In the competitive arena of domestic staffing, Royal Maison has carved out a reputation for excellence and innovation. At the helm of this dynamic enterprise is Katarina Janev, a visionary leader and entrepreneur whose strategic acumen has propelled the company to the forefront of the industry. In this exclusive interview, Janev shares insights into the pivotal moments of her company’s journey, the driving forces behind her business philosophy, and the innovative practices that have cemented Royal Maison’s status as a premier service provider. Her reflections offer a masterclass in entrepreneurship, leadership, and the relentless pursuit of excellence.
Can you share key milestones and turning points in your journey as an industry leader or entrepreneur?
Katarina Janev: Turning points are always the clients’ requirements, demands, and our endeavor to fulfill them. When you strive to improve your service to the best of your ability, the market response will naturally follow, as there is always room for growth. Globalization may be considered a secondary factor, as we aim to capture some of the key global markets, which we are gradually integrating into with our new offices in New York and Los Angeles. Royal Maison is a company that has been providing premium domestic staffing globally for 10 years, having been established in 2013. It is our second venture after Savoir Vivre, which was the first company of its kind at that time.
What inspired you to start your own company or venture in this industry?
Katarina Janev: We saw an opportunity that could be seized, and our ability to cope with all the challenges ahead when realizing these ambitions. There’s also a personal idealism that drives us to serve and operate at the industry level, where we can inspire change and make the most significant contributions to all the stakeholders we serve.
How do you foster innovation within your company? Can you provide an example of a successful innovation initiative?
Katarina Janev: We foster innovation by conducting thorough global market research and identifying opportunities where we can establish ourselves as leaders in innovation. An example of this is our butler service. We have launched a service featuring lady butlers composed of fully trained professionals who can attend to clients’ homes on demand. They perform tasks such as fine silver cleaning, delicate item grooming, housekeeping, travel packing, event support, escorting the lady of the house to various functions, shopping, and support for children’s hobbies, among others. These ladies have earned certifications in CPR, First Aid, Butler Grooming, Etiquette and Basic Protocol, and Detailed Hotel Housekeeping. At Royal Maison, we always strive to provide the best domestic staffing solutions in Dubai and around the globe and are the market leaders in the region.
How do you attract and retain top talent in your organization?
Katarina Janev: That’s a tough one, as salaries and bonuses are not the only motivators when it comes to retention. However, we have successfully retained our high performers through honesty in our dealings, regular salary increases, fair bonuses, social activities, and open communication—our company is very transparent about growth opportunities, and my door is always open to staff. We also encourage their development with constant training and coaching. I am confident that anyone who has worked with us has gained substantial global exposure and a top-tier clientele to serve, which is challenging but immensely rewarding.
How important has mentorship and networking been in your professional journey?
Katarina Janev: Mentorship means everything to me, as I am the result of having worked with mentors my entire life. It offers inexplicable growth and broadens horizons on what’s possible! Also, I am a natural networker, which is a key to success for every entrepreneur.
How do you assess and mitigate risks in your business?
Katarina Janev: Royal Maison provides a wide range of domestic staffing services, including nannies, maids, butlers, chefs, estate managers, cooks, housekeepers, laundresses, governesses, tutors, shadow teachers, gardeners, beauticians, and many more. These are very sensitive positions to begin with. Therefore, conducting thorough KYC and background checks on the applicants is crucial. Next, we ensure their well-being, honor the contracts, and finally, conduct meticulous client reviews to ensure our services have been rendered successfully and that referrals are a testament to our commitment to excellence.
How do you adapt your business strategy to capitalize on emerging opportunities and industry shifts? we asked Katarina Janev
Katarina Janev: We are at the forefront of technological advancements, having adopted social media trends, Chat GPT, WA Business, and AI in marketing relatively early, to name a few. The only thing our management firmly believes in is working from the office. We never fully transitioned to working from home, even during COVID. We resumed office operations relatively quickly, as soon as regulations permitted.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs in this industry? What key lessons have you learned along the way?
Katarina Janev: Do not wait for perfection—just start! You can never have a perfect concept, a perfect website, or a perfect marketing strategy. What’s important is to delve into your idea, and things will happen! Second, count small victories—be happy for even the tiniest achievement, every single invoice, billing, and contract you gain. The more grateful you are, the more you attract! Third, dare to dream big! The bigger the dreams, the greater the results of your efforts.
What are your long-term goals for your company? How do you plan to remain competitive in the evolving business landscape?
Katarina Janev: We operate on a two-way stream: horizontal and vertical. Horizontally, we continue perfecting our service. There is no limit to how much we can give, improve, and effect change in our industry! Vertically, we are developing a brand-new product that complements our offerings, enhancing our clients’ Art of Living experience—details of which are still under wraps as it’s a work in progress. Expect to hear from us in Q2, 2024. Until then, Royal Maison remains dedicated to providing the finest domestic staffing in the UAE and the surrounding region.