He believed in revolutionizing the concept of fast food by making it portable, compact and even more delicious! He dreams big and visualizes his fast food chain to spread all across GCC. His fast food chains have become quite popular in Bahrain already! BTW speaks to this fast food entrepreneur, Hadi Dawani, owner of Box It and Mex Inn to understand his passion and his dreams.
Tell us briefly about yourself: Where you were born and raised, any special childhood memories?
I was born and raised in Bahrain. I have lived in multiple cities (London, St Louis, Miami, Dubai, etc).A lot of these things are special as I have tried and tested new things testing new things therefore most of it is memorable.
Tell us about your various enterprises.
My initial established was in the food business: Box It.
Box It is a unique fresh, fast casual restaurant which satisfies the cravings of a diverse, busy, in-a-hurry audience. It has an innovative concept of serving fast-casual food in a box. It was founded in 2013 targeting youth and university students. Fortunately, we expanded our chain to 3 branches and 3 more branches are in the pipeline by 2017. Mainly, the restaurant offers Asian wok, and Italian and traditional meal boxes. An enhanced menu is going to be launched soon too. Stay tuned and follow us www.instagram.com/boxitbh.
I am also a partner in Mex Inn: Bahrain’s First fast casual Mexican restaurant which initially were 3 branches, but currently only one and is located at the University of Bahrain. It is currently under full renovation and rebranding to come up with a new healthier menu and retro designs to make its place back in the market.
Another venture of mine is Hayat Media — a design and digital agency offering branding, web design and development services. The company has a wide experience in start-ups and SMEs.
How easy or difficult is it to start up on your own when you come from a very established business family?
Well, it is much easier to start a company when you see others around you doing it. Observing experiences is good knowledge. During my first years with family, I’ve witnessed their businesses’ strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Thus, I learned how to avoid such observed weaknesses and threats. Also, being in the SME market, adaptation to macro factors and growth is much easier than large enterprises and that is an advantage for every start- up.
What have been the initial challenges when you started up?
Everyone who starts alone will have challenges as no one knows everything. Therefore, a lot of challenges were in areas I did not understand. I had to develop myself or get consulted by more experienced people around me. That is why it’s been great to have an experienced people around me where in certain areas I can get expert opinions from my family and friends.
Is there any memorable experience as an entrepreneur/businessman that you would like to share with us?
Yes, starting up with Box It was very memorable as it was done with a lot of hard work while having a small team at the start. This made me go through various occupations such as being the manager, accountant, salesman, purchaser, cook and the operator multi-tasking in every department which has given me a fairly good hands-on knowledge in every department.
What according to you are the essential qualities of a successful entrepreneur
Networking and hard work!
What is the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?
Working on achieving your own goals and flexibility !
Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself doing what I am doing today on a larger scale. In 5 years time, I see Box It expanded over the GCC.
If you were to make a wish what would it be?
I wish I started earlier.
What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs of Bahrain?
Start small and think big. Also, take the right advice from the right people.