Who are the driving forces behind the Ring?
We sat down with two of The Ring’s co-founders , Ruchdi Hajjar and Gilles Landais to hear their story and share their life around boxing and The Ring.
Ruchdi Hajjar and Gilles Landais, both from Monaco, founded The Ring together in 2016. Having a shared passion in the sports of speed, they also founded Monaco GT in 2006, a racing event company that offered karting, Formula One experience and racing career management. Friends in life and a strong passion for boxing, they also share two important values: Courage and Passion.
HOW IT ALL STARTED: BOXING AND FRIENDSHIP
Gilles: I started boxing at the age of 13. After a few boxing classes, I fell in love with the sport, and to this date, I have never stopped boxing. Boxing really changed my life because I used to be angry and tempered, but a sport like boxing brought me peace. A few years later I met Ruchdi, and we instantly clicked!
Ruchdi: I started boxing at the age of 15 because I needed an activity to channel the excess energy I had. This energy did not always translate in positive ways, and so my Father pushed me to practice a martial art in the hopes that it could instill more discipline and self-control in me. He actually directed me to Karate, but on my way to the Dojo, I heard a ringing bell, opened the door of a boxing gym, and the rest is history.
From the day I entered my first boxing gym, the sport has accompanied me to face some of the most challenging moments of my life. Another key moment was when I met Gilles, who was the local boxing champion in Monaco. With our shared passion for the sport, a very strong bond emerged and we became friends for life. In 2016, we opened The Ring at Kim Yam Road, together with our business partners Alain and Oliviero. We also recently opened the doors of The Ring’s second home at Cecil Street.
THE VALUES OF BOXING
Definitely Tenacity and Humility. I find that the most difficult thing to do when you discover or start believing in certain values, is to maintain them under all circumstances. Just like when you are inside the ring, life presents you with a lot of constraints and challenges to overcome, and the first opponent you face is yourself. Boxing has helped me endure tough trainings, saw me through difficult technical applications, accepting oppositions and also provided me with the willpower to stand up and start again if things go wry, no matter the circumstance.
STARTING THE RING: ROUND 1 CHALLENGES!
Gilles: The biggest challenge was to start from scratch as we both had no experience in gym management. All we had was our passion for boxing. Together with Ruchdi, we believed in our dreams and worked hard from there. We worked so hard to push The Ring in the direction that was exactly like what we dreamt of. It was a difficult journey with many challenges and we never stopped [and still hustling]. With the newly opened outlet at Cecil Street, The Ring has grown!
Ruchdi: The challenges started the very first day we decided to start The Ring. Like what Gilles shared, we did not have a clear business model in mind, but we knew we did not want to just copy an existing competitor. No matter what, we wanted to offer the “authentic” experience. The most challenging part was to actually persuade people about our vision and mission. All of this would not have been possible without the courage of my partners and team, and the passion we have for the sport has enabled us to weather against the odds and the ropes.
HOW WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS TO TAKE THEIR LEAP OF FAITH AND REALISE THEIR DREAMS?
Ruchdi: I would encourage anyone who has an entrepreneurial dream to wake up and realise it. The first step is not the hardest, because every step along the journey is a challenge on its own, but if you strive to realise your mission and stay true to your values, your vision becomes contagious and people can recognise your efforts. There is no better sense of achievement than that.
Gilles: For me, it is simple. Just live your dreams with passion, and push ahead with your conviction!
Finally, once you start as an entrepreneur, you rarely stop at one project. The organic growth and ecosystem that you continuously build will lead to many other opportunities. For us, we have now opened our second gym in the heart of the Central Business District. All along, it would not have been possible without the support and trust of Gilles, our partners, our team and of course, our Community. People are the most key asset that you have to realise.
SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT GILLES AND RUCHDI
Gilles was the first man to land a body liver shot to Ruchdi in their early ages, in order to counter Ruchdi’s stinging jabs.
Gilles and Ruchdi made a promise to each other to one day sit by the ringside in Las Vegas to watch and support one or more of their fighters in the ring.
Ruchdi was Gilles’ boxing coach for his last 2 fights before retiring…but not the reason 😉