After working for over 10 years in the UAE as a nutritionist and dietician, Nathalie Haddad was motivated to start Right Bite -a personalized healthy meal delivery service based on a client’s lifestyle and dietary goals- after she saw her clients struggle to find variety while trying to stay healthy. Describing an entrepreneur as someone with the virtues of “leadership and perseverance,” Haddad sees the increase of health-oriented F&B startups as an indicator of “individuals and institutions becoming more health conscious.” The ‘trep motivates her team by “showing them our growth and commitment to strive for the very best.”
Being a dietitian yourself, how do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t an easy thing, especially as I try to juggle my personal and professional life, but I do my best to ensure I find the right balance to be able to continue to be active and eat healthily. It’s very important for me to practice what I preach!
What do you think hinders UAE professionals from maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
Given the fast-paced lifestyle we currently lead in the UAE, a lot of people are always on the go and have very little time to prepare food for themselves and/or their families however with that being said; I do believe people these days are becoming more health-conscious, so achieving a healthier diet and lifestyle is surely possible– it just takes a bit more time and effort. It is also important to keep in mind that eating healthily has to be enjoyable and satisfying to one’s taste buds and of course in the long run beneficial to help achieve optimum health.
What’s one thing you make sure you do for your company to run efficiently?
I get daily updates from all my departments on a daily basis and I make sure I am also accessible to my staff whenever they need me.
What are your top three tips for an entrepreneur to start a business in the UAE?
First, make sure you love what you do. Secondly, look into all the associated costs that apply to your business. And finally, be prepared to put in the hours.
What were the biggest lessons from your endeavors?
It’s been over 10 years and there are many lessons I have learnt. The main ones are that it is important to keep your energy at a high, as this affects the entire business and the internal culture of one’s organization. Also, I believe you can never sit back and say ‘that’s it I have made it’! You always have to be on top of things; and continuously educate yourself, your team and develop your offerings; the market is always changing and you have to be ready to change with it.
What would you say is the region’s biggest challenge for entrepreneurs?
In my opinion, this would be getting good talent and maintaining the good staff with the increasing cost of living and operating costs.
In your opinion, how much “risk-taking” personality characteristic is involved in being an entrepreneur?
Everything in life can be looked at as having a risk. When it comes to business, I believe if you did a proper business study and have a well thought-out business plan and are willing to put in the hours, the risk is no different than any other venture you may take.
What is your daily routine like?
I have to say my days are never boring and never the same. My mornings are usually spent getting my daughter ready for nursery and I make it a point for all of us to have breakfast as a family before going about our day! My first part of the day is usually spent at the office and I would have a few meetings planned with my team to catch up on the operation and what we have going on as well as planning the next steps and strategy moving forward for my business. At times, I also have a few meetings with individuals from the industry and then have a bit of time to catch up on emails, to take a step back and evaluate the business and see what I need to do personally for work. Time usually flies and there are never enough hours in the day to get everything done!
What device or apps do you often use?
Jawbone App, My Fitness Pal and Yummly.