Not all entrepreneurs give everything up to start their businesses. Mazen Hawwa, 29, and Richard Naddaf, 28, are setting up Richy's, a salad takeaway and delivery shop, due to open next month, in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai. Both have kept their full-time jobs in the financial industry. Mr Hawwa explains why.
How did you come up with the idea for Richy's?
The idea came in May 2011 when we realised that there is a need for a fantastic salad shop. Everyone today sells salad like it should be for a side dish. What we are looking for at Richy's is to sell salad as a main meal. The idea is to deliver great salads to commercial hubs.
And you still have a full-time job?
Yes, my partner and I both have day jobs. I work in the marketing department in a bank and my partner works for an international institution. We managed to do [the initial legwork] during weekends, after hours and late at night. Luckily enough, we found the right general manager who will take this forward.
You seem to be happy in your jobs because you don't want to leave, so why would you set up a business on the side to give you more work to do?
We found that we had a great concept that we are really passionate about, and we [are] really excited to see it happen. We feel that we are addressing a very critical need in the market. When we share it with different people, they are excited about it as well. So we really believe that we have something valuable in our hands. We need our daily jobs to get by with expenses in our lives and to make sure we progress in our career. But we couldn't see this idea go to waste, so we decided to implement it immediately.
How much time do you envisage that you will spend on the business when it is up and running?
I think it will maybe be around 10 hours a week or an hour a day, something like that. When we are expanding we might interfere a bit more, but on a day-to-day basis, I think we should not be spending more than an hour. The first priority is to make sure we don't waste any time of our day jobs. This is our bread and butter and we have to respect that.
If it becomes very successful, can you foresee a day when you leave your full-time job and devote all your time to your business?
Of course I will have to wait and see. Currently, we have a great team in place to run this without us interfering a lot. If things are going well without us being needed there, I don't think I will be quitting my daytime job. I will just make sure our baby grows in the right way.