Zawoora’s Pride

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After refusing to follow the beaten track, a boy from Zawoora made his own niche in hotel management. Driven by the ‘first among the equals’ fortitude, he is now heading a chain of global restaurants in Saudi Arabia, reports Saima Rashid

Rameez Wani

Rameez Wani

It was the spirit to stand out from the crowd that saw Rameez Wani making big name in the global food chain Domino’s. He was the brand’s youngest Restaurant Manager in Central India before he landed in Riyadh to pursue his dream.

Today, Rameez Wani is heading nine Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants—an American Global Doughnut Company and Coffee House chain—in Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

But much before shining on big stage, Rameez had given his signs of brilliance as fourth grader. Then, Omar Abdullah awarded him a trophy for his “good” speaking skills.

Awards are still coming. Lately, he bags ‘best employer of the year’ from Dunkin’ Donuts.

“Getting such a huge award as a token of appreciation is something I have been craving for so long,” says Rameez, beaming a confident smile. “By doing good as a Kashmiri, I am also representing Kashmir. If I achieve anything, it is the achievement of Kashmir as well.”

Rameez, 25, hails from Zawoora hamlet in Srinagar outskirts. He did his schooling from a local institute and SMIE Rajbagh. A topper from beginning of his student career, he was always teachers’ boy.

“I was always a curious student and would keep asking questions till my teachers would clear my doubts,” he says. “Maths was my favourite subject. And I have been topping every exam since I have stepped in the school.” Later, the will of being ‘first among the equals’ clicked his career to his cravings.

The dream run started after he refused to be an engineer after passing Class 12. He wanted to do things differently. So, he got admission in Hotel Management. On basis of his performance in All India Common Entrance Test, he was enrolled at a college in Nagpur University.

For the next five years, he kept topping all the exams. He was all over the college; curious in classroom, strenuous in sports, exceptional in extra-curricular activities. In his last year, the college honoured him with Mr Farewell award.

But awards and rewards could never cloud his focus. He knew for creating a different path, he must stay ahead of his contemporaries. Keeping the same spirit in view, he did three-month training from Taj Vivanta, Hotel Centaur and Hotel Broadway in Kashmir.

Once the hotel companies stepped in the campus to offer jobs, he applied in Domino’s, where he got an assistant manager’s post. 16 months later, he was completely managing the restaurant, where his performance made his bosses so happy that they rated his store with five stars.

After managing Domino’s for two years, Rameez was offered area supervisor’s job in Dunkin’ Donuts in Saudi Arabia, where he had to head nine restaurants.

While flying on his maiden international trip, the Zawoora boy knew that finally he was dating his cherished dream. As the boy continued his good show in Kingdom, his bosses were all in awe with him. But his forte is his immaculate audits.

Once, the upbeat Rameez says, the auditor of Dunkin’ Donuts came to check his audits. After checking them, he could only blurt: “Rameez, I have never checked such perfect audit in Saudi ever. Great job!”

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