Image Credit: Supplied

Pete Aldwinckle

Partner and General Manager

Global Climbing

“Would I think about a loan? A cautious yes”

Global Climbing’s growth has been organically driven through reinvesting all profits straight back into the business and without any support from banks and a ruthless focus on cash flow to maintain business viability. For the founders and our local partner, we have to take a long-term view of our investment, closely monitoring business performance indicators and acknowledging that we are the bank of last resort. In the early years of the business, this meant significant protracted hardship and sacrifice — particularly in 2008 through to 2010 — but as active climbers, kayakers and mountain bikers we are used to spartan living, setbacks and knocks. We have learned that you have to get back up stronger, more determined and focused on realising your goals. Would I think about a loan? A cautious yes. While the growth of the company has been achieved without external assistance, to achieve some of our most exciting objectives we are probably going to require some external funding. We could probably achieve these objectives unilaterally but the timescale will be stretched.
— E.P.

 

Khalil Ghadri

Managing Director

KG Productions & Events

“I definitely would not consider a loan”

Before we started KG Production & Events, we studied the market to gain a good understanding and knowledge of the UAE entertainment industry. This helped us reach our business goals as we knew our limits within the set budget. Year by year, we have become bigger from the success we have achieved and this has allowed us to grow independently. I am sure that a lot of hard work, determination and motivation will keep us growing. I definitely would not consider a loan, as right now my company is my ultimate goal and focus. If we had taken a loan, our focus would now be on giving back, not making money. We are doing very well for a company that has only been running for two years. We are as well-known and strong as close competitors that have been in the market for double, even triple our time. I’m happy with the way my company is growing.
— E.P.

 

Abdulaziz Ahmed

Managing Director

Safeer Business Services

“Never underestimate your financial needs”

I established my business in 2010 and between then and now we have grown by leaps and bounds. Of course, having the right mindset and plan of action is essential when setting up but more than anything one needs to be financially sound with the right kind of support and security. I saved enough to start up but later, as the need came to expand our business, I had to take a loan. It was a relatively smooth process, one that many shy away from due to their own misconceptions. Advice that I can give on the matter is to never underestimate your financial needs. Always take a loan of 15-20 per cent more than the required amount because there can be unturned stones and expenses that you may have missed. It’s important to be well prepared and aware of what you are going to do with the investment and follow suit without delay. And always have a back-up plan.
— R.K

 

Preethi D'Souza

Owner

Preethi Beauty Salon

“I did take a business loan but through a friend, not a bank”

Setting up my own beauty salon was my dream. I worked hard to make the initial investment that was needed. Time and again I needed to pour more money into the project for infrastructure and to employ more staff, etc. I was able to manage within the earnings of the salon but when I decided to open a new branch, I fell short of finance. I did take a business loan but through a friend, not a bank. The reason being that there’s a level of comfort and flexibility in payments. A friend will accommodate delays and not levy penalties, whereas that is not the case — as I have heard — with banks. The market is prone to fluctuation, especially with rents yo-yoing and people moving in and out of the region. You can never be sure about how the business will fare month after month. When one becomes dependent on the luxury or availability of easy loans, they forget that what is taken must always be returned, plus there is a pile-up of interest too. It’s futile to expect profits and early returns; one needs to
establish themselves in the market and grow with the trust of the clientele.
— R.K.