My fascination for numbers and math lead me to study technology in college and establish my first business in this field.
But food has been a passion for me my whole life. While I was in college, I had an opportunity to work for some multinational brands as quality control. It was during this time that I was able to observe, interact, and learn more about how the multi-chain food business can provide the same level of taste across all their outlets.
This first brush with the food business was the genesis of the thinking behind owning a food business – however, I wanted to make sure that the business would have a strong local touch. There were not that many local home-grown brands in this part of the world, and that seemed to an excellent opportunity to tap in. I want to create a business from ground up that would proudly fly the flag of being a local, home-grown brand.
My journey from the tech field to the food business was not a straight line. There were several ups and downs in my tech business, which led to some delays in getting started with my food business. However, along the road, this did make me realize that in today’s ever-changing, ever-evolving world, it is essential to have a diversified portfolio of business as an entrepreneur.
Because I wanted to build a brand ground up, I had decided not to pick up any franchise (although I had an opportunity to do so). But I stuck to my vision, and the result of this stands before your Eyes. In my case, I also, I dipped into the experience I had gained while I was working for some chains back in the early days and I build upon that experience to get Roast to where it is today.
I believe that for a food business passion is not enough. You definitely need passion, but it has to be practical passion composed of product positioning and great marketing to necessary to increase your chances of success. It is not about just putting up a store and serving up a selection of sandwiches. I firmly believe that taking joy in seeing people enjoy food & drink should be at the heart of your business.
Roast is not just another coffee shop. I want to make Roast part of the local community. A place where you can spend time with your friend and family. I want Roast to be the first stop for your coffee on way to your office. I have styled the café so that it can be your space to work from or a sanctuary for some quiet coffee and “me” time for the busy individuals. We have many working professionals placing themselves in the calm and composed interiors and exterior of ROAST, adding productivity to their work with each sip of our specialty coffee.
But all this is also while keeping in mind the safety of our patrons. We make sure that all our Baristas abide by all the safety guidelines of wearing masks, gloves to contactless delivery for online orders.
Currently, at Roast we provide a wide range of hot/cold drinks and sandwiches. Some of our most popular ones are cappuccino, hot choco ball, cotton candy latte, iced pistachio latte, etc. However, we are always evolving our menu, considering consumer taste and preference. For e.g. if you are vegan or on Keto – we can cater to any dietary need within our menu.
My mantra for success in my professional and personal life are three very simple yet powerful statements.
One, treat others the way you want to be treated. I know this sounds cliché, but it’s something that most of us forget.
Second, no matter how difficult your situation, mental strength will get you through. And this is especially important now- with several business reeling in the aftereffects of the COVID- pandemic
Third, if you put your customer before profits, your business will not only survive, but it will also thrive.
My message for the young entrepreneurs or anyone else who is looking to get into business is that there are endless possibilities for creating value and delivering it to people. Even in these tough, uncertain times, look at the world with a vision to discover possibilities and not with a vision to see the problems. If you try to look for problems, you will find problems. But if you switch your mindset to look for opportunities, you will find them.
The Covid-19 pandemic has shaken up a few things in the world, but it also created some opportunities- look for them, find them, and work on them. One other point I would like to add is that don’t make very long terms plans- Think and plan for the short term and have the ability to adapt. The faster you and your business can pivot and adapt in the changing world, the more chances for it to thrive.
I want to thank the rulers of the UAE for their support of all sectors within the UAE and for taking all the necessary steps to help flatten the pandemic curve.