We talked to Shabbir Kagalwala of Dubai-Forever.com about professional CV writing services and he had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Shabbir Kagalwala: Thanks for asking. We are doing well. Awareness and precaution are the main methods to save yourself from the COVID-19 virus. Following the rules and guidelines laid out by your local healthcare authorities is of utmost importance.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Dubai-Forever.com.
Shabbir Kagalwala: I’m an avid coin collector and harmonica player. I love playing cricket, painting, and reading non-fiction. I am a professional CV and LinkedIn profile writer. I used to work as Senior Manager – Human Resources in one of the most dynamic oil and gas majors in the United Arab Emirates and the world. Based in Abu Dhabi, I was fortunate to work with more than 72+ nationalities, which completely changed my perception about life and work.
I had struggled really hard to reach where I was, and I had my family (my wife, Tasneem, and 2 daughters, Jameela and Zainab) living with me in the UAE. However, seeing the sacrifices that some people had made by living and working here all alone so that they could feed their families back in their home country moved me to a great degree.
I realized that many talented people were not getting interview calls because their CV wasn’t projecting their abilities properly. Having read thousands of CV’s in my 10 years as a recruiter, I decided to do something about this.
I co-founded www.Dubai-Forever.Com, along with my wife, to write CVs and LinkedIn profiles for candidates that they could then use to get the jobs (and salaries) of their dreams. My innumerable clients-turned-friends is testimony that we’ve succeeded.
Why the name Dubai-Forever.Com, you may ask? Well, I’m completely in awe of the Vision that the Leaders of the UAE, especially Dubai, have, that resulted in the creation of great wealth for its people as well as expatriates living and working there. Not only that, but they’ve created such a smart, working government system that is constantly in the quest to make the United Arab Emirates rise up higher on any and every index/list in the world. Be it, safest country for women, ease of doing business, etc.
How does Dubai-Forever.com innovate?
Shabbir Kagalwala: We keep our eyes and ears open. We listen to our customers and watch how the job scenario keeps unfolding, especially during trying times like this. What was a problem years ago may not be so today, so unless we are “with it,” we won’t be able to address our customer’s needs.
One of our customers referred us to his boss, who is a big Business Owner in the Middle East countries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. They own a chain of supermarkets, retail stores, and hospitals. We created a profile for him, which was required for entry into a national-level award. He won the award. So, we began to provide writing services for Entrepreneurs who needed to create their personal LinkedIn profiles, company LinkedIn page, articles about their startup to send for various startup awards, Stevie awards, etc.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Shabbir Kagalwala: Being a services company, we were always operating mostly online. However, the pandemic forced us to take 100% of our business online. But the major impact was on our office. Earlier, we were all working from an office. However, due to the pandemic & work from home regulations, we devised a policy of 100% WFH.
I think we are doing very well. Our staff consists of 80% of women. And women normally wear more hats than men. WFH gave women in our company the flexibility to manage and wear all their hats at the same time. Since they can now complete their assigned work at any time of the day or night, they are happier. We’ve seen their happiness reflect in their productivity.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Shabbir Kagalwala: We had to let go of the office that we had for 10 years. But that just taught us that there is nothing permanent in life. You’ve got to take what you have, at that time, and run with it. On the positive side, we are saving on rent. So, we decided to create a fund from the savings that we can use to help our employees when in need. We also increased their pay, so they were more than happy as well.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety during this time, and how do you and Dubai-Forever.com see yourself in the future?
Shabbir Kagalwala: The pandemic taught all of us a good lesson. Do not take your health for granted. A healthy and fit person has higher immunity to external forces.
Similarly, we’re taking steps to focus even more on our core business. We see ourselves as the go-to company for quality writing work. We write research papers and do literature reviews for Ph.D. and Master’s candidates. We also write and manage LinkedIn profiles for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Shabbir Kagalwala: We have several competitors, namely Bayt, Monstergulf, Resume Planet, etc. However, being an open-structure company, we have always been very easy to access. Our strength lies in the fact that when you get in touch with us, you don’t speak to a pushy “sales” person. You speak with the writer herself/himself, so we “get” your story better, and don’t push you unnecessarily, just to make that commission. We patiently listen to what you want to say. Then suggest the best package for you. When you contact us after 3 years to prepare a CV for your next job, we continue from where we left last. No need to start from scratch.
In essence, we believe we are our own competitors. We strive to be better than what we were yesterday…
Your final thoughts?
Shabbir Kagalwala: “Always do business with a positive mindset.
Whether buying or selling products or services, ALWAYS keep a positive outlook and place complete trust in the person you are dealing with (of course, after you’ve done your research and your due diligence).
Your positive thoughts affect the entire business process and so too, the products and services you’ve bought or sold.”
This is my mantra for success and one of the pillars of my life and business.
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