Start-up of the Week: Tabuk’s Candy Gift goes for the sweet spot

Updated 23 July 2018

Start-up of the Week: Tabuk’s Candy Gift goes for the sweet spot

RIYADH: When Elham Musalli retired after working in the education sector for 23 years, she was not ready to put her feet up and have a rest after decades spent working with children.
Many educationists might feel jaded and glad to turn their backs on their pupils. But not Elham Musalli. She told Arab News: “I worked in the field of education for 23 years, despite my love and enjoyment of my work and achievements in King Abdul Aziz Schools and its charity institute, there was something inside me ... a wish or a hobby or the love to work on something that I had not been able to devote myself into and give it more attention.”
She started thinking about what her next challenge would be. ”When I retired I had the time to think about my candy project, which is actually part of my personality the love for children and the love of making gifts.”
She started talking to her family about how to implement her project. She was determined to do something she said, unable to “a long time of emptiness every day.” She also wanted to teach her children how to start a business.
“After long discussions with the family, we ended up working together as a team to make this dream come true.
“We distributed work among the family members from the selection of the logos and colors, to choosing cashier devices and preparing a comprehensive feasibility study. I have also traveled to many cities to learn about the traders, shops and institutes that can help in providing us with goods. The planning process took approximately a year to achieve.”
The concept of Candy Gift in Tabuk in the northwest of the Kingdom is that it will be a fantasy space, selling sweets and gifts, in a colorful fashion-forward store.
Candy Gift, is now open at the Tabuk Park mall near Prince Fahad bin Sultan’s Park, aims to be a lively concept store. Its colorful interior is sweetly styled to conjure up the idea of a candy paradise for the young — and the young at heart.
She was looking for staff who would understand her customers. “I made sure that the female employees are Saudi women because I believe in them and the nature of the shop requires them to be able to understand customers and help them get what they need as soon as possible,” she added.
Her formula seems to have worked, as when asked what reaction the store has had, she said: “We call ourselves happiness makers because the shop gives joy and pleasure to all customers. The children give the sweetest reactions when they enter the store with the smiles and expression of the parents, it really increases our enthusiasm to work.”
She attributes the success of the venture to the support she has had — from “my husband, children, family and others.”
She now hopes to expand the business to other cities.

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

Updated 16 September 2019

Houthi attack on Saudi Aramco facilities act of terror: Japanese defense minister

TOKYO: Taro Kono, the defense minister of Japan, said that threats to his country’s oil supply was the “most worrying scenario” he could imagine in international relations, in the wake of attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities. 

“The most pessimistic scenario right now is that something happens in the Straits of Hormuz and the oil supply gets cut down, and that would send a shock wave through the global economy. I think the price of oil is already rising after this attack on Saudi facilities, so that’s the most worrying scenario right now,” he told a conference in Tokyo, Japan.

However, speaking on the sidelines to Arab News, he insisted that Saudi Arabia would remain a reliable partner of Japan - which imports around 40 per cent of its crude from the Kingdom - and downplayed concerns about long-term supply problems.

“Saudi has been and will be an important source of our energy supply. We have international co-ordination, and we have reserves, so we are not really worried about that,” he said. 

Kono, who was until recently Japan’s foreign minister, said that his country would be seeking to promote diplomatic solutions to the latest Middle East conflagration. "We definitely need to ease the tension between those countries. As Foreign Minister, the last thing I was doing was calling the Iranian Foreign Minister and the French Foreign Minister to ease the tension the region through diplomatic actions, and I think it's important to continue doing it.

“This Houthi attack on Saudi is a little different, because it's a terrorist attack. I think we may require some kind of military operation against those drone attacks, and that's something out of Japan's constitutional boundary. I think Japan will be focusing on diplomatic efforts in easing tension in the region.”

He raised concerns about the apparent lack of sophistication in the recent attacks. “If it is really drones, that is a lot cheaper than any form of conventional missile,” he said.