From Biomedical Engineer to Entrepreneur: Wittenborg Student Mahdokht Hemati Shares Success Story
Mahdokht Hemati on the Start of Dice Cuban Café in Tehran
In the city of Tehran, Mahdokht Hemati's journey led her from the world of biomedical engineering to becoming the proud owner and founder of Dice Cuban Café, a unique establishment inspired by Cuban culture and cuisine. Currently pursuing her MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree with a specialisation in International Management at Wittenborg, Hemati shared insights into her background, career choices and the vision behind her thriving business.
Passion and expertise
Hemati, from Iran, graduated with a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Science and Research in Tehran. After working at Sharif University's biomedical engineering faculty and later joining a startup focused on aiding blind individuals, Hemati also explored various roles in sales, marketing and management within the fields of oilseed imports and poultry feed.
After around nine years, Hemati felt the entrepreneurial spark and recognised the need for a unique dining experience in Tehran. With Dice Cuban Café, she identified a gap in the market for Latino American-style cuisine and unknown dishes in the city:
"My interest in different cultures, and my hobby of cooking dishes of other countries, as well as my thirst for starting my own business, brought me to the idea of starting a café in Tehran," she explains, adding that the concept of Dice Cuban Café is rooted in Cuba's enchanting interior design, cuisine, beverages and soulful music.
Over the years, Hemati honed her skills in academic research and creative concepts. Yet, delving into her own business, she recognised the importance of practical management and operational research. Her studies at Wittenborg aim to teach her how to craft innovative solutions and enhance business processes for real-life scenarios.
Balancing academia and entrepreneurship
For Hemati, balancing academic pursuits with entrepreneurial responsibilities has become an integral focus. She has outsourced the management of Dice Cuban Café, allowing her to focus on her studies and integrate into her new life in the Netherlands. Despite stepping back from day-to-day operations, she remains actively involved as a shareholder, contributing to strategic planning and ensuring the continued success of her venture.
Looking ahead, Hemati envisions opening new branches of Dice Cuban Café in different cities.
"Studying for an MBA at Wittenborg provides me with management knowledge, insight and expertise to oversee international business practices with diverse and inclusive situations. I am eager to start a new branch of Dice Café in a city like Amsterdam with its international environment."
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
Hemati's advice to students aspiring to start their own business is simple: "I think the most important thing is to follow your passion and dreams and just do it. It usually looks and sounds very difficult at the beginning, but after achieving the first results, little progresses and initial successes, you understand that the way you chose was the right one, just like the Persian poet Rumi said: 'As you start to walk on the way, the way appears.'"
by Erene Roux