Radicchio, potatoes and goat cheese

BBQ tonight recipes

Accidental Entrepreneur

Sardar Abdul Rahim, Director BBQ Tonight, divulges his recipe of success

Mr. Sardar Abdul Rahim, Director at Bar B Q Tonight Global Pte Ltd (International Franchiser of Bar B Q Tonight System) explains how twist of fate thrust him into being an Entrepreneur. Mr. Rahim is an IBA Alumnus, having completed his M.B.A (Marketing) in 1978. He did his B.A (Hons) in International Relations in 1976, from the University of Karachi .He also acts as Managing Director, Unity F&B Singapore Pte Ltd. and Director, Unity F&B SDN BHD.

Heres how he sums up his 3 decades of journey to the Land of Entrepreneurship:

1. How would you describe your business in three short sentences?
Restaurant business is an art and also science of satisfying the innate urges of customers with respect to their culinary needs. Food and the environment in which food is served touches significant aspects of human life with respect to their (Maslows hierarchy of) needs. A successful restaurant organizes itself to fulfill all levels of customers culinary needs in the best possible manner and also make profit in the process.

2. What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
I guess the pride in Pakistani nationalism was the prime and single most important element that triggered off my journey towards entrepreneurship way back in 1987. I had a very cozy and cushy job in one of the Gulf countries then. While working there for almost 6 years I decided that I should be traveling by Pakistan International Airlines, it being our national carrier. However the mistreatment that was meted out to the Pakistani passengers upon reaching there was shocking. Then and there I decided not to work in that country any more. I resigned and came back to Pakistan despite advice to the contrary by my bosses. I came back without much savings or any plans for future. Although it was an emotional decision, however, it was tagged with the determination to be able to earn as much as I was doing in that country. The idea to set up a restaurant developed when I and my brother bought 2 shops in the building where Bar B Q Tonight is housed presently in Clifton Karachi. Setting up a restaurant was suggested by one of my cousins. So, basically, Bar B Q Tonight was not planned it just happened. All the planning, organization and execution followed the emotional decision to leave a good job and venture out on my own.

For the student readers I would like to cite the following extract on emotional motivation and EQ that is relevant for success as an entrepreneur:

In general, negative (p. 76) emotions motivate avoidance behavior and a more conservative, methodical, and analytical approach to problem solving, whereas positive emotions motivate approach behavior and are associated with a more holistic, creative, and flexible style of thinking (Fazio, Eiser & Shook, 2004; Isen, 2000).

In my case both the negative and positive emotions played their part in my determination to be successful in the enterprise I was going to set up.

3. How did you make your first sale?
Bar B Q Tonight was opened for customers on 10th November 1988 at around 6 PM. The first customers were a Jordanian young man and his Pakistani wife. By 9 Pm, same day, all the seats were taken. We never looked back after that with Gods Grace.

4. How did you get credibility quickly?
Providing consistency and standardization in taste of food, better service, reasonable prices and hygiene standards in a congenial environment developed trust amongst our customers.

5. How did you develop key partnerships?
Foundation of any business venture is strengthened when solid partnerships with all stake holders are formed, developed and sustained. We have done that on 4 levels:
A) Management
Bar B Q Tonight is a family owned restaurant. Although, it was started primarily...

8. What was your biggest mistake during your initial years as an entrepreneur?
Partnership with non- family members can be considered a mistake. Kublai khan (the Chinese restaurant on Sea view Karachi) was established by me with a partner but that partnership didnt work. In my opinion, generally speaking, partnerships are not meant for Pakistan.

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