Okay, so a good friend of mine, K, works at Alghanim - after many months of struggling to find a job; first, any job and then b) a job where he fit in and felt comfortable/creative. He's been gushing about how wonderful Alghanim is for months. I have known an Alghanim boy or two and THEY (you know who you are) never invited me to visit their HQ. Had they, I might have had something somethin interesting to say about them at that point, but I d'int have the opportunity. Fine. So anyhoo, K asked me if I would go over there and maybe feel inclined to promote his new gig.
After much internal debate about weather it was a good idea; is it ethical to be "advertising" in a way for something that... okay, let me just be honest... I have bitched about on blogsphere before ("gelled salesmen who would rather pay attention to their hair than to a customer..")... I was having conflict of interest issues. I like to keep it real on the blog and for that reason, I have never accepted paid advertising (although lots of my inner circle peeps think I'm nuts and should be making money).
More for K than for anything else, I went. I'm really glad I did for several reasons.
Let me first promote K's PR abilities. Yes, he is my friend, but it is hard not to see how into his job he is. Taking the initiative to invite someone like me to his office who might help promote the place - that's just positive. He's behind the organization (which is RARE in Kuwait - and this comes from someone who knows) and genuinely likes what he's doing and the environment in which he's doing it; nurturing to creativity and at the end - to the bottom line of the company.
His office is also cool. They have a forward-thinking/hip concept going on that I've seen in the US before, but never ever in an office in Kuwait. It is half play room and half office. There are big leather sofas and chairs (and not big brown dumpy ones either, but bright colors to promote creative thought process. There are orange and green dividers around the room for noise control and they also function as white boards. They just need some remote control items (cars?) and perhapsee a beach ball.... I liked their office a lot and just seeing it brought me closer to seeing how the company is changing. Happy employees equal creative/productive employees. Everybody I saw at the Alghanim HQ smiled at me. Can you imagine? Shocking, really. Did you guys know that their HQ also has Mais Alghanim restaurant for their employee cafe? Awesome. I could live there - and gain about 500 pounds. (Where I work, we get 2 crap microwaves and a moldy mini-refrigerator.)
Obviously, they've been a leader in electronics for years, but until several years ago, their marketing was pretty stagnant. They've put a lot into process improvement.
So, having said all that, let me gets down to the nuts and bolts. I am a lazy girl. There's no denying it. I'm not trying to hide it. Don't judge me. I don't want to go to malls, look for (okay "fight for") a parking space, walk through the mall with a whole lotta staring. If I can get away with delivery, I'll do it. So X-Cite's new concept is right up my alley. You can get on there with a credit card or KNET, order what you want (without ever having to talk to a human - woo hoo!) and they will deliver anywhere in Kuwait within 24 hours (they say it is usually less). This includes down South to the chalets and up North to Kabd. Their dudes will bring it to you and set it up for you (shout out to the technically-challenged like me!!!). One of my major worries is always carrying stuff into my house with me bad back, so now I don't have that logistics concern. They also have 24/7 technical assistance.
Check out their website. It has a good BestBuy/Amazon feel to it. Very user friendly. They are adding more items every day (they said they have something like 10,000 varieties of electronics items in their warehouse) and although they've only had a soft launch so far, they're doing a fantaaaabulous job already. Check out the sales items. I'm wondering what's going to be up for Hala February. Maybe they'll have deals.
On another note, when I last visited 2 separate X-Cite showrooms (Avenues and Rai), the level of service had really been kicked up a notch. Granted, dudes still have way too much hair gel; however, this time they were friendly and attentive (to me - not themselves) and it was a different atmosphere.
Thanks, K and your team for opening my eyes and for the wonderful invitation.