Retail is risky business, yet one that will continue to flourish: Faisal Hassan Jawad

November 14, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

Faisal Hassan Jawad, Chairman & CEO, Jawad Business Group

“We strongly believe that executing excellence on the shopfloor every day is what brings success. I’m certain there’s room for every format to attain success if we execute the concept flawlessly, making every customer happy in the process” – Faisal Hassan Jawad, Chairman & CEO, Jawad Business Group

There is no doubt retail has a degree of glamour associated with it, but I’d not confuse that with it being among the most lucrative sectors. True, relative margins are perhaps higher in retail, but like in every business, things could go wrong in retail too. It does not take time for costs to skyrocket if an element beyond your control flares up or if you make a mistake!

Now on a positive note, despite challenges I feel retail as a sector will continue to flourish in this region for several reasons. Take fashion retail as an example. Fashion is temporary by nature, and we know the consumer in the Middle East has great appetite for fashion retail. So, opportunities are constantly generated to bring fresh ideas to market. Population growth – local and expatriate – will also continue to drive normal growth, while events of great magnitude – such as Expo 2020 or Football World Cup – will keep the region in the global spotlight. All of this will point to growth in retail.

But competition has become stiff too. We’ve come from greenfield markets 50 years ago to the extremely tight and competitive commercial battlefield of today – and that too in multiple aspects of business. In those days, businessmen willing to take risks and invest back were few and far between. Now everyone wants to join the retail bandwagon. Back then we lacked adequate expertise to start and grow a retail business but now expertise is available in abundance, though competition is strong, keeping us rather busy and making it imperative for every business to constantly innovate to remain relevant. Another aspect that’s as crucial as innovation is offering excellent customer service. I learnt this from my father Hassan Mohammed Jawad who never ever let a customer walk away unhappy from his small grocery store in Manama.

The full story was published in the February 2014 edition of IMAGES RetailME and the excerpt is part of the September 2023 ‘Leadership Stories Collector’s Edition’.Link to purchase a copy:

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