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Wed 31 Jul 2019 11:01 AM

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Lessons from leaders: Story behind online laundry service JustClean

Brand View: JustClean currently operates in Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, with further expansion into other markets in the near future

Lessons from leaders: Story behind online laundry service JustClean

What's the story behind your business?

Athbi Al Enezi: My brother and I identified a crucial problem within the laundry sector that was a hassle to both laundry owners and customers alike. We launched our initial on-demand laundry marketplace application in 2016 with the intention of disrupting the traditional ‘way’ of doing the laundry.

After partnering with Faith Capital Holding and evolving in size we rebranded our product to JustClean for scalability purposes.

JustClean currently operates in Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, with further expansion into other markets in the near future. We now offer both B2B and B2C services that include: a marketplace application, SaaS, full logistics and delivery support.

If all goes well, where do you see it going in the next five years? The next decade?

Nouri Al Enezi: We would love to upgrade what is considered to be a large and underdeveloped sector through this technology. Furthermore, we’d like to see JustClean listed on a major international stock exchange.

Nouri Al Enezi.

What's the single biggest challenge facing your industry today?

Athbi Al Enezi: The single biggest challenge is shifting the mindset of traditional offline behaviour to a more progressive online behaviour both on a B2B and B2C level.

Where do great ideas come from in your organisation?

Nouri Al Enezi: From every member of our team. Whether they be in our brainstorming sessions, meetings, or random calls in the late hours of the night, we take every idea seriously and commend an out of the box mindset.

How do you encourage creative thinking within your organisation?

Athbi Al Enezi: We strongly encourage our team to be blue sky thinkers. We push our team to take calculated risks and not be afraid to try something new; if we haven’t quite hit the mark, we learn and move on. Dwelling on a mistake is a lost opportunity for growth.

What is the most important in your company – its mission, core values or vision?

Nouri Al Enezi: They are all inter-related. Our vision and mission are built upon our core values. To take an example: we believe that with the blessings of Allah (SWT), hard work, not cutting any corners, appreciating and respecting our team, we will inshallah achieve success. Through this belief we are able to offer our customers, partners and team honesty, transparency, and reliability.

What's your decision-making process?

Athbi Al Enezi: Our decision-making process is a democratic one. The necessary parties gather to discuss the issue at hand and come to a consensus on how to proceed forward.

Do you believe social networking has impacted your organisation or yourself, personally? How has it done so?

Athbi Al Enezi: Yes of course. It has not only impacted myself but the organization as a whole. Our social platforms are mainly used to announce business updates and more importantly are used as platform where we can interact with users. We have the ability to engage with users from around the world, where we educate them on our product and in turn, they educate us with their feedback.

On a personal level, I have the ability to connect with various individuals from a horizon of organizations, building both on my professional network and personal network as well.

What do you enjoy the most about working at your company?

Nouri Al Enezi: There is no one thing that we enjoy. We love everything about JustClean. Through the good, the challenging, and the better we are blessed to know that we work side by side with champions who care about JustClean as much if not more than us.

Can you name a person who has had an impact on you as a leader? Perhaps someone who has been a mentor to you? Why/how did this person impact your life?

Both: On a professional level our mentor has been Mohammed Jaffar. From the moment we partnered with Faith Capital Holding, our lives have changed. It is an honour knowing that we are being mentored by a pioneer in the industry. He has passed down his expertise and wisdom, and we have soaked in all of the knowledge he has sent our way. He has empowered us to challenge ourselves and take huge risks.

What is the most important/biggest decision you've ever had to make for your company? 

Athbi Al Enezi: Every critical decision is a game changing decision. When you aim to be a trendsetter every action or decision you make will impact your organization. We have to move fast and make sure we control the tide. With that, comes uncertainty and sometimes belief that it can be done supersedes all logic. We expanded into two countries in a matter of months and in that same year introduced two other products: logistics and SaaS.

What would you say to a new employee about the culture of your organisation?

Nouri Al Enezi: Well I would say what we say to all of our new employees: Welcome to your second family. We are not a group of “9:00 AM-5:00 PM” individuals that are here to just punch in and punch out. Be ready to challenge yourself and build a career where you know you are part of something extraordinary. Be you and don’t be afraid to take a risk. You will have long hours, but in return you will never feel like you are constrained to a job. You will realize that we are a family, a unit, that supports and appreciates one another.

When faced with two equally qualified job candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?

Athbi Al Enezi: We hire the candidate that is hungry with fire, filled with determination, and has an entrepreneurial spirit. We seek individuals who are as passionate and head strong as we are, but share the same beliefs that we do.

What are three characteristics that you believe every leader should possess?

a. Patience
b. Decision Making
c. A Good Moral System

What advice would you give to someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Be transparent with your team. They will be there to support you as you support them. Understand that your manpower are the backbone of your organization. A one-man show will only get you so far.

Remain humble at all times. Do not ever let the stress or glory get to your head. - Athbi Al Enezi

Be ready to roll up your sleeves and get into the midst of the chaos. Watching from a far will only hurt you.  Give to receive. The more you give back the more you will be sure to receive, so don’t be greedy. – Nouri Al Enezi

What's your greatest fear in business?

Athbi Al Enezi: As long as we work hard, with the blessings of Allah ( SWT) there is nothing, we fear. Our belief guides and brings us peace in times that we are unsure.

Athbi Al Enezi.

What's the best way to prepare for uncertainty (which is increasingly relevant in today's market)?

Nouri Al Enezi: Set out the potential outcomes of the various plans you have laid. In some cases, be equipped to jump in and face challenges head on.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

Athbi Al Enezi: One thing that most people don’t know about us is, nothing. We are open books.

What's one productivity tip you wish everyone else knew?

Nouri Al Enezi: Productivity happens with a positive outlook. Sometimes one has to hit rock bottom to appreciate what success means. One tip to all entrepreneurs is remain positive even when it is hard.

What is your most prized possession?

Athbi Al Enezi: Our faith is our most prized possession. It is ours to accelerate in.

What is the biggest luxury in your life?

Nouri Al Enezi: Everything in life is a luxury and should not be taken for granted. Waking up every morning in good health. Having the ability to see the people we love happy and healthy.

What makes you get out of bed each day?

Athbi Al Enezi: One word: JustClean.

Quote to live your life by?

Nouri Al Enezi: And your Lord says, "Call upon Me; I will respond to you." (Quran 40:60)

If you could give an old boss one piece of advice, what would it be?

Athbi Al Enezi: We would give a word of advice to all employers of all types at any level:

Create a culture where employees love to work and be at work, as they are the backbone of your organization and a pillar of your success.

If something were to happen to your business, what would be your backup plan?

Nouri Al Enezi: That is Allah’s ( SWT) will. We will have to figure it out, because nothing will stop us. If there is a backup plan, then one is setting themselves up for failure. We will achieve our goal, and by the grace of Allah ( SWT), succeed in it as well.

What do you work toward in your free time?

Athbi Al Enezi: What is considered free time may vary from one person to the next. For us, if we could spend all of our time at JustClean we would do just that.

What did you want to be growing up?

Nouri Al Enezi: We both wanted to grow up as our parents raised us to be, good people that gave back to their communities.

How do you manage a large company and still find time for things like family? 

Athbi Al Enezi: We are blessed to have a family that understands and supports our dream. Just as we have a responsibility to JustClean, we have a responsibility to our family as well. Balance is difficult in the beginning, but sure enough we have found the recipe.

How do you relax and switch off from the office?

Nouri Al Enezi: Switching off from the office is not a possibility. That would mean there is no productivity happening.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Athbi Al Enezi: We wake up in the morning, have our coffee, and head off to the office. We start every day with a stand-up session reviewing the progress and areas of improvement that is needed. We saddle in for the unexpected gophers that popup at random.

Do you have any daily rituals that help prepare you for the day? (Examples include meditation, going to the gym, making breakfast, etc.)

Nouri Al Enezi: We have to pray and have our breakfast. We mentally prepare ourselves by reminding ourselves that no challenge is too big for us to handle.

Finish this sentence, "the world would be a better place if only…."

Athbi Al Enezi: The world would be a better place if only individuals held themselves accountable in times of glory and demise.

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