Adnan Haroon Binmahfooz, an Indo-Arab born and raised in Saudi Arabia, went on to Canada for his undergrad and eventually decided to come to Italy for his MBA. He is currently back in Hyderabad, India, and he started BOTTEGA Café, a boutique cafe’ which offers authentic tastes to its gourmand clients. The concept revolves around the “awareness” experience, and the outlet is designed to stage a true classic Italian cafe’ environment for its customers to live the experience. They also have the chance to partake in cooking classes and social events to familiarize even more with the Italian culture.

Why have you chosen to undertake an MBA program?

Since an early age I have always been interested in starting my own business. This has played a solid role in clarifying my academic roadmap. Therefore, I wanted to further explore and learn to develop managerial skills and be able to bring my historic business interest to life. That’s when the idea of an MBA program came in!

What is the impact of the fact that you have carried out an MBA in Italy on your current business?

The fact I did my MBA in Italy has a huge impact on major aspects of my current business, as we promote and introduce Italian products to our customers, creating awareness on how to consume these products, and even how to cook Italian food! My special thanks go to Amedeo Aragona, a fellow MBA classmate who has eventually become a dear friend of mine and who was affectionately called “Il Migliore” (which translates into “The Best”). He has indeed provided such a welcoming invitation to discover the true Italian culture, be it food, lifestyle, or even the language, which are evidently visible in the store setup. What we have learned during Design and Luxury management classes helped me to convert these experiences into a valuable asset which differentiates BOTTEGA Café from the rest.

What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt from your failures?

I believe failure is part of success, without it we won’t be able to discover new opportunities or even bring out our full innovative potential. That being said, the most important lessons I have learnt from my failures are never give-up the positive attitude towards all challenges, listening more than talking and always reminding myself of the “why” I have taken the challenge at the first place.

What advice would you give to a “wanna be entrepreneur”?

My advice would be, first, be fully convinced of your own idea and how it should be executed. Second advice: feel free to be yourself and express both appreciation and concerns to eliminate unwanted barriers. Final advice: listen and listen and then listen, you will be surprised how much you can learn just by listening; this does not necessarily mean you have to follow what others say, it is more about developing different perspectives to understand the challenges lying ahead of you.