A date with success:
Wafa, Shatha, Ahed and Waed Al Jabri are four Omani sisters who decided to launch a business in providing exquisitely hand-crafted date-based sweets innovatively presented and celebrated with traditional flavors. So began ‘Meshan’, a smart new enterprise which is taking the art and science of making sweets an entirely new level, using only Omani dates. In spite of their academic achievements and secure jobs at the time, the four sisters shared a burning desire to join the growing number of young Omanis who are charting their own path to success by starting and managing their own business.
As you talk to them you quickly spot their determination and drive to challenge the impossible. The sister desire to start their own enterprise, but only on paper, and they lacked the practical experience of how to start and manage their new business. So they started at the very beginning, with Wafa and Shatha joininh training coursed in preparing sweets and chocolate. Furthering their skills at home, they increasingly started to experiment with greater volumes and different types of fate-based sweets, using their own creativity to come up with the new variation and flavors, giving each a distinctive packaging.
However, for ‘Meshann’, the challenge of running a business emerged early, including limited administrative and marketing experience, slow production abilities as well as lack of sufficient capital in order to be able to quickly grow their business and hire additional staff. During this time, the sisters heard about Zubair SEC and the services offered for aspiring young entrepreneurs. They knew this was just what they needed.
Commenting on their experience with Zubair SEC, Wada recalls, “We felt that we had reached the right place. The objectives of the Centre were clear and the team understood our needs accurately. During the following months, the Centre offered ‘Meshan’ much needed technical and advisory support and guidance as well as the financial support that helped a lot”
After the four sisters were selected to join Zubair SEC Direct Support Program, they placed themselves on the path to success, equipping themselves with the skills every entrepreneur needs in order to achieve their goals and objectives. They understood better their points of strengths to capitalize on and the weaknesses they need to overcome and grow from.
Today, the sisters are satisfied with what they have achieved in the past year, as the guidance they received from Zubair SEC enabled them to clearly identify their goals and develop clear expansion plans for the future. The Direct Support Program has enabled them to achieve in just one year what would normally take many years of hard work; this included doubling their production, raising their sales volume by 150 per cent, as well as developing plans to open their own coffee shop where customers can enjoy their dates alongside a cup of coffee.
About the future, Shatha says, “We realize through our experience with Zubair SEC that entrepreneurs are people who have very clear goals and a stubborn ambition, and who are able to draw a roadmap to reach each of these goals. Today, we fee; that we have the skills, capabilities and capacity that allow us to continue to grow our business and achieve our ambitions. We believe that ‘Meshan’ will soon become a leading brand in the Sultanate of Oman and then, God willing, internationally. Our message to all is this, stay tuned to many new offerings from ‘Meshan’, the pioneer in date-based sweets!’