By Sandhya D’Mello
Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Beloved salon owner Aisha Tekwani shares her early days in Dubai. Tekwani describes how she started her business and shares advice for other entrepreneurs on how to get started.
If you happen to be in Sharjah, you will never miss the busy streets of Rolla and in that densely-populated area stands ‘Aisha Beauty Saloon’, almost a quarter-century-old parlor.
Make no mistake. This is no ordinary ladies parlor, it is run by a sexagenarian, power-house Aisha Tekwani — fondly called ‘Madam Aisha’ — an icon of strength, guts and fierce personality with shades of being humane to the core.
Aisha’s tales of generosity are common in the locality and even today she personally handles customers and does not hesitate to attend herself despite having a staff of more than 30 in one branch. She comes across as an entrepreneur, mentor and a very strict employer with customers being top priority. A look at her and it is evident that it is a tale of ‘trials to testimony’.
Before she loved the emirate, the place embraced her innocence and hard work and has today showered her with her two own salons. The plush life that she leads now did not come easy and in the past had made her hit the bottom to taste the harsh realities only to rebound and surface stronger.
Aisha who has roots in Kashmir said: “I landed in Dubai in 1981 — 24 years old and newly married — it was a new world, all together for me. I was a bit nervous and happy to come here. I always dreamed of traveling abroad and finally my wish was granted. The first week in the UAE was a bit difficult for me because I missed my family and house, however, my husband was a comfort factor so I somehow managed myself.”