Many of the world's entrepreneurs may feel they have had a difficult ride to success. Some may be in denial of the need to quickly adapt when greeted with adversity and are facing down a bad value proposition as a result. But almost all can focus on growing their business without multiple existential threats being posed in a short period. Their success is ultimately determined by the merits of their proposition in the current market. On the other hand, Dr. Minoo Ghamari has recently shed some light on the complex challenges she faced in getting her business off the ground before its present state of growth.
Ghamari launched Gorgeous Smiles, a cosmetic dental office, in 2014 with her mother, also a dentist. So far, it would seem like the young entrepreneur had the best possible chance of success. But the pair had only immigrated to Australia, where their business is now located, a year prior. Immediately, they needed to get a handle on some cultural discrepancies before they could consider growing a business.
The most significant hurdle Ghamari faced was arduous but ultimately expected. While she had already received a doctorate in Dental Surgery from the University of Debrecen, Hungary, her new country of residence required that she take domestic dental exams to be fully qualified in her profession. It was a process Ghamari has spoken extensively about due to the uncertainty it placed on her, her mother, and her business.
What has received less coverage in stories about her practice's development is the further difficulty created by changing government policy. While no comment has been made on the political aspect of the matter, Ghamari has spoken for the first time about the complications nationality restrictions can create.
"When I passed my exams in 2014 and finally started working, I was so relieved," Ghamari said. "The next month, the Australian government decided that there were enough dentists in the country before the recent arrival of immigrants and stopped issuing visas. It was scary to go through shortly after the stressful examination period."
Eventually, Ghamari was able to navigate the new policy, secure residency in Australia, and, in turn, the future of her business. But 2020 had other plans for the still-developing 'dental spa.' By the pandemic year, Gorgeous Smiles had set up in Melbourne, a prime location to secure working clients. However, it was not an optimal place to be when workplaces were shut down and face-to-face interaction was prohibited.
"COVID was the biggest challenge we have faced," Ghamari outlined. "We had to close down several times except for emergency treatment. We couldn't cover our expenses and are only now recovering our losses."
Through a renewed emphasis on social media, Ghamari was able to maintain contact with new and existing patients. Since the pandemic began, she has expanded her operation four times over and recently recorded a milestone of 50 employees. As she and the rest of the western world hope the worst of the pandemic is in the rearview mirror, she is preparing for new business opportunities in the state of Victoria and beyond into Australia.