. .



Profile
FAISAL SAEED

Profile

Column

Science & Technology

By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Apr 09 - 15, 2001

Born in 1967, Faisal got his education at PAF Masroor-Base school and National College. He went to Australia in 1988 and came back to Pakistan in 1993 after completing post-graduate studies in accountancy from Latrobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Though, his father has been in restaurant and catering business for the last 22 years, he established a chemical plant for electroplating chemicals as his first business venture. During last month, his restaurant Rasoi commenced operations. He could have joined his father and became part of an established business, but preferred to do some thing which could become his own identity.

PAGE: Your family has an established restaurant and catering business, why you have established Rasoi ?

FAISAL: My father and a brother already have their own restaurant and catering business. I could have joined them and it would have been an easy sailing. However, I wanted to have my very own identity. After I came back to Pakistan, my first business venture was production and marketing of electroplating chemicals. My genetic composition pushed me in food business. I selected this site and in late March this year, Rasoi commenced operations.

PAGE: Why did you select this site?

FAISAL: As you may be aware a number of established food outlets are already working in this area, which mostly offer take-away facility. I have established a facility where families and groups can have a sitting lunch and/or dinner. Rasoi offers quality and quantity at a reasonable cost. You may be amazed that we did not go for massive advertising but customer turnout is very close to our expectations. Most of the customers have been coming to Rasoi repeatedly. This is a point of satisfaction.

PAGE: You have used an expression 'offering quality and quantity at a reasonable cost, please explain this?

FAISAL: Remember that most of the food outlets offer the same menu. Any one can have an edge on others if operator is conscious about quality, quantity and price. Most of the customers are willing to pay a premium if they get quality and quantity. As a policy Rasoi does not charge any premium, rather our prices are competitive and no compromise on quality. To ensure superior quality, we emphasize on quality of each ingredient. Besides, we have hired the services of expert chef, prepare each order with care and give personal attention to every visitor. At times some customers may feel that we take longer time in serving food. However, those who prefer quality realize this. Preparing a fresh dish/item takes its own time. For example preparing a Tikka takes minimum 15-20 minutes.

PAGE: What are Rasoi specials?

FAISAL: I would like to say that each item served at Rasoi is an special item. We make our best efforts in preparing each item. However, our customers term at least three items as Rasoi special. These are: Bar-B-Que, Thaali and Seekh Kabab. These items are served at almost each outlet but customers have been visiting us to eat these repeatedly. Rasoi Tikka is a preferred item because of its quality. Thaali is popular because of items it contain and its price — Rs 90.00/Thaali. Not only that price is affordable but a person gets a chance to have a number of items including a sweet dish.

PAGE: Initially the food outlets come with a big bang but gradually quality standard goes down, what could be the possible reasons?

FAISAL: I have all the reasons to believe that no owner or management likes to lower quality standard. However, with increased traffic of customers, timely service becomes a serious problem particularly in Bar-B-Que business. As said earlier preparing a Tikka takes 15-20 minutes. A common practice is to keep have-ready Tikkas to ensure prompt service. The taste of two Tikkas— the one prepared in one go and the other prepared in two stages is very different. The other possible reason is that with increased demand for inputs, management may not be able to maintain quality of various ingredients. I will once again say that decline in quality standard is not deliberate but more a management/logistics problem. Those who are able to maintain quality manage to increase sales volume and those who fail often go broke.

PAGE: Why customer traffic is larger at dinner as compared to lunch time?

FAISAL: It is more due to our eating habits than any other reason. Most of the people like to take light-food at lunch or cannot go out due to work load. Eating outside is part of evening entertainment for families. Therefore, customer traffic is very high on weekends and on holidays. Foreign food franchise have not reduced the market size of traditional items. However, now people have a greater variety to select their favourite item. It has been observed that now families go out for eating more frequently and arranging dinners at food outlets is getting popular. Housewives are not only saved from spending long hours in kitchens but also saved from dish washing.