This is our Origin Story.
When I was a student at the University of Iowa, my dad messaged me one day while I was in class. In the spirit of full disclosure, it was a rather boring lecture, and I responded instantly. After laughing about my lack of attention span for a while, the two of us began wondering just how many students broke their concentration at the drop of a hat whenever their phones buzzed with a notification. I looked around the class, and noticed that this was actually a problem. And in that ECON 2010 lecture that day, Lock&Stock was born.
As with every time he repeats this anecdote, he ends with a chuckle.
This is how Craig Fernandes, co-founder and CEO, describes the origins of Lock&Stock. Together with his dad, co-founder and COO Ian Fernandes, Craig set out on a mission to keep the UAE’s students off their phones. To do this, the duo decided to tie the concept of staying offline to student discounts, knowing that students were by their very nature a price sensitive audience.
The mission at the heart of our young company is a staggering one. According to studies, nearly a quarter of students actively use their phones during class, and about two thirds claim to have an addiction to the rectangular shaped devices that reside in their pockets. Yes, contrary to popular opinion, nomophobia truly does exist.
After months of endless planning, client meetings and tech development, Lock&Stock finally launched in the UAE on September 24th, 2017 on the App Store and Play Store with 24 partner brands and 39 offers. With the addition of two key members to the core team, Mustafa Ahmed, who joined as Lock&Stock’s Chief Design Officer, and Hussain Aliasgar, who took over the marketing reins, we were able to close out 2017 with a little over three thousand registered students and close to one hundred partner brands.
And we never looked back. Since the turn of the year, Lock&Stock has more than quadrupled in student registrations, and now boasts over two hundred brands listed on its marketing portal (at the time of writing). Among our partners are some of the UAE’s most beloved brands, such as Vox Cinemas, Novo Cinemas, Forever 21, Charley’s Philly Steaks and Nando’s, as well as online behemoths Zomato, Careem and Talabat.
To date, Lock&Stock has accounted for more than 20 years of total time spent offline.
We promise to never stop innovating, so that students across the United Arab Emirates have as strong an incentive as possible to keep their phones at bay when in the classroom.
In May 2018, Lock&Stock debuted its job portal, which allows students to use their rewards to apply for available jobs and internships.