2021, The Year That Was: Gabriela Cury, Founder, Intellect Coffee

"From a business point of view, if you have invested more in the product than the marketing, you will see the results. The word of mouth and customer satisfaction will compensate the marketing scales."

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When Gabriela Cury decided to launch Intellect Coffee in the UAE in October this year, she knew that her homegrown coffee brand would be entering a rather saturated market, but her belief in the strength of her product -which has been made to cater to the specific tastes of the MENA region’s population- is what led her to confidently embark on this endeavor anyway.

Intellect Coffee

And don’t forget that Cury has more than 10 years of experience working in this sector as well- that was certainly something that came to her aid as she went about her entrepreneurial pursuit in a world that’s slowly but steadily making a recovery from the brunt of the COVID-19 crisis. “Leading the launch of a brand-new coffee brand that encapsulates all I know about coffee has been the highlight of my 2021,” Cury says. “It has been the greatest challenge in my career, not only for my involvement in product development, but also for putting together a launch strategy under such different circumstances, which required loads of innovative thinking.”

Besides its signature Prima, Crema, and Quattro blends, Intellect Coffee’s portfolio also includes specialty coffee editions hailing from Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Ethiopia, and other nations. According to Cury, the products are indicative of the unique experiences she has had building a career in this field, which include everything from conversations with baristas and producers, to trips made to coffee plants and trade shows. And these are the aspects that Cury thinks will allow Intellect Coffee to carve out a niche for itself in the market at large- and it’s something she expects to see happen in the near future as well.

“2022 will be a great year, since we will start seeing the results of our marketing efforts, and most importantly, the real feedback from our first-year clients,” she says. “From a business point of view, if you have invested more in the product than the marketing, you will see the results. The word of mouth and customer satisfaction will compensate the marketing scales. The coffee supply industry in the UAE is quite saturated, and we are trying to take the right approach by collaborating with key players to help us stand out.”

But that’s not all- Cury is keeping an eye on the long term when it comes to deciding how Intellect Coffee will develop and grow in the months and years to come. “A major thing that we aim to cascade to all coffee consumers is that coffee is soon to be considered as valuable as gold, since demand for it is expected to double by 2050,” Cury says. “The problem is that suitable land to grow coffee will decline, and we, as part of the supply industry, have a mission to help ease up the situation. Helping coffee farmers adapt to changes, like developing new coffee species that are more tolerant to climate change or pests, is critical to be sustainable.” But while the future may present challenges like these, Cury isn’t letting it dampen her enthusiasm for the same, given how 2021 unfolded for her. “This year has taught us adaptation,” she declares. “And now, it’s time to prosper again.”

Gabriela Cury, founder of Intellect Coffee

Source: Intellect Coffee

Reflections 2021: Gabriela Cury, Founder, Intellect Coffee

Things always seem more significant in your head. “Don’t take things personally. No matter how good your product is, it will never be as big in your client’s head. Remember that you are sharing the market with other brands.”

Learn to keep calm and carry on. “You cannot control everything. You need to stay prepared for unknown, even nasty, surprises. If the show of the year for which we have been preparing for months got cancelled, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes, we have to simply let go.”

Results are what really matter, not time-measured productivity. "Like any autonomous individual, managing your time and working at a pace that is appropriate for you is how businesses should operate. Working from home amid the lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 crisis have taught us that it is about getting things done, and not how long it takes.”

Related: 2021, The Year That Was: Omar Al Gurg, Founder, Modu Method

Aby Sam Thomas

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.