From today, Kamal Kharmach is putting his nose for business into other people’s business. In six Flemish companies, from a bakery to a war museum. Each time Kharmach puts the balances under a magnifying glass and advises what can be done better. “I was quite afraid to make this program”, the Antwerp resident admits. “‘Are people going to take me seriously?’ I wondered. I’m a comedian. But I’m also a number person.” And some don’t know that (yet). “As a 12-year-old, I filled in the tax forms of family and friends in the neighborhood where we lived, in Borgerhout,” laughs Kamal. “I was so fascinated by that.” In his early twenties he graduated – with distinction – as a social economist, and for four years he has been teaching business economics at the Karel de Grote Hogeschool in Antwerp. In 2017, he set up his donut business, Donuttello – which ultimately has four branches – and sold them successfully to a Belgian buyer at the beginning of last year.
Kharmach shares his experience in ‘Other’s Business’. In the first episode with Laurens and Melissa, who run a bakery in Varsenare. The couple wants to expand their business, but at the same time make more time for their daughter, and that is where the shoe pinches. An audit of the accounts shows that the two bakers work day and night for barely 1.75 euros per hour. “It is very confronting to share such figures with Flanders, but that openness was a must for me”, says Kharmach. “It is not that we come in, give the walls a lick of paint and are gone. For us it was very important to really help those companies, making TV only came in second place. There were also very intensive discussions with them beforehand. the entrepreneurs themselves, and a psychologist was always available during the admissions. That help has been necessary in some cases. ” Logical too, says Kharmach. “Someone just comes into your case who takes a closer look at the entire bookkeeping of your life’s work – which in most cases includes savings – and then says again what urgently needs to change in order to resolve a conflict and to continue to exist.” It also happens that Kharmach has to advise the dismissal of staff. “That is not cool, but companies in crisis have no room to try something out.” In those cases, the humor is omitted. “Out of respect. I don’t want to be like Gordon Ramsay. I remain a human being and an auditor, I advise them honestly. If you tell people to let employees go or even their case there is little room for a joke. “
Work with wife
Kharmach himself recognizes himself in all cases. “Working with family is great, for example, but when things don’t go well at a certain point, it’s hard to keep private and business separate. I’ve worked with my own wife in my donut business and she’s one of the biggest reasons why I sold Donuttello ”, he says. “If you are so busy collecting money, but because of that you cannot see your family, it is of no use.” Today Kharmach can divide his time well between teaching, TV work and stand-up comedy and guiding others in their entrepreneurship. “Since the arrival of our daughter Loubna eight months ago, I organize my time differently,” he says. “Every hour that I have to put into a project, I weigh up against the hours spent with her. I aim for the right balance. But especially the fact that nights are used for sleeping, I still have some serious work to do. “
‘Other’s business’, One, 8.40 pm
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