This beautiful ‘belle’ spoke about adversities; how she was able to overcome them, and make it to the peak of the entrepreneurial race. We promise that once you get to know the real Mansur behind the facade of — ‘Menx,’ you’ll see a loving mother to a beautiful girl and a few majestic pets, a caring supervisor, and of course, a well-rounded humane person.
So, let’s not waste any more time and get to know this Dhaka stunner in our exclusive interview.
What do you consider yourself first — a writer or an entrepreneur?
Both actually! I always wanted to do something worthwhile with my life. A while back, I used to blog regularly, addressing almost all social concerns that I felt strongly about. So if you want to know what describes me best — I’d probably use the term ‘writer’ — that’s me!
But over time, I have also learnt to become a competent entrepreneur. I’d probably give all the credit to my artistic sixth sense that helped me develop a worthy edge.
Did entrepreneurship come naturally to you?
I was always entrepreneurial since the age of 18 and had a successful jewellery line. After a period of stagnancy, entrepreneurship did suddenly stumble upon me, well into my marriage and years in Bangladesh. I was always on the lookout for doing things that would help me become more independent and more importantly, provide me with a creative outlet.
One day out of the blue, I decided to use the monthly household allowance to purchase sushi knives, roller sets, and other kitchen appliances. Upon launch, I expected very few orders, but thankfully it took off rapidly.
Overnight, I had to hire quite a few staff to help me with the delivery business, because orders were pouring in like hot cakes!
Have you faced obstacles along the way? How have you managed to overcome them?
Whatever obstacle there was, it was overcome with a strong belief in my abilities, and with a lot of respect for the people working with me on this initiative. I always prioritise the wellbeing of my employees, and am extremely lucky to have been able to employ really efficient and hardworking people over the years. Third and most important aspect of it all, is that I have always prioritised my clients and their preferences over anything else. As a result, today, the most stringent customers have become the most loyal — with the maximum amount of repeat purchases.
This has definitely not happened over a week or month; this process took years to establish. If ever there was something wrong with the food and there were complaints, we immediately returned the money, and additionally, gave away new and fresh food for free, till the customers satisfied. Such dedication has helped me gain their respect over time. Now, many people might argue that giveaways might cause a company to go bankrupt. But if you are smart enough, you’d realise that perpetual loyalty and complimentary word of mouth advertisement more than makes up for the loss, especially in the long run.
What would be a typical day for Menx Mansur the socialite?
It’s funny you should call me that! But yes, I do like to socialise and get on my social media platforms more often than most people. But all this networking actually helps my business. I have tried staying away from social media quite a few times, but it has always had a bad effect on the entrepreneurial front. What I believe is that, in today’s world of globalisation and incessantly updated technologies, we must stay connected and let the world know about our work. This is simply the new generation business format.
And a typical day for me would be ‘very regular,’ unlike what most people assume.
I get up early for my daughter, and drop her to school. Then, I come back home and get on with some work, which includes visiting the restaurant, some trouble shooting, and by afternoon, Adria would be back. Sometimes, we have lunch together at home or at work. In the evening, we play with the dogs and cats, and maybe watch a movie. Sometimes, I invite guests over, or just have regular chitchat with the little one, before retiring to bed.
What is the future for Menx Mansur, as an entrepreneur?
I am grateful to have been granted a keen sense towards all forms of art and culture. Having said that, I’d also like to add that my ventures will definitely not end with the food industry! I have many different projects up my sleeves, and hopefully, you’d all be able to know about it soon.
Any advice for the ‘newbies’ who want to follow in your footsteps…?
It’s better to start small and grow big than to start big and potentially fall backwards. There are many small glitches that we have to learn ‘to iron out’ along the way which only time and manifold experiences teach us.
I started off with only Tk50000 as capital. Since then, I have been able to expand my business, only because I learnt from my mistakes, while my business was still in the offing.
This has definitely helped me avert major mistakes and losses. So my advice is pretty simple: Start Small and Grow Big with Time.
Interviewed by Mehrin Mubdi Chowdhury
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
Model: Mehreen Mansur
Makeup and Hairstyling: Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon
Jewellery: Kolors of Kathmandu
Special thanks to Mehreen Mansur