“I don’t believe in luck, those who have succeeded have grabbed the right opportunity and work hard.”
I heard these fighting words on March 28th when I had good fortune of hearing Jihad El Eit, founder of Jeetek Group (http://jeetekgroup.com/) speak at an event organized by TIE Dubai (http://dubai.tie.org/) in collaboration with in5 (http://infive.ae/).
He started his entrepreneurial journey when he took a huge gamble and bought a phone distribution business in Pakistan. The country was new, the language unknown, the people different but the strong instinct he had for getting into business kept him going. From convincing a bank manager to give him loan for his business to increasing phone sales to new highs, Pakistan was the Jihad’s entrepreneurial playground.
Monoushe Street (http://www.manoushestreet.com/) was a conceived with the thought of being a street side oven, the kinds Jihad was used to growing up in Lebanon. The humble Manoushe, a staple in the Middle East had to be delivered in a simple and consistent manner. The vision has always been and will be, a street side oven which can scale and be a concept worth replicating many times over. Jihad’s emphasis from the beginning has been to make sure that the processes are there which will let Manoushe Street scale quickly and efficiently.
Jihad was very candid in his talk and discussed the various failures he has had, the lessons he has learnt and how they propel him towards taking his various businesses to the next level. One of the key lessons that is close to his heart is the ability to select the right people. His top team is hand picked, sometimes he has had multiple meetings to make sure that the person can bond with him and the culture that he is trying to develop in his organization.
All in all, it was a memorable talk given by one of the most candid entrepreneurs that I have come across. Was great to be there and I am pretty sure that this is not the last of what we will hear of Jihad or Manoushe Street.