- Customer value and trust are the roots of brand management.
- An entrepreneur must be a jack of all trades.
Interview with Mr. Hammad Khan — an entrepreneur
PAGE: Tell me something about yourself, please:
Hammad Khan: I have my bachelors in business administration (marketing) from SZABIST Karachi. As a teenager, I always thought that whether I have to work for other people or work for myself, and I got my answer soon enough. I never had the intention to do a job, I am not saying it’s a bad thing, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
I launched my first venture in 2016 when I was 22. I was always an all-rounder, being the jack of all trades. I was good at sports as well as studies. Sports taught me discipline and competitiveness and the ability to never give up, which is very important when you step into professional life. It looks pretty good in student life but trust me it’s not. It requires a lot of strong-headedness to stay in the game.
PAGE: Could you share your experience of being an entrepreneur and launching your own brand?
Hammad Khan: Experience is not as easy as it sounds, especially, when you are an entrepreneur. I have done two ventures as yet — Chai Deewaari which was an open-air cafe offering tea and parathas. It was a great venture as we were the pioneers of that market segment. Second was Hammad Ibrahim who was basically offering stitched clothing for women. Currently, I own three ventures — Infinity Courts which is an indoor turfed ground that facilitates 5 v 5 futsal and cricket, Khan’s Chai Lodge is again an open-air cafe and MidTown Burgers is a burger joint.
As far as experience is concerned, it has been a very bumpy ride. The word entrepreneur sounds cool but has a lot of weight to be precise. Long hours, a lot of mental pressure and the ability to put out fires as they come along are actually the recipe of an entrepreneur. You have to be a jack of all trades, from Marketing, Finance, Supply Chain and other departments.
Launching a brand requires a lot of hard work and paperwork. Launching a brand is not that hard, maintaining and growing it is the real struggle. Moreover, there are two sides to a venture, one a business and the second the brand, and both require a lot of grinding to grow.
PAGE: Which products launched by you have fared well?
Hammad Khan: As an entrepreneur, I do believe every business has its own charm, however, I do not like the merchandising business. I like building brands. I have expertise in food and clothing businesses and am now somewhat in the playing turfed arena business, so I stay in that fields. The products they have fared well are obviously everything in food, from burgers to parathas, etc., but I believe everything sells for the right price and with the right need created by the marketing heads. So, it’s safe to say that almost all the products I have launched have fared well.
PAGE: Brand equity is the worth of a brand. What is the worth of your nascent brand?
Hammad Khan: I believe that “The customer is always right and is the king.” Hence my ventures are built on this saying. If I talk about Khan’s Chai Lodge and Midtown Burgers, I wish to serve my customers hygienic, quality and value-based priced food to build customer loyalty. As for Infinity Courts, providing the utmost service as it is a service-oriented entity and a safe playing environment for our customers. All the courses I have done and my experience in brand management ultimately teach us that customers’ trust and loyalty transcend into brand equity.
PAGE: How do you think Brand Management is going to help you in the future?
Hammad Khan: Brand management is a very fundamental and integral part of growing a business. People generally do not realize that. Although brand and business are two separate entities they go hand in hand. A brand is what grows a business otherwise its growth becomes stagnant after a point and then the decline falls. Moreover, the current economic condition is very tough for all entrepreneurs, as there is no stability in markets and it looks like we won’t have it in all of 2023, according to many economists. It’s actually the time of survival mode for all businesses, and whoever comes out of this crisis will have good results, but to keep this in survival mode brand management is essential. A brand must need its customers to trust the brand and believe that this brand offers the highest value, when you count in the competitors that is when brand management is the utmost priority. The future is all about brand management so, brand management doesn’t help a business. It is the base of the business which you have to cultivate slowly and gradually to eventually give value and gain the trust of your customer. True value comes when your consumers believe in your brand.
PAGE: Could you tell me about your competitors offering similar products?
Hammad Khan: There is no market segment where a business does not have competitors, and it’s much more fun to work with good competitors. It becomes a fight of the fittest. I have 3 brands currently, Cafe, Sports Court, and Burger joint. However, when I entered the Sports Court industry it was still a Blue Ocean, hence I had great success being one of the pioneers in the vicinity I am located, which is Block 2 Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Karachi. However, in this vicinity, we have many competitors, one of them being Chai Deewaari which was founded by me. Hence, it’s a neck-to-neck game right now as the current economic situation is very variable and it’s a cutthroat time, as it is survival of the fittest.