February 8, 2019 |
What incident/opportunity led to your decision to open this business?
I stumbled across the world of point of sale by pure accident! A friend was opening a new frozen yogurt concept and asked me to help her source a small, portable and reliable POS. After much research, I found the Revel System and helped her to install the software with a small stand, cash drawer, and printer. I knew from my research that the system was perfect for her business as it allowed her to have full control of inventory, sales and staff whilst not being physically on site. After she attended numerous markets and concerts with her portable POS system, I soon started to get enquiries from businesses keen to invest in the same software to help them grow whilst maintaining control of their business from afar.
I was able to work closely with Revel to agree to become a reseller for the Middle East, and very quickly became their Gold Exclusive Partner representing the software in the Middle East
The rest as they say… is part of our history!
What were the three biggest obstacles along the way and how did you overcome each one?
Having a full time job and being able to dedicate the time to it. A lot of late nights, early starts and long weekends prevailed. As the hours slowly started to pay off, it became increasingly evident that there was a demand in the market for the software and a gap in the market for providing a world class system, with dedicated, local and trusted support. Turning this into a reality and slowly building the business up and taking on team members was a truly satisfying moment. Bringing new people into the business and looking back on where this all began makes me realize how far we have come. It is incredibly rewarding to walk into our office and work in such a thriving environment with our dedicated and committed team knowing that this once began on a kitchen table working in the small hours of the morning!
Secondly, being a new player in the region and establishing ourselves as a trust worthy reputable company. Word of mouth and referrals really helped with this. A good reputation is something you develop over a period of time and can’t be achieved overnight. Building brand loyalty takes time and I would say that all our clients are happy with the service we provide, which is everything.
Thirdly, we started to grow very quickly. The power and strength of the software was very easy for potential customers to buy into and truly appreciate the benefits that it could bring to their organization, be it small or large. However, people also bought into us, and the personal, dedicated support and help that we offered. Growing quickly, challenged us to continually address and review how well we continued to keep our “personal” touch in how we sold, supported and maintained relationships on an individual level with our customers.
What were the three most rewarding moments?
Growing the team and the business together
Winning Pizza Express – this is one of our biggest clients that we won for the UAE, it was a great achievement to win business from such a globally accredited brand and an even bigger achievement that we have a continued great relationship with the team at Pizza Express.
Being announced as the biggest and highest achieving reseller in the world for Revel and being announced as a Gold Channel Reseller
What one piece of advice would you give fellow entrepreneurs?
It may sound predictable and obvious, but don’t give up. Remind yourself of the passion and enthusiasm you had which motivated you to start. Those reasons are the ones to inspire you and to keep you fighting on the days when it may feel like you want to give up! We work in a tough market, one that offers huge potential, but one that also suffers no weaknesses, but I believe that you can turn the challenges into positives that can help you grow.
It’s so important to ensure that you do your research. One of the hardest decisions is deciding to go it alone and making it happen and it can be hard to know exactly where to start and how to ensure you do things correctly. Seek lots of advice and keep your finger on the pulse. Although we are very aware about our competitors, we endeavor to focus and concentrate proactively on executing our vision and strategy. Keep true to yourself and why you started – those that copy are always one step behind!
What are your thoughts on the future of F&B and the industry?
The food and beverage industry in the Middle East is one of the most interesting and exciting categories to be a part of. The start of 2019 has been really positive with lots of new ventures and developments opening their doors and offering even more variety to an ever growing market. However, with every new development that opens, increased pressure is placed onto existing businesses to survive. One thing that is clear is that this is not impossible, although maybe challenging, if you have a quality product, with great service and remain innovative and present, there is great potential to thrive and to continue to grow and succeed in this market.