Strada Pvt. Ltd – a multifaceted investment company, with holdings in food and beverages, brand franchising and event management; is the parent company to the NEWPORT Brand, Event Co, Cha Time and Reethi Cafe’.
The underlying success to the growth of the company has many contributing factors, including one that the company strictly adheres to – ensuring that their employees are well-taken care of.
The 10% service tax charged from all of their outlets are distributed monthly among their employees, additional to their salaries.
Aminath,a 26-year old admin assistant at Strada Pvt. Ltd, stated that the company generates a bigger service charge during months when big events are held. She says, “Sometimes, we receive about $2000-$3000 per employee, depending on how hectic a month is with events and catering.”
The company strives to shape the socio-economic structure in the Maldives by hiring more locals than expat workers. While the company currently has 135 employees in their workforce, a majority of them are locals.
Sarah, a young chef-in-trainee, a 19-year old describes her work at Newport as “one of the best work experiences.” She says, “The staff in the kitchen are quite helpful. More than an employment opportunity, it has become a learning experience with everyone teaching me the operations in the kitchen.”
Another employee – Zila a 29-year old, who works as the HR Manager, started off as a waiter when NEWPORT first started operating. Since then, his skillset has been recognised and has been offered promotions; giving him the opportunity to learn and move forward. He was trained in India for serving and management skills.
Strada Pvt. Ltd recognizes the hardships their employees face, offering staff accommodation for both local and expat employees that are unable to afford rent. A monthly food allowance is also allocated for each employee, excluded from their income.
Reethi Cafe’ is more than just a place for the wider public. It is designed as a staff canteen, with all food and drinks at cost price without additional margins, making the cafe’ much more affordable to the company’s employees.
The managing director of the company, 27-year old Malaka Abdul Hakeem brings a diverse educational background with a foundation in Art and Design, a Diploma in Culinary Arts and a Degree in Accounting and Finance. In a country where the economy is male-dominated, she is among the few women who are heading a major company.
Malaka aspires to make the Strada Pvt. Ltd 100% local and requests that locals apply for employment at their various outlets