Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 6th 2017 Contents inthe seat|3
August 6 . 2017
Quenching the need for success
To define Dominic Hadeed
as simply "driven" would
be an understatement. As
the founder of Blue Wa-
ters, the largest bottled wa-
ter facility in the Caribbean, Hadeed
never sees the glass as 'half-empty' but
rather as an opportunity to fill it him-
self. Sunday Business caught up with
Hadeed to get a sense of what makes
this modern water mogul tick.
How many years have you been in busi-
I have been in business almost 25 years
now, initially working with my father Aziz
Hadeed in Fabric Land, then with my uncle
Francis Hadeed in Gulf City before starting
Blue Waters in 1999.
What has been your biggest success?
I'm probably most known for the success
of Blue Waters Products Limited.
Have you ever failed at any endeavor?
Yes I have. It's very difficult for someone
to achieve success without having failed
multiple times along the way. There were
many things that I tried when starting Blue
Waters and along my business career that
did not go as planned. I read somewhere that
"Knowledge is what you get, when you don't
get what you expect". The key however is not
to be afraid or embarrassed when mistakes
are made. There is a difference between a
failed idea and someone who is a failure. You
just have to be sure that if or when you make
a mistake, it does not sink your business or
tarnish your integrity and reputation. You
have to be able to "live to fight another day"
as the old saying goes. So you should only
take calculated risks that you can afford to
lose and never bet it all on one thing.
What makes you decide whether you
want to enter a new venture?
For me it's always about satisfying a need.
It's usually when I'm looking for something
and I can't find it, or the people who are
doing it or supplying it are doing a very bad
job at it, that I think that this may be some-
thing that I can do better or offer people in
a way that does not as yet exist. But I have to
also enjoy the work and the people that will
come with the new venture. Even if I think I
can make a lot of money doing something, if
I won't enjoy coming to work to do it every-
day, I will simply pass on the opportunity, or
pass on the idea to someone else to make a
business out of it, so at least I can have my
Best piece of advice you've ever received?
That came from my father. He always told
me to treat people the way that you would
like to be treated, always look at things from
the other person's point of view as well and
look for a win-win solution. But obviously
you can't please everyone and if the other
person is only thinking about themselves
then it's tough to make things work out for
the best and at times people can get upset
with you if you don't let them get their way
Have you ever felt like you could lose it
all?There were a couple of times along the
journey of building Blue Waters that were
very difficult, but they weren't because of
bad business decisions that I made, as I was
always careful not to "bite off more than
I could chew" at any one time. They were
situations where my competitors attempted
to use governmental influence to close us
Unfortunately, when you are doing busi-
ness in the Caribbean these are things that
you have to watch out for, but when I had
started Blue Waters at the age of 24, nobody
told me that. I was very naive in that sense.
I grew up watching my father and uncles
conduct themselves in a very ethical and fair
manner and it never dawned on me that not
all businessmen operated this way and that
apparently you could break the law in the
Caribbean and not go to jail.
What drives you?
I'm driven by the pursuit of excellence, I've
always said that I would love to build a First
World company in a Third World country.
But also the attempt to leave this world a
better place than I found it---to leave my
"fingerprints" behind. I know that it sounds
silly to say, but I like thinking that if it were
not for my ideas and efforts and the people
that work with me, certain companies, jobs,
buildings etc would never have existed. I
would like to live a meaningful life and in
whatever way I can, inspire others to want to
do the same.
When did you recognise that you'd
I can't ever recognise that I have made it.
I think that I have been successful thus far,
but to say that I have "made it" sounds so fi-
nal. It sounds like I can simply 'cock-up' my
feet and the business will continue to grow
and prosper. Maybe in my real estate busi-
ness I can do that to some extent, but not at
I have very aggressive competition
that keep me on my toes all the time and
truthfully, I like it that way. I live for these
challenges and because of their actions, we
keep getting better and better all of the time.
People will notice next year how much Blue
Waters will have changed. The new prod-
ucts that we will be offering and just the
overall way in which we view the business
will be vastly improved and different, main-
ly because of the way that our competitors
have been approaching the water category.
In a year or two I expect that they will wish
that they never started bottling water to
compete with us.
What do most people think about you
that may or may not be true?
I think I am misunderstood a lot. In dis-
cussions I tend to share my opinion more
than I should and the way that it comes
across, is as if I have already firmly made
up my mind on the subject, as opposed to
being open to the feedback of others and
their point of view. I also have a tendency
to offer solutions to problems that other
people have not asked for my opinion on, or
do not even see the situation as a problem
in their eyes.
People who know me well, understand
that I'm not trying to show off or point out
flaws to make other people look and feel
bad. Instead, I am genuinely trying to help
the situation or person, but to someone
who has recently met me or does not know
me well, it can come across the wrong way.
So I don't always get the benefit of the other
person's perspectives as much as I should, or
I don't always leave a good first impression.
I don't do it intentionally and I don't even
know that I am doing it at the time, but I
have had enough people tell me that it hap-
pens, so it must be true. I'm working hard to
improve that part of my personality.
What do you believe are the key factors
to succeed in business?
To me success is the absence of failure.
If you avoid the things that make you fail,
for example lying, cheating, stealing, not
coming to work regularly, putting out poor
quality products, over promising and under
delivering etc, what is left is success. "Say
what you mean and mean what you say", is
another motto that I live by. You must be de-
pendable and meet your commitments, you
must be able to meet and exceed people's
expectations of you and the products and
services that you sell.
Think about this, no matter what you do,
no matter the job, if you showed up every
day and did what you are supposed to do
and when possible even do it better than
was expected, how could you not succeed?
Your boss will notice, you could get a raise, a
promotion, the company may invest money
in training you, or another company will
want to hire you.
If your product meets and exceeds the
customer's expectation based on what you
have promised them it will deliver, they
will buy more of the product, they will refer
your products or service to their friends and
family or they may eventually be willing
to pay a higher price for it. I like to read a
lot about why people and companies fail
and almost 100% of the time, it is simply a
matter of the company, person or product,
failing to meet or exceed promises and ex-
pectations that were made to the customer
Links Archive August 5th 2017 August 7th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page