What about…Hyat Syed, Kohinoor Ltd

Hyat Syed, Kohinoor Ltd
Hyat Syed, Kohinoor Ltd

Hyat Syed's first ever job was at a newsagents in New York, where his pay was two subway tokens per day. He now has much grander plans for Kohinoor Foods



16 August 2010

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What’s your job title?
Managing director and founder

Your favourite grocery shop?  
Donnybrook Fair, Cavistons, Glasthule in Ireland. Wholefoods, Kensington

How long is your typical working day?
I arrive at the factory at 7am following a half hour yoga session and leave at approx. 6pm, but also have a home office where I work in the evenings and weekends

How do you describe yourself?
Hardworking but passionate about my business and life in general

What’s your favourite Irish product?  
St. Tolas Goats Cheese, Glenilen Farm Yoghurts, Caviston’s Clare Island Smoked Salmon

What’s your favourite brand, outside of the brands you represent?

What piece of legislation would you introduce/change?
I would like to see Ireland bring in a more competitive minimum wage

What historical figure would you invite to dinner?
John F. Kennedy

The best gift you ever received?
A one of a kind painting of Killiney Hill overlooking the bay was commissioned and presented to me for my birthday by a very dear friend

What possession could you not live without?
My car

What was your first job?
I worked at a newsagent shop in Grand Central Station in New York.  I had just turned thirteen and my pay was two subway tokens per day

What was your childhood dream/ambition?
To be a fighter pilot

What’s your ambition now?
To grow Kohinoor Foods to be the number one ethnic ready meal company in Europe and further afield. We have just launched a combination ethnic ready meal range which will grow our Balti House range in the retail market across European retailers and we are also expanding our Foodservice brand, Kohinoor foods

What’s the worst ad ever?
Hunky Dory’s crisps ad

What’s your favourite ad at the moment?
Glenisk Organic Yoghurt TV ad

Your favourite newspaper?
The Irish Times and the New York Times

Who is inspirational in Irish business?
Fergal Quinn

In your opinion what’s the next big thing?
A growth in ethnic food of course!

What (if anything) was the last thing you bought on the internet?
A new IT system to run the company’s updated version of the logistics software

What’s your pet hate?
Cheap, over processed Indian ready meals which claim to be authentic

What makes you laugh?
My kids

Three essential grocery items you’d take with you for a week on a desert island?
I would take some spices, and some rice to make a meal out of freshly caught fish



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