Rashi Panjabi is a woman with a plan. Having just launched her second business, the entrepreneur has her sights set on building a diverse portfolio
Entrepreneurialism can sometimes be a waiting game. Patience is most definitely a virtue, especially when it comes to implementing a winning idea. But to wait nine years is an exercise in true self-control and belief in a project.
Director of Inexco Group, Rashi Panjabi, found herself having to do just that – waiting. Having first thought of her idea of bringing mini golf to Dubai while studying in America in 2004, it has taken her the best part of a decade turn it into reality, with Tee & Putt opening in Wafi Mall in May.
In the meantime Panjabi acquired an MBA, worked with start-up businesses in Chicago, helped develop her father’s construction business, founded an online library in Dubai, and become a trainer in mind mapping.
But it is Tee & Putt which has proved correct the Indian-born, Dubai-bred businesswoman’s assertion that if an idea is good, then it’s worth waiting for.
“If you have a vision you can make it happen,” says Panjabi.
“Just don’t give up. I first had this mini golf idea in 2004 and now it’s 2013. It’s been a long time but I stuck with it and now that vision has become a reality.”
Taking inspiration from her surroundings while in the USA, Panjabi realised that a popular pastime among her friendship group was missing from Dubai, and so the idea for Tee & Putt was born.
“There was a mini golf course near our college, about fifteen minutes away. We went as a group all the time and when I was back in Dubai during the summer break, I missed it.
“When I went back to the USA I did some basic research and found there were a few mini golf courses in the UAE but mainly outside and nothing like the ones in the USA. So I started to put a plan together.
“I really like mini golf with a theme element, and I wanted to bring that here to Dubai. That was in 2004. I went and contacted a few companies to establish how I could bring the idea to Dubai. I found a company in Wisconsin and they were amazing. They’d done many courses and had exported them to different parts of the world. I didn’t want a company in Dubai to make it because they wouldn’t have had the right experience.
“I put the idea on hold until after I had completed my MBA, and then it took a back seat. Later, when the time was right, I started contacting malls. Wafi was perfect for us and were really helpful. They wanted something new for families, so it kind of just happened! As soon as we agreed something with Wafi, I went straight back to the company in the USA, so many years later, saying I’m ready now.”
Tee & Putt is the first 18-hole indoor mini golf course in Dubai, and Panjabi is quick to praise her collaborators at Wafi and in the USA, saying she “really needed that support from every angle”.
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