Q:) Kindly give our readers an introduction to your business. Please include what your business is all about, in which city you are located and if you have offices in multiple locations/ cities.
A:) We are a family owned business, operating in Ottawa and the Gatineau region. We are on a mission to provide the best coffee and beverages experience, by focusing on three key ingredients: cutting edge technology, quality products and exceptional service. We do not think of ourselves as a “coffee vendor”, rather a specialty coffee partner that thrives on direct customer contact, just like any successful retail business does.
Q:) Kindly give us a brief description about yourself (it should include your brief educational or entrepreneurial background and list some of your major achievements).
A:) In my 20+ years experience in the hospitality and food production industry, I have worked with amazing first class professionals and took on challenging roles where I learned service excellence and gathered sharp managerial and operational abilities. The culmination of these experiences have resulted in me successfully leading one of the largest food production facilities in Dubai, with a team of over 800 members. AS I venture into the entrepreneurial journey, I am applying all my experiences in building Insta Barista.
Q:) What inspired 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 recently moved to Canada, I noticed a lack in the market for good
quality beverages in the workplace. Technology is evolving at the
speed of light. There is no reason why we should not evolve the
coffee experience at the workplace.
Q:) What three pieces of advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes as those are the most valuable lessons
Get ready to be punched in the face
Q:) What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
A:) Discipline: consistency is key in the entrepreneurial journey. Build a system that works and follow it consistently.
Patience: Nothing happens overnight. Building something meaningful and sustainable takes years.
Pain and Grit: Becoming the best at anything is never a walk in the park because it hurts to become the best. Your ability to persevere when you’re in pain, or suffering, is called grit. Pain and grit are your friends even though it won’t seem that way at certain moments.
Q:) How many hours do you work a day on average?
A:) 8 to 10 hours and family time after that.
Q:) To what do you most attribute your success?
A:) My wife and children give me a strong sense of purpose. I owe my success to them.
Q:) How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
A:) Word of mouth has been the best marketing channel for my business. People are very happy and often surprised when they try our products for the first time. So they tend to refer Insta Barista to other happy partners.
Q:) Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it? How did you obtain investors for your venture?
A:) I was new in Canada when I started the company. So getting a loan was impossible. We put our lifetime savings into this business, started small and invested every penny back into the company.
Q:) What is the best way to achieve long-term success?
A:) Building strong relationships with your partners and continuously evolving with market trends in order to meet expectations.
Q:) Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
A:) Oof, It’s hard to choose just one. But I am going to go with Apple because I love their products and I had recently and excellent customer service experience at their store. Their level of service excellence blew me away. It is refreshing and inspiring to experience.
Q:) What motivates you?
A:) The reaction of my customers when they express gratitude.
Q:) What are your ideals?
A:) My father worked so hard to provide my family the great life we have today. He is my Hero.
Q:) How do you generate new ideas?
A:) Through Research and sitting with smarter people in the room than myself
Q:) How do you define success?
A:) Success to me is happiness and fulfillment. If you achieve those two you have won.
Q:) How do you build a successful customer base?
A:) Our success has been through thriving on direct customer contact, just like any successful retail business does. Our partners deal directly with the principals of our company. This approach helps to guarantee them timely service with a friendly, attentive attitude. Instead of peddling a commodity; we are marketing a service and partner relationship.
Q:) What is your favorite aspect of being an entrepreneur?
A:) Waking up and venturing into the unknown. Everyday is different. I love it!
Q:) What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
A:) The first month of business, I remember going to the first installed vending machine and picking about $200. It was the first time I generate money from a business I have created. Even though the amount was small, I was so happy and excited because I realized I created something for the first time.
Q:) If you had the chance to start your career over again, what would you do differently?
A:) Start Insta Barista early.
Q:) How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
A:) It has its challenges. But I am lucky to have a supporting partner who understands what entrepreneurs go through especially during hard uncertain times.
Q:) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
A:) Losing a family member or close friend. I manage it by focusing on the things that I can control and learning to accept the things I cannot.
Q:) Who has been your greatest inspiration?
A:) After reading his book “screw it let’s do it” I followed Richard Branson. He has inspired me to think outside of the box, be innovative and bend rules. His journey is fascinating.
Q:) What book has inspired you the most? (OR what is your favorite book?)
A:) Secrets of the millionaire mind by T.Harv Eker
Q:) What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
A:) I regret nothing. But I would have loved to start my Business earlier when I had more time on my hands.
Q:) What are your hobbies? What do you do in your non-work time?
A:) Family time with my two kids is so precious. Exercise and sleep if the time allows. Yes. Sleep is an activity when you are a parent.