ENTREPRENEURSHIP – ANJU HAWOLDAR 0 1732

“Skills can be taught but attitude is what you are born with and what you nurture by breeding the right habits”

It is on these terms that Anju Hawoldar , Brand Ambassador for Decayeux Golf and Director of Oceandash Fresh Seafood Ltd, embarked  on her entrepreneurial journey and has built up a reputation which won her an award in 2017 for ‘Femme Entrepreneur’. The right attitude, according to her has shaped up her journey where passion , precision, dedication and quality are the key ingredients to meet up clients’ expectations. 

Driven , determined and dynamic, she began her career by the set up and launch of an Indian restaurant in Moka and subsequently selling it to meet up new challenges and move in different more promising segments namely : Golf, as the Brand Ambassador for Decayeux Golf; Seafood , as the Director of Oceandash Fresh Seafood Ltd and more recently in property development and real estate sector as a consultant. 

According to her, the secret which fosters the success of an entrepreneur lies in engendering the right attitude “ Skills can be taught but attitude is what you are born with and what you nurture by breeding the right habits. The drive factor for the success of any entrepreneur relies heavily on how result-oriented and how dedicated he is. The pace at which our society is moving and evolving ,embracing culture change and innovation , reasserts my core beliefs about work ethics, discipline and consistency’

Having embraced different work responsibilities and in spite of having herself a very busy schedule, she is adamant that ‘there is a huge difference between business and busyness! It is only by adopting the right mindset  and working towards optimal customer service within set  deadlines in a challenging and competitive environment that one can turn an unproductive busyness in a successful business.

Passion for golf

The past decade has seen a major paradigm shift in the economic players of our market. Anju’s drive to tap in new market opportunities paved her way as Brand Ambassador for Decayeux Golf, a  French company having set up a subsidiary company in Mauritius since two years. Decayeux Golf , based in France has been a pioneer in the processing of metal parts /accessories for luxury goods and jewellery to well reputed houses such as Louis  Vuitton. It has over a century sustained development in this sector and enhanced its expertise to come up with a prestigious line ‘Decayeux Golf’ offering a range  of opulent-statement makers to refined timeless pieces and jewellery  such as Gold plated cufflinks, Belts, Necklaces , Bracelets, Clubhouse lamps, Keyrings and tees (to name a few).

Golf tourism has undoubtedly emerged as a promising sector in the past decade. Our country not only boasts of some of the best 18-holes courses but can at the same time provide the right climatic conditions and hospitality that could propel it from ‘ the new kid on the block as a golf destination’ to being a golf destination par excellence’ 

The market always dictates the rules for entrepreneurs like us and we can only take the cue to go ahead with the launch of a new product when we see old players holding a monopoly of the market but not offering the competitive advantage that we have to offer. Already present on our market are Lacoste and Boss Green for which there is a huge demand from Golfers. However our products at Decayeux Golf have an unparalleled competitive advantage in that these have been designed specifically for golfers. 

Seafood as a growing opportunity 

Being herself a foodie and having held a restaurant for a decade, Anju struggled to find on the local market products which were fresh and readily available upon demand. She saw the huge untapped potential of Oceandash Seafood Ltd and took it over two and half years ago to propel it to another level of distribution targeting Hotels , resorts and key supermarkets. 

As at date the company supplies fresh seafood from Scotland namely Salmon , Oysters, Lobsters, scallops and Mussels. She has through a short span of time, through her premium quality products secured the trust of well established restaurants and hotels around the island. Though according to her the market is “ small, tough and challenging’, she is confident that as long as her products reflect competitive strength and her team is geared towards customer service , she will only be moving a step ahead. As explained , the price-quality equation always comes into play in a market as competitive as seafood. ‘ It is hard to explain at a tasting with a new client why our salmon ( for instance) is different from that coming from Norway. At the end of the day to some clients , Salmon is Salmon. This is when I always point out and re-emphasize the difference between my products and that available on the market. Loch Fyne , the Scottish supplier I am working with , is the proud holder of ‘The Queen’s award for the premium quality of their products. This is in itself a statement”

Being a regular in London , she has always been amazed by the wide range of fresh , high quality products which was available on the market and for which there could be a huge demand on our market. She rightly believes that there has been a change in consumer trends, where people are now looking for a healthier and fresher alternative on their plates. It undeniable that  in recent years there has been an evolution in the quality of products available on supermarket shelves : Food items from Waitrose and Jacobs are now available on the market. With  Oceandash Fresh Seafood Ltd  Anju aims at bringing home, products which are in line with the new market trends keeping in mind the size of the market. 

In spite of the continuous growth of her company , she believes that it is ‘only a baby swimming with the sharks’. So for the next quarters her objective for the company is to conduct a market research to identify new opportunities for the distribution of ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook items given that we are evolving in a fast moving society where people hardly have time to prepare a meal. 

Building on existent work ethics and targeting new markets

What next ? Anju takes a wide interest in the economic development of Mauritius more precisely in property development. Recently she been appointed as a consultant in the real estate sector although she believes that ‘it is quite slow moving at the moment, there is still a potential for growth’ She perceives that land will never be devaluated but will at some point become scarce due to numerous ongoing projects. The key would then lie in tapping revenue in the face of these constraints and opt for smarter development. 

‘No challenge is worth the ride , if when taking it up, there are no struggles involved’

It is on this positive note that she concluded this enlightening interview and adds that she holds quality family time as her priority as this is what keeps her grounded to her core beliefs : humility , dedication and honesty!

View Their Facebook Page: click here

Previous ArticleNext Article
Hospitality.mu
Mauritius B2B Hospitality magazine, a quarterly publication and blog for the industry professionals. Want to reach the hospitality decision makers in Mauritius/Rodrigues? Contact us +230 57 94 64 37 or info@hospitality.mu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HOW SMART INTERIOR DESIGN WILL IMPROVE YOUR HOTEL OPERATIONS 0 253

It is no secret that interior design is amidst the most central aspects of a hotel’s appeal. However, many hotel developers do not look enough beyond the aesthetic aspect of interior design, missing another facet that is just as important: functionality.

Smart, innovative interior design not only pleases the eye and makes for a great guest experience, it also improves your hotel operations efficiency, driving up the profitability in your bottom line.

In exemplary hotels, plenty of innovative design solutions can be found not only in the front of house but also in the back of house. You will encounter smart design in physical spaces and objects such as furniture, but also in staff’s equipment and in intangibles such as light fixtures. Hotel owners, developers and managers have the “power” to influence an infinite amount of details to improve hotel operations and, as a result, augment profitability. In the following lines, I will share with you three ways to embrace that power.

#1. Consider operational efficiency early on in your design process

Design functionality can be improved in many areas of a running operation. However, some crucial aspects of functional design must be considered early on during the planning phase.

Take the case of housekeeping: the less time a housekeeper requires to get a guest room spotless clean, the more efficient the whole department is going to be. Take a large hotel and the effect of scale multiplies. Thus, smart interior design should consider the ease of cleaning. Yet, especially in bathrooms, we still find wall finishes such as narrow stone slabs, that make it extremely hard and time consuming for housekeepers to clean. Also, hard water drying in the shower leaves a trace of white chalk on surfaces. The more porous the surface, the harder it is to clean. Smoother and rounder the surfaces would have made it easier for housekeeping to clean efficiently.

Another example with direct impact on the bottom line is textiles. Many hotels feature curtains, bed throws and cushions made of delicate fabrics that require dry cleaning and create soaring costs of washing. If you chose elegant yet washable fabrics, you can have them washed in house or externally at a fraction of the cost.

Once the room is built and furnished, there is little an efficient housekeeper can improve to save time. Once all the textiles are bought, it will be costly to have them all replaced. During the design and procurement phase however, developers have the opportunity to optimize everything from the choice of materials to the shape of built in and loose furnishings. Don’t miss that opportunity.

#2. Make staff satisfaction a primary goal in your design and procurement strategy

We all know: Happy employees will make your clients happy too. We also know: Working conditions in hospitality operations are strenuous by nature. That’s why it is important to invest into equipment that that makes your staff’s life easier. Even small design considerations can have a great impact and will show them that you care.

Take waiters for example: They walk miles every day, carrying a lot of weight throughout their shifts. By reducing the net weight of services trays, you immediately improve their working conditions significantly. Switch from a traditional silver tray to a slick carbon tray and literally take several kilos off their shoulders.

Another example: If you have a large outdoor space in a continental climate, make sure to plan in advance for storage space to store all the terrace cushions during the wet seasons. A terrace for 80 persons will easily require 10m3 of storage. If not planned for, the cushions will end up cramping already scarce back of the house areas.

A smart design of a restaurant and all of its equipment should first be designed for employees, and not only for guests. Naturally, this brings challenges with which most hotel developers are not familiar: How many service stations do you need vs. how many guest tables? Where do you position them to not be in the way but still be within efficient reach? How much cutlery should be stored?  Where do the dinner candles go during lunch time? Many design questions require the insight of an operational expert before operations are even running. Thus, hire an external expert to get important inputs already during your planning phase – or even to have your running operations analyzed.

#3. Improve your guests experience with design that goes beyond aesthetics

Undoubtedly, aesthetic interior design is imperative, but it is by no means everything that makes a great guest experience. There are many factors, that go beyond the eye. Take seating comfort for example: Not all beautiful chairs are equally comfortable. Before ordering a full set of chairs for your restaurant, test-sit the chair in combination with the table to ensure the right distance between the table top and the seating height. Also, choose a table top that is not only beautiful but also long lasting, ergonomic and with a good grip for the client.

Another example: Have you ever been in a restaurant and thought that something didn’t feel right but you couldn’t put a finger on it? Let me tell you: it’s the lighting. Good lighting is a science. Make sure to have a professional lighting designer, who works his magic – for both day and night scenes, if you have a restaurant that operates at lunch and at dinner time.

In summary:

Consider functionality from the beginning of your design process, think of your dear staff and try to provide a guest experience beyond aesthetics. The examples I shared with you are only a few and if you keep putting yourself into other stakeholders’ shoes, the amount of innovative solutions you can come up with are infinite. And if you don’t find the right product on the market, have it made. There are always people that are passionate about developing solutions for you – or finding them with you.

About the author

Claudia Greset-Reich is a hotel procurement expert and Managing Partner at Greset Reich Hospitality Consulting. Together with her husband and partner Yann Greset, they specialize in design and procurement solutions for hotels. Prior to founding Greset Reich Hospitality Consulting, Claudia and Yann have opened and worked on various projects of the Bürgenstock selection.

This article was first published in Hospitality Insights by EHL.

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT ORGANIC FOOD PRODUCTS 0 408

A key aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is being mindful of what you eat. That said, choosing organic food products can go a long way towards giving your body the essential vitamins that it needs to stay in top shape. Indeed, organic food products have become popular over the recent years due to the perception that they’re generally safer to consume for most customers. Specifically, organic produce is said to contain no harmful chemicals or pesticides, while organic meat is advertised as containing no synthetic growth hormones. 

If you want to start incorporating more organic food into your diet, you should learn more about how they can keep you healthy. To help you understand more about organic food products, here are some interesting things you need to know:

  1. Organic food products are not made equal. If you plan to shop everything organic, it pays to know that there are three types of organic food products. If the product label says it’s “completely organic,” it means that it is 100% truly organic and guaranteed to be chemical-free. However, if the product label only says it’s “organic,” the food may only be 90-95% organic since some conventional methods may have been applied during the growing and processing of the product. And lastly, some product labels will simply indicate “contains organic ingredients.” This means that there were some non-organic ingredients used in the manufacturing of the product.
  2. They’re generally healthier, but not all the time. Organically-produced fruits and vegetables contain higher amounts of vitamins, minerals, as well as antioxidants. Meanwhile, organically-raised animals have leaner meat, which is better for our cardiovascular health. However, it’s best to note that some non-organic food products may be more nutritious than organic ones—especially if they’ve been fortified. Fortified foods are those that have been imbued with nutrients that can’t be found in their organic counterparts. For example, fortified milk products are more nutritious than organically-produced milk since they contain higher levels of vitamin D.
  3. Organic farming helps save the environment. Organic farming is considered to be more environment-friendly than conventional farming. This is because it helps reduce air, water, and soil contamination due to the lack of chemicals and pesticides used. By staying chemical-free, organic food production also helps maintain biodiversity and preserve the local wildlife. Furthermore, it helps prevent global warming since most organic food products are only sold locally. This is because the reduced need for long-distance transportation translates to lower carbon dioxide emissions.
  4. Organic food products taste better and fresher. Some people are put off by the belief that organic food products have a blander taste. But since they are made without any chemicals and preservatives, they can actually taste better and fresher. Also, the organic way of producing fruits, vegetables, and crops allows them to contain higher levels of antioxidants, which are believed to help maintain the natural taste of these products. 
  5. Know the dirty dozen and clean fifteen. If you can’t afford to always buy organic food products, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released a shopper’s guide known as the “dirty dozen and clean fifteen.” In the dirty dozen list, it contains the list of fruits and vegetables that you need to buy organically since non-organic ones increase your risk of consuming too much chemicals and pesticides. Among the produce that made it to the dirty dozen list are strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. Meanwhile, the clean fifteen list refers to the list of fruits and vegetables that are safe to buy non-organically. This includes avocados, sweet corn, pineapples, frozen sweet peas, onions, papayas, eggplants, asparagus, kiwis, cabbages, cauliflower, cantaloupes, broccoli, mushrooms, and honeydew melons. If you afford to go purely organic, then these are the types of produce that you can consume while still making sure that you’re maintaining a healthier diet.

While organic food products are better for your health, they can be quite expensive since their production requires greater labour input. Without the help of chemicals, produce such as fruits, vegetables, crops, as well as the animals themselves grow more naturally and slowly. This can make them more difficult to grow or raise in general. As a result, organic food products usually cost 30-40% more than non-organic food. So if you want to eat organically, be smart with your shopping choices to keep costs down. One way to help make this happen is to always buy organic produce when they are in season.