Prestige Projects, Designing the Outcome

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We sat down with Ms. Fatchie Oues from Prestige Projects, a Qatar-based foreign branch of a disrupting force in the Middle East’s interior design industry, to learn more about her experience as one of our clients.

Ms. Fotini, as she likes to be called, reached out to RCH for help establishing her legal entity and to receive support with government relations services.

Tell us a bit about your background?

Well, I’m Syrian but lived most of my life in Greece and came to Qatar in 2019. I studied Business Administration but have been working since the age of 18. My career took off at Aquis Resort. They had a rotation program I was part of, and I got to work in HR, Marketing and Purchasing. Then I moved on to FTI Group, one of Europe’s largest tour operators, and that gave me so much exposure to how hospitality really works. My final pitstop was Lysys. I stayed there for 6 years and mostly worked as a Special Projects Manager reporting directly to the CEO.

Eventually, when I felt I wanted something different, I decided to ask that they post me with Lysys in Qatar, but unfortunately, when the lockdown hit, they did mass layoffs, and I was one of the people let go. That’s when I decided I won’t put myself in a similar position again, and within 3 days I was figuring out how to open a company and decided to do a foreign branch of an already established entity and help them expand their business geographically.

 

How did you get interested in furniture design?

The furniture industry shares one thing in common with the food industry, there will always be strong demand. Another important aspect is that in the Middle East, hotels have a furniture-renewal policy, meaning every 4 years they must bring in new units. So really, it’s the steady demand in the industry which drove me to it.

 

Why be a business owner?

Because it’s my passion. It means I get to wake up every day excited to go to work, and it means I never feel like I’m working. It’s just what I love to do.

 

What sets you aside from the competition in the furniture business?

We do both interior design and furniture supply, and there actually isn’t a lot of competition in Qatar. Off the top of my head, I can think of only 4 other companies. We have in-house specialists who work the layouts and over 200 suppliers from whom we provide the furniture.

We also realize the importance of originality in the designs. Instead of opting for copies of high-end designs, customers are now beginning to understand it’s better to go for mid-range original designs which are unique. That’s why Prestige is different.

 

 

Why was Qatar the best place to start in the Middle East?

The mother company started in Tunisia and takes projects even in France, but they always wanted to expand their foothold in the GCC, and personally, I always thought Qatar is the best place to live in the Middle East. It has a steady market demand, it’s not too conservative, and best of all, the competition is much lower than in Dubai. For us we get plenty of business from Qatar, so we’ll maintain our presence here.

 

What were some of the biggest concerns you had about opening in Doha?

The bureaucratic aspects really. There’s always this sense that if you don’t have a strong sponsor or support from a strong network, that you could be closed or kicked out any moment.

 

How did you come to know about RCHBS?

One of my friends previously used your services to establish a business here and find the right sponsor for it. You were able to help him with both, so I reached out and it was a simple process from there.

 

Why did you choose us as a company formation partner?

You’ve been on the market for a long time and your reputation is great. Doha is a small city and status means a lot here. It really helps to have a sponsor with a strong name, and in your case, you also offer the government relations services, so it just made sense to go this way, so I can be sure I won’t get any headaches in the future. I see RCH as a service provider I can remain with through the entire growth of my company.

 

What were some of the biggest challenges we’ve helped solve for you?

Honestly, obtaining a Lebanese female quota would have been impossible without you. At the same time, when I needed a new architect, we had the person in less than a month under our sponsorship. Then there was the time I needed a Single Window account set up to process some imports, you guys had it figured out in a day.

The other thing I really appreciate is that you provide audit reminders and show proactivity in letting me know when anything related to ministries or government bodies needs done. It’s like having an in-house HR team, but without the added costs of vacations, sick-leaves, and travel packages.

 

Did we help you focus on what matters?

Absolutely! I really can’t imagine how much of my own time I would have had to invest otherwise in figuring out governmental to-dos and getting things rolling with the ministries