Are you now where you imagined you’d be five years ago?
I believe that I have achieved many of the things I planned to achieve by now. But still, I think that the answer to this question is, no. I am a designer by profession and also an artist. Working in the food industry was never my thing; at least I thought so.
Entitlement holds back Qatari youth. Your take?
I believe this is just a stereotype. I believe that the younger generation is much more aware now than before that they are the future of this country and they play a very vital and paramount role in our state. Hence, I meet daily many enthusiastic young Qataris; mostly in their 20s, who have either accomplished something in their lives already or are working on something exciting. As a matter of fact, if anything, being entitled to certain privileges has pushed many young Qataris forward.
As an entrepreneur in Qatar, is there one thing you wish had been different, easier or readily available that would have made a significant difference to you?
Looking back at when I first set up the business and where I am now, I am happy the road was not that smooth. The whole process was not easy especially since I had decided to work on something that is not related to my profession. The project implementation part was much harder than I imagined. However, I have learned many things and I am still learning. And overall, it is worth it.
And Cheese? What drew you to that? Maryam Al Subaiey, Qatari entrepreneur who tagged you, also asks: Starting a business that is not relevant to your background could be challenging. What made you think of the “cheese market”?
My studies at Oxford for my bachelor’s and master’s degrees over a period of six years was great exposure to a different community and lifestyle. I met many people and learned a lot about the culture of cheese. The idea evolved about approximately a year ago to develop a unique idea in the market and Cheese Market is considered the first store of its kind in the region.
Besides my business, I have a master’s in architecture from the UK and have been working in this profession for the past seven years. I am also a photorealistic portrait and figurative artist. I have been painting since I was young and I have participated in a few exhibitions. The last one was two years ago with Qatar Visual Arts Center. I have other hobbies like horse-riding, swimming and diving.
What or who inspires you in Qatar (or the region)?
I usually find inspiration in everything that surrounds me. It may sound clichéd, but you have to cultivate your imagination and creativity by keeping an open mind to new experiences and ideas.
If the business environment here were to be exactly how you wish it to be, what would it look like?
I believe that people I was working with would be more organised and straightforward. I believe it is very important to use time wisely and respect other people’s time too. I am always busy but I am a very organised person and I have very good time management skills. Both skills I believe are very important to help your business succeed. Unfortunately, I meet many people who don’t share the same values.
How do you define success?
I believe success is what leads you and others to live a happier life. That is my prime goal. The goal I set for myself is definitely important, but in business, for example, it is very important to keep it booming and developing continuously. Otherwise, no matter how hard you’ve worked to set up the business and how successful it is at the moment, after a while, it will not survive.
The one law or regulation in Qatar you wish to change?
I think what we need to be developed further is the procedure and communication between different entities that aid setting up and running a business. There is no well-developed portal that hosts all relevant information of each company. Now, for each different department, we need to apply with the same set of documents and present the same information continuously which requires a lot of time and effort. This has to be centralised.
Where and what would Hind be in 2022?
I am currently working on many plans to grow both business and design careers. I believe it is very important to set a certain goal and work toward it. At the end it might work or might not, but in both cases, lessons will be learned. So, I don’t know where I will be in five or ten years and nobody knows what the future holds but I pray for it to be full of success and happiness.
Whom would you like to tag next?
Shyama Alharmouzi. She established a company specialised in design and also marketing campaigns. I would like to ask her how she would grow her business with limited resources and also unlimited resources?