Meet Rafic Daud

Rafic Daud, named by Financial Times as a cobler from the modern age, is the Co-Founder of Undandy and a portuguese entrepreneur.

Disrupting the high-end shoe market with direct-to-consumer and impeccably handcrafted men’s dress shoes, since 2015, Undandy is definitelly a case of success across the globe.

Rafic joined EO Portugal at the end of 2018 and we wanted to know more about the man behind the CEO.

What profession did you want to have when you were a child?

I wanted to be a chess player. Still to this day, chess is by far one of my biggest passions, not only because of the playing itself, but because of the way I see the game. I’m not the first, nor by any stretch of the imagination the last, to draw metaphors that you can derive from chess. The pieces can represent different personality types or different roles in society – I’m interested in how they all move and work together to achieve a common goal. The analogies between chess and business are infinite and inexhaustible. 


Do you have a nick name? What’s the story behind it?

At school my professors from 1st grade to 4th grade would call me Castanhinho. I guess that’s pretty self-explanatory.


Do you have a “Oh no!!!” moment you’d like to share with us?

Back in 2008, when I was working for Rouge Stores in Angola, we ordered $200,000 worth of women’s jeans. However, when they got out to the stores and people began trying them on, the phone started ringing at head office. All the managers were complaining, because the jeans just didn’t fit. It turned out that the sizes were for the standard European body shape and not the typical Angolan woman. We had to reorder everything. It was a mistake that I’ll never forget and showed the importance of knowing your market inside out.


Who is your hero and how did he leave a mark on you?

Undoubtedly Roger Federer. Naturally from a physical standpoint as an athlete, what he can do is incredible, but it goes deeper than that. Most players think they should be focusing on their strokes “It’s all about me”. It’s not. The most important thing on a tennis court is the person on the other side of the net. Get inside their mind and figure out what they’re thinking.’ It’s this lack of ego that also adds immeasurably to Roger’s like-ability. And his manners, both on and off the court.


Never say never again?

My current job role is an example of this. I said I would never go back to executive functions, and yet here I am again managing a start up and getting my hands dirty again. But in all fairness, I believe that you have to go all in when it comes to high risk propensity businesses.


If you could have a super power, which one would you choose? Why?

To see into the future. I guess that's an obvious one, but I have always loved Wayne Gretsky's quote as a business analogy, “You don't skate to where the puck is, you skate to where it's going to be”. Obviously the ability to read the future would help on that score.


Name two of your guilty pleasures.

The first thing that comes to mind is taste in music. A few of my friends would definitely question a few of my favorite records... After that, I'd have to say that I have an almost unhealthy addiction to writing with toffee colored pen ink. 


What’s THE dream?

When you break it down it comes back to the same things I think for us all, to grow old with someone you love and to leave a mark on this world. Sounds simple enough but perhaps the most ambitious dream of all. 

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