An Award-winning Business Leader and Company Formation Specialist, Nathan Hunt Joined Gateway to help companies get licensed to do business in Abu Dhabi & Dubai. Presently, he is successfully spearheading Gateway as the CEO to expand its services to provide more business setup solutions, including free zones setups and Tajer Abu Dhabi licenses for entrepreneurs. Additionally, he launched and heads up the Food & Beverage consultancy and management services under the Gateway Group brand, working with both existing businesses and startups to develop solutions and focus on business growth for success.
Nathan is a trained chef with experience in Europe and the West Indies before settling in the UAE in 2004 where he continued in the food and beverage industry until he reached the top of his profession as a Regional Group Executive Chef.
Further, Nathan apprised, “Working as a chef is a highly pressured job and the management skills, I had gained over the years were easily transferable and complemented Gateway’s business, such as managing teams, stakeholders, and suppliers; striving for excellence; cost control; implementing standard operating procedures, keeping on top of trends and anticipating the next, etc.”
More about the Firm
The Gateway Group Of Companies helps organisations to mitigate the risks of getting licensed to do business in the UAE. They help organisations to choose the right license for their business & long-term goals, ensuring the protection of their assets and profits. Their on-the-ground knowledge and experience ensure license procedures are carried out efficiently and their nominee corporate sponsor service provides our clients with the control and protection of their business. They also organise residence visas to help their client’s employees and their families to live and work in the UAE legally.
Clientele & Corporate Ethos
Gateway was originally established to help organisations overcome the difficulties of getting licensed to do business in the UAE. Gateway identified recurring issues companies were experiencing, such as wrong licenses, empty promises, being stuck in exclusivity contracts, no exit strategies, uncooperative local sponsors, lost profits, and more, and created no-nonsense, transparent, and well-communicated services to address them. Establishing a presence in the UAE doesn’t need to be difficult, providing you engage the right expertise at the outset. So Gateway’s approach has always been client-focused and doing what is in their best interests. Their corporate strapline is Reassuringly Honest.
Here, the clientele includes SMEs to large international organizations. Once clients have had a bad experience and they switch to their services, they are usually surprised and impressed at the quality and smoothness of our operations, which means they can spend more time focusing on their own businesses.
Overcoming Entrepreneurial Hindrances & the Inspiring Team
Nathan and his colleagues go through the same challenges as any other business, namely employing the right people at the right time and constantly innovating their service offering to remain relevant to the clients.
There is a fantastic team and we work together as a family. Their values match those of the organisation, which is Honesty. Trust. Integrity. And, the management gives their employees the freedom to develop. They each genuinely contribute to the development of Gateway. “We are extremely proud to say that we have never lost a staff member”, said Nathan.
The team is working on the front line and they are the ones who experience regulatory changes or client challenges first and are often the ones to therefore suggest changes to the services when they are needed.
Nathan’s Views on Creating a Balanced and Equal Industry
According to Nathan, companies should give more value to their employees. Employees are the cogs of a business and without them, there is no business. By hiring the right person for each role, remunerating them fairly, motivating them appropriately and genuinely making them feel a part of the team, and showing them the value they contribute to the business will make for happier employees and will also benefit the business in terms of productivity enormously. Too many organisations consider their employees a cost rather than an asset to invest in.
A Day in Nathan Hunt’s Life
“I get up early, let the dogs out and head straight into our home office, usually, around 4:30 am. Getting up and getting on with your day is essential for business success. I can get a good couple of hours of work done before the team gets to the office. I can clear emails that arrived overnight and also have virtual meetings with both the Far East and the US. It means I can take advantage of the time zones. During office hours, no two days are the same, but they will generally be made up of virtual meetings and calls if I’m working from home or face-to-face meetings if I’m working in Dubai or Abu Dhabi. When I have the opportunity, I get in a round of golf. This is a great way to combine business and my hobby. I’m also currently Vice-Captain of the Al Ain Golf Club. Evenings can be spent at home having a meal with my wife, attending networking events, or playing golf, so days end at varying times”, shared Nathan when asked about his daily routine.
Millionnaire Underdog by JT FOXX. JT is one of Nathan’s business coaches. His book consolidates practical ideas and strategies for scaling your businesses. Each time you read it, you pull out ideas to implement that are particularly relevant to you at that particular time or get reminded about things you used to do for your business and need to start doing again. It’s an easy read, full of energy to make you take action and based upon proven results!
What’s Next on the Cards?
The future looks very exciting for Gateway. The company is about to expand its services into Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) meaning that they can specifically help their clients wishing to set up SPV’s to hold assets such as shares of private companies, shares in publicly listed companies, real estate, intellectual property rights (‘IP rights’) (e.g. trademarks), etc.
Accreditation on the Way
Gateway has received numerous accolades over the years. This year it was awarded with the ‘Best Onshore Business Sponsorship Services UAE’ by MEA Markets and their founding partner is in FORBES’ Top 100 Most Influential Women In The Middle East. These certainly reinforce their credibility in the market.
A Piece of Advice for Female Entrepreneurs
It’s very easy as an entrepreneur to get caught up in the operations of a business, rather than leading it, especially in the early days, so having the foresight to step out of your business and take a look at it will help with future planning and decision making. Be prepared to be uncomfortable – if you are living in your comfort zone, you aren’t leading and making changes and growing. Learn from others – you can avoid the common business mistakes entrepreneurs make if you take time to study other business leaders and their strategies – they have already made the mistakes and this means you can avoid them. Get a business coach to keep you accountable and focused. Surround yourself with people who know more than you.
“Don’t do your best, do whatever it takes,” JT Foxx.