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5 Mins With…Suhail Gidwani, Owner And CEO, Nandos UAE

5 Mins With…Suhail Gidwani, Owner And CEO, Nandos UAE

Nandos UAE is planning to double its workforce within the next two years, says Suhail Gidwani.

What is your company focusing on this year?

Consolidating our existing business and building a solid team to support our aggressive growth plans.

Are you concerned that the current volatile global economic climate will affect your strategy?

In my opinion, strategy is a forever shifting process. I have a strong level of confidence in the economic stability of this country. Worldwide conditions do raise mild concerns but I believe here in the UAE, we will always enjoy the benefits of what our leaders are charting a path towards.

What are the growth areas currently for your industry?

Casual dining in the restaurant industry has proved to be the fastest growing segment in the last decade, while the quick-service restaurant (QSR) segment is overcrowded, we still see potential for growth in our segment of the industry.

What new products will your company launch this year?

This December we are launching the ‘Butterfly Breast Meal’, which is named after the way the chicken breast has been cut, it incorporates both the breasts being placed together and when laid flat giving the appearance of a butterfly; we’re aiming to create variety and experimenting with ‘off-the bone’ recipes, the meal is obviously delicious and quite the treat for the eyes.

Will you be expanding into new territory?

We hold the master franchise for Nandos in the UAE and today we have restaurants in Dubai, Sharjah and Al Ain, so yes, we are looking at putting up restaurants in Abu Dhabi and other emirates in the near future.

What are the biggest challenges for UAE businesses in your sector?

If you look at the restaurant sector as a whole, I would presume that the market is over supplied in the UAE; however, niche players would stand out. In addition, finding good quality personnel has and continues to be a challenge as we do not have access to a local labour supply.

Will you be hiring this year?

We are looking at doubling our number of employees in the next 18 to 24 months.

What’s your leadership style?

Someone that believes in nurturing talent and empowering people; get the right people and let them do what they do best.

What makes the perfect employee?

A sparkle in the eye with a will-do attitude.

Define success in five words…

Having fun while achieving success.

Three tips for becoming the boss…

Hard work, vision and perseverance.

When I’m not at work I like to…

Cook for my family and enjoy a fine grape.

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