“The business plan is the most important part, you need to decide what you want out of your business” seemed to be Nailya Ragimova’s, owner of Doner Kebab Express, mantra when questioned about the steps she took to build her business.
Nailya and her family immigrated to the United States in 1992 and while transitioning to American life, she recalled her own transition to business owner. Nailya knew that coming to the United States meant she needed to make a change in her life. Coming to a new environment and becoming independent and motivated became a crucial part of her transition. She understood that she needed to make this change in her life in order to achieve independence and develop her dreams and who she is meant to be.
For as long as she could remember, food has been Nailya’s passion. She loves the food of her cultural background and wants to share it with others. Growing up engulfed in the scents and constantly cooking, Azerbaijani cuisine is fundamental to her identity. To Nailya, nothing made more sense than sharing her passion for traditional Azerbaijani food with the world in business form. She started thinking globally about her food when she began selling her Baklava at wholesale with Cisco. Selling her food wholesale opened another worldview which helped her understand more about the industry and where she wants to take her business.
Among the many elements Nailya ascribes to her success, patience and hard work have the most resounding effect on her business. She measures success by reflecting on her work to see her plans coming to fruition and feeling satisfied with the results. This, she says, cannot be accomplished without the patience to trust in the process.
Knowledge and learning are extremely important to Nailya. With the help of WBCUtah and the Utah Microloan Fund, it was not long before she realized she wanted to take her company global and turn it into a franchise. With all of these decisions she had to make, fear never deterred Nailya from seeking out what she wanted with her business. As she continued making decisions while trusting her intuition, she watched her business and self-confidence steadily grow. For Nailya, success is all about the learning curve and learning the ins-and-outs of your industry so you can move forward unafraid.