Creating Opportunities, Launching Visions:
Lessons from Hawas Group’s Founder - Ahmed Hawas
Company: The Hawas Group
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I have always been inspired by the vision of our leaders who converted this country from a desert to a successful, lucrative global hub that most people around the world can visit and do business in―be it an individual or a massive group of companies. Being a finance professional for over a decade, I've been guiding large corporations in expanding their operations to further enhance business potentials. This passion carried strong motivation to start Hawas Group in 2014 that holds unique business modules of five subsidiaries ranging from niche consumable products to high-end technology solutions with The Oven Market (TOM) being an exciting new addition to the portfolio.
How did you get started in business?
I've always been on the run for new initiatives and business ideas, varying from events, technologies, products and services; and have chosen the UAE as the metropolis home to our headquarters, given the diversified citizenships and business-driven economy.
My experience in the region's financial sector has granted me the market knowledge to develop new business ideas and lines. I've always sought to be recognisable for introducing new initiatives and expanding UAE-born businesses internationally.
Tell us about your latest business venture, The Oven Market (TOM), and what problem it solves.
The idea has always been on the table, but I saw its development and launch during the unfortunate period the world has been going through―from job losses and salary cuts, to the crumbling economy. The current affairs led me to kickstart The Oven Market, a chef-at-home booking platform, that solves the main issues chefs-at-home face: delivery, marketing and supplies. Solving and managing those three obstacles are at the core of TOM's business structure.
How do you determine if a business idea is going to be successful?
It’s hard to tell if a business idea is going to be successful before launching a brand into the market and testing the operations and services with the customers, as we rely on customer feedback in most of our business expansion and amelioration strategies. Nonetheless, ensuring that the business plan is based on exclusivity and that a potential market gap is being addressed or catered to is certainly the key foundation to a business idea’s feasibility.
What are your success habits?
These are my success habits: Prioritisation, Determination, Confidence, Persistence and Excellence.
What motivates you?
The recognition that I receive motivates me, and success, of course. Ensuring that the products and services provided by The Hawas Group are adding value to the community stirs us as well. I aim for this brand to breakthrough and achieve a recognisable status.
Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
There is no one formula for becoming a successful entrepreneur. To me, celebrating failure is part of the journey, and breaking through isn't hard if you know how to put yourself back on the right path.
What would you say are your responsibilities as a business owner?
It's really simple. A business owner has to find a balance between leadership and being a team player. The key is to give your employees the stability they're eager for, whether financially or mentally, and keep a tight grip over the business ideology and standards, so nothing is compromised in the process.
Tell us about a time you had to deal with failure and how you dealt with it.
I’m not very fond of the word ‘failure’, even though in business there is no other proper alternative for it. But in life, failure is better called a ‘lesson’. You always learn from failing, and I’ve done my part of learning when I opened my entertainment company that exhausted my time and energy in vain.
If you could start all over again, what would you do differently?
I would definitely explore other business sectors and try business ideas I was eager to venture into.
What advice would you give to someone starting out on their entrepreneurial journey?
I’ve said it previously. Celebrate failure. Fail more. Learn more. Don’t be scared of standing back up. You’ll get places.
If you were to write a book about yourself, what would you name it?
The Walk Uphill.
How do you look after your mental health?
This is a part that’s always under development. Viewing all aspects with pure logic helps me eliminate distractions and set accurate priorities.
What’s that one quote you live by?
“Don’t wait for the right opportunity: create it.” ―George Bernard
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