Extensive research has delved into the myriad health benefits attributed to coffee consumption, encompassing enhanced energy levels, facilitation of weight management, improved athletic performance, and even potential defence against chronic ailments. While caffeine often takes the forefront in discussions surrounding coffee, its true essence extends beyond this single component. Coffee boasts an intricate composition, replete with antioxidants and assorted bioactive compounds, as noted by nutrition experts hailing from the esteemed Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. These compounds are believed to contribute to the reduction of internal inflammation and the provision of safeguards against a spectrum of diseases. Amidst this landscape, Barn's Coffee emerges with a storied history tracing back to 1992, embodying resilience in the face of challenges and witnessing the transformative evolution of the Kingdom.
Fueled by an unwavering passion, Barn's Coffee is driven by an unyielding commitment that revolves around a singular and paramount objective: to meticulously craft and present a cup of coffee that transcends mere excellence. This pursuit is dedicated to evoking delight and contentment within the refined palates of our esteemed clientele. At the helm of this endeavour stands Muddassir Farooq, the Chief Financial Officer of Barns, who has played a pivotal role in curating an expansive spectrum of flavours, thoughtfully priced to cater to a diverse range of preferences held by our cherished patrons. Rooted in a profound dedication to both quality and accessibility, Barns Coffee persistently endeavours to cater to the multifaceted desires of coffee enthusiasts, adorning each cup with an artful blend of precision and pleasure. During a candid interview, he provided valuable insights into their strategy to deliver a compelling taste experience while maintaining competitive pricing.
Can you provide a summary of your professional career and experiences?
I began my educational journey in Saudi Arabia, completing my schooling and then pursuing the ACCA qualification. During my ACCA studies, I joined Ernst and Young in Riyadh, where I gained valuable professional experience for about six to seven years. Later, I transitioned to a multinational company based in Jeddah, specializing in the elevator industry. Subsequently, I joined a subsidiary of the same company involved in air conditioning and retail, with a manufacturing base in USA / China and Japan. Expanding my horizons, I entered the food and beverage industry, joining a local company that focused on pasta and foodstuff manufacturing. Currently, I hold the position of CFO at Barns, a coffee business within the food and beverage sector.
Share the core principles that Barns upholds and how it has sustained its position as a locally established and renowned speciality coffee brand.
Founded in 1992, Barns is a locally entrenched brand with an expansive footprint encompassing around 600 branches across Saudi Arabia. Emerging from a visionary pursuit, the founders aimed to curate not just a coffee destination but an immersive space where customers engage with the cultural and traditional nuances of beverages, both within Saudi Arabia and beyond. This devotion to quality is more than rhetoric; it's an intrinsic ethos that permeates every facet of Barns. Amidst industry challenges, their unwavering commitment to maintaining their standards stands as a resolute testament. When confronted with escalating coffee bean costs, the board's chairman chose an alternative sourcing approach, holding steadfast to unwavering quality. However, Barns' distinctiveness lies in its proprietors' hands-on dedication, manifested in meticulous testing procedures that each product undergoes, guaranteeing it surpasses benchmarks before its market debut. This proprietorship involvement isn't just a procedure; it's an assurance that each encounter reverberates with its commitment to excellence. Within their journey, this relentless dedication to quality is the North Star guiding Barns, illuminating a path adorned with triumphs and laurels. This allegiance isn't an aspect; it's the very essence propelling Barns' stature as a synonym for unparalleled quality and enduring success.
In terms of financial focus, which specific areas do you plan to prioritize investments for Barns?
Within the context of our coffee enterprise, our investment strategy encompasses a spectrum of pivotal domains across our business landscape, with a specific emphasis on those interwoven with profitability. Central to our investment schema is the augmentation of our production capacity, manifesting through strategic initiatives like the establishment of novel factories and the modernization of our equipment in alignment with meticulous sales projections. In an endeavour to widen our operational horizons, we engage in a comprehensive evaluation of the potentialities of both our proprietary branches and the potent franchise model. This scrutiny hinges upon identifying the most judicious and resource-effective pathway to amplify our margins and bolster profitability.
When in expanding mode, we prioritize minimizing cash outflow to maximize profitability
When in expanding mode, we prioritize minimizing cash outflow to maximize profitability
Foretelling the contours of our future trajectory, we cast our gaze toward international expanses, with a paramount focus on deploying the franchise paradigm. This mode not only curtails the initial capital outflow but also facilitates the sharing of financial obligations with our esteemed franchisees, thus prudently managing risks. Moreover, our strategic blueprint extends into the realm of diversification, a pivotal facet of our company's developmental mosaic. To this end, we venture into real estate, steering investments towards securing plots for multifaceted commercial activities, be it offices or factories. This visionary approach, carefully calibrated, not only cements the foundations of future growth and untapped opportunities but also meticulously nurtures our core coffee enterprise, preserving its central position within our overarching framework.
Could you share your leadership style and the principles or strategies you employ in guiding your team?
In my capacity as a leader, I adopt a versatile approach that aligns with the distinct needs of my team members. I comprehend that every individual is a unique amalgamation of skills, traits, and preferences. For those who flourish with a blend of direction and a spark of motivation, I orchestrate guidance and inspiration, enabling them to attain exceptional outcomes. Simultaneously, I recognise that specific individuals thrive in an environment where attention to detail is paramount. Thus, I adeptly navigate the realm of micromanagement to ensure their work attains the envisioned benchmarks. With a keen eye on the evolving dynamics of the contemporary workforce, I am attuned to the aspirations of the new generation. I am committed to providing them with the requisite space, autonomy, and adaptability to perform optimally. By meticulously assessing the strengths of each team member, I offer tailored guidance where necessary, amplifying their potential. This personalized approach not only fosters an environment of growth but also minimizes the impact of potential hindrances, propelling the collective journey towards success.
What are your aspirations and future plans as you move forward in the coming years?
In terms of my professional trajectory, my vision is characterized by an unwavering commitment to continual growth and an unrelenting drive to make enduring contributions to the trajectory of the organization I am a part of. My gaze is firmly fixed on the compelling horizons of expansion and the amplification of production capacity, igniting my journey with a potent blend of exhilaration and relentless determination. This multifaceted phase resonates with an aura of possibility, brimming with exciting prospects that galvanize my dedication to pushing boundaries and crafting an indelible impact. Beneath the surface of these professional aspirations lies a broader canvas, painted with hues of altruism and social consciousness. My fervour extends far beyond boardrooms and spreadsheets, compelling me to harness my influence and resources for the greater good. The fire of this passion propels me towards a deeply rooted aspiration to dedicate a substantial portion of my time and resources to initiatives that radiate positivity and generate transformative change.
My objective is to extend a steadfast hand to marginalized and underserved communities, embarking on projects that stand as potent catalysts for upliftment, empowerment, and holistic growth. This commitment to social betterment finds its echo in my unwavering dedication to professional development, seamlessly merging to encapsulate the rich tapestry of my aspirations that illuminate the path ahead, beckoning the days yet to unfold with a symphony of possibilities and purpose.
Muddassir Farooq, CFO, BARNS
With 15 years of experience in the MENA region, Muddassir Farooq has demonstrated expertise in planning, implementing, and managing internal controls, as well as overseeing the finance department of a company. As a strategic business partner to the C-suite, Muddassir advises on the potential impacts of decisions. He has a track record of cost reduction, process improvement, issue resolution, and successful implementation of new technologies.