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Alumnus Nafees Alam Creates Culinary Brands

Nafees Alam

Nafees Alam has a taste for success. The 2002 information systems graduate is changing the area dining landscape through his company, DRG Concepts, which works with top chefs to implement innovative restaurant ideas.

Founded in 2005, DRG has grown into one of the region’s leading independent restaurant brands. Alam and business partner Mike Hoque have brought several eateries to North Texas, including Chop House, Chop House Burger, Dallas Fish Market, Wild Salsa, Urban Wok, and Oven & Cellar.

“I’m one of the lucky few who can truly say they love what they do,” Alam says. “And that devotion to my business has translated into success.”

As vice president, he directs a 250-member team and is responsible for every facet of corporate operations, from culinary and mixology programs to ingredient procurement and concept branding.

“We’re extending our existing brands and creating new ones,” he says. “The goal is to have these concepts run seamlessly while delivering exactly what our customers want.”

As his personal and professional accomplishments mount, Alam continues to give back. DRG employees volunteer with The Bridge, a homeless shelter in the heart of downtown Dallas. The company also gives regularly to the Salvation Army, Vogel Alcove, and the YMCA in Dallas. Through DRG, Alam created a scholarship and internship program in UTA’s College of Business.

“I am truly appreciative of everything UT Arlington has done for me,” says Alam, who received an award for outstanding early career development from the college in 2013. “I hope our contribution is able to support promising business students and shape their future so they can pursue their dreams just as I did.”


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