(MENAFN -Arab News) saudi women can continue to make huge strides in business if they are patient do proper research work hard and are committed to produce quality products and services
This is the view of princess hala bint mishari bin saud the owner of the popular munch bakery chain of stores who spoke to fellow businesswomen at the riyadh chamber of commerce and industry recently
The meeting of the chamber's women's committee included nouf bint abdullah al-rakan chairperson of the committee and haila bint abdulrahman al-saud the general director of the chamber's women's branch
Princess hala said she came up with the idea of the project in 2007. she then conducted studies and research for a whole year to determine what sweets the public wanted in riyadh jeddah and dammam
'our main concern was the consumers so we started with a shop in jeddah. i first had difficulty getting a loan because banks do not fund such small projects. i was forced to ask my father for a loan to set up the shop at an initial cost of sr1.3 million. the project is 100 percent saudi" she said
'the biggest problem i encountered was getting visas for foreign workers. but this was soon resolved by recruiting workers from inside the kingdom. then came the issue of getting licenses and going through other government and municipal procedures.
She opened a second shop after two months. 'we had to work hard to consistently produce good quality sweets.
Princess hala said she registered the name of the bakery in the kingdom gulf states and a few other countries abroad
'we had some difficulty registering the trademark in the united states but after a year and a half of hard work we managed to do so.
She said the group of partners found an imitation munch shop in egypt. 'the business had operated for 18 months before we discovered it. but since our rights were protected the authorities there intervened and closed the shop.
She said the business is always looking to innovate. 'we introduce a new product every three months. our prices are affordable and all the ingredients are sourced fresh from saudi markets." in addition there is a 50 percent discount for charities
She said the success of the business is based on transparency between the partners. there is also a commitment to ensure the highest levels of hygiene. the riyadh municipality recently gave munch an award for its health standards during production she said
The company employs 320 people who all have clear job descriptions career paths health insurance and access to loans
Looking to the future the company plans to launch a new line of products including beverages salted items ice creams and other frozen sweets
'a businesswoman must be patient and have the strength and determination to succeed. a woman should not be pessimistic she must work hard and constantly think about the good quality work she's producing.
Women should also grab the opportunity to get funding from the government she said.
Princess hala said the kingdom has a solid economy and she expects it to boom in the next 10 years because of huge investment and commercial opportunities.
She studied in the united states and has a master's degree in psychology having conducted research on compulsive disorders
Al-rakan said princess hala is an outstanding role model for young women in the business world.