DOHA challenges to prospective entrepreneurs in Qatar come in many forms and from different sides. Securing business licenses, finding the right Qatari sponsor and scouting for the most strategic business location are among the most common.
But for Filipina entrepreneur Annie Barcelona Edmiston, convincing her own community to patronize Filipino clothing brands her company Doha Qatar is exclusively distribute trendsetters in was the biggest challenge.
"I found it very difficult to create my own community members to buy Philippine clothing since most of them can afford to buy from international brands. Some of them, especially the long time residents of Qatar, even doubted that I in this business could survive for more than a year because they have seen very few Philippine companies do, "said Annie.
Doha trendsetters is a retail and direct selling company of renowned Filipino clothing brands Hammerhead and BNY Jeans and shirts, both Philippine garment known in the industry for 20 years now.
Annie company was officially launched in Qatar on a glitzy event held at the Sheraton Hotel on 24 August 2012.
However, barely a year after setting up shop, Doha trendsetters has won the hearts of Filipinos in Qatar thanks to the tenacity of Annie to switch from the company into a success story.
Slowly, it has also gained recognition among other communities who are familiar with the different fashion style and taste of the Filipinos are. Filipinos are known throughout the world for their love of good grooming and fashion consciousness.
According to Annie, global sales and marketing director of the company, is Doha trendsetters extend to an international company. "Proof of this success is the latest partnership with Federico Mahora-FM brands, who has been among the top five networks companies of the world. We are also working on an international fashion clothing line from the makers of quality fashion dresses in Turkey. But it is not yet final, we are close to fulfilling our side of the requirements for signing the contract, "she said.
They added that the brand is the adjustment process in terms of production of larger sizes that accommodate to non-Filipino buyers.
Annie is with the good performance of its business, happy, but still determined to the Philippine brands more popular in Qatar. She is determined to Philippine made brands and more determined to prove that the Philippine entrepreneurs a place in the competitive business environment in the country have to promote.
So how Annie feels is one of the few successful Filipino entrepreneurs in Qatar? Answering that question she said: "Doha Trend setters is not just a company.
We are here also to support the overseas Filipino workers in most of their community projects and social gatherings. It feels great and it gives me more courage to continue and prove to the world what I can do to become successful. I have been in sales and marketing company for over 12 years in the Philippines, apply different companies in need of assistance when it comes to building their name in the market. If I might be able to help successfully making those companies then I can do it better for my own business.
We look forward to continued support of the Filipino community, "she said.