“Specsavers is always there for you if you need support”

22/04 2022 - Stores

“Specsavers is always there for you if you need support”

Dunia Albrejy, optical partner at Specsavers in Kista, Sweden, has always known that she wants to run her own business someday. “I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur, period,” says Dunia with a big smile. In 2011 she started her optical education at the Linnaeus University in Kalmar and then switched to Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. For a while, Dunia wasn’t sure if she wanted to complete her education, as her highest dream has always been to become a designer. But when she attended her second year of optical studies, she met representatives from Specsavers who told her about all the options available to optometrists. What Dunia really liked about Specsavers was the opportunity to become a partner.

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“It has been an exciting journey with Specsavers”

“I’m so grateful that I got all these opportunities – it wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else,” says Dunia. “At other optical retail chains, you can aim at becoming a store manager, but after that, there’s often no next step. The opportunity to become a partner is unique at Specsavers. After finishing my optical studies, I worked at another optical retail chain, but after a while, I felt that I was losing momentum. So I contacted Specsavers and told them that I was interested in becoming an optical partner.”

“I got a job as an optician at Specsavers in Skärholmen (a suburb of Stockholm), and after some time, I started the Partner in Development programme. It’s an extensive education of almost one year, where I learned a lot about leadership and how to run a store. The education was very rewarding and that’s what is so good about Specsavers, that you can constantly develop. You can work at the support office if you want to, you can become a partner if you like or an optical consultant if you prefer that – there are so many options.”

“When I started working at Specsavers, I was surprised at how well I was taken care of. Specsavers is a very good company and employer that’s really there for you 24/7. Regardless of whether you’re a partner or an employee, Specsavers supports all stores and colleagues. The support office is worth its weight in gold, they are available on weekdays as well as during the weekends.”

“The partnership is like a marriage”

“I became an optical partner at Specsavers in Kista in 2020, just two weeks before the corona pandemic hit. I worked here as an optician for one year before Bager Al-Zargani and I became business partners, so we had time to get to know each other well and be absolutely sure that we wanted to invest in this together. We’ve both had a clear goal and a strong drive from the beginning.”

Dunia laughs and explains how she and Bager look at their partnership: “It has its waves, just like a marriage. Sometimes it goes up and it’s fantastic, and sometimes it’s hard and then you have to work until it goes up again. We store owners see our colleagues and the store as our ‘baby’. This is exactly how we’ve built up our business. It’s a big responsibility to be a store owner and we want to meet Specsavers’ expectations – that’s our goal.”

Optical partner Dunia Albrejy together with retail partner Bager Al-Zargani at Specsavers in Kista

“I love to have many strings on my bow, the more the better”

“The best thing about being an optical partner is that I get to do different things. I don’t have to sit in the eye examination room all day – then I would have gone crazy,” says Dunia and laughs. “My colleagues wonder how I can do two, three different things at the same time. You’re an optical partner, you study to become a designer, and you’re a supervisor for newly graduated opticians. How do you keep up with everything? And then you should have time for everything at home too? But I like to do several things at the same time, I can’t just do one thing. Since I was little, I have been used to handling several things at the same time – that makes me happy. I like to be on the move all the time.”

“Take the leap. It’s never wrong to give it a try”

“If you don’t dare to try different things, you’ll never know if you succeed or not, if you reach your goal or not. So, the most important thing is to dare to take the leap. It’s of course a big responsibility to be a partner. You want your customers to be satisfied in the first place, and you want your team members to be satisfied and loyal, so they contribute to your business. Then of course, we also want to meet Specsavers’ expectations. When we succeed in achieving the goals that have been set, there’s an opportunity to get more responsibility, for example, additional stores.”

“The most important thing is to dare to take the leap and when you have dared and entered the process, it’s really important to give the partnership time to develop. It’s a good idea to get to know your future partner first and to see the partnership in the long term so you have the opportunity to grow in your new role. This is when it can become sustainable from both sides and for Specsavers.”

“There’s always someone you can turn to”

“That’s what makes you feel really confident. We partners and colleagues, we all know each other. If anyone needs help, we support each other. Specsavers has built a great culture, where we meet and collaborate well. If I need help, there’s always someone I can contact. Specsavers is constantly investing in improving processes and offers a variety of training courses.”

What inspires you?

“My dad, he’s just like me and an entrepreneur himself. I’ve always looked up to him and been inspired by him. He’s even better than me – he can do ten things at once,” Dunia says with a laugh. “It may be hard to believe today, but when I was younger and started my optical studies, I was very shy and not such an open person at all. I didn’t always dare to focus on what I wanted to do in my life. The change came when I started working with people and I think it’s my time at Specsavers that has made me dare to try out everything I want to do.”

Want to know more about what its like to be an optical partner at Specsavers in Sweden? Read about the opportunities we offer and find out if there are any vacancies that may suit you.

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