution to appointment two new countries anniversary year has aggressive trips to Jordan, France, Sweden and the Czech Republic.
Most of all, he wants Pandata to become the go-to ability for abstracts in the Midwest.
“Building Pandata has been the distinct best admired acquaintance I’ve had,” Al-Dhubaib said.
Visit The Plain Dealer, Cleveland at www.cleveland.com
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