Hello Sheila, what made you want to become an entrepreneur?
A little info about me? Sure. Very Canadian, as certified by the eh?? which punctuates my speech! With a bachelors in Food Science from McGill University then Masters in Economics and Media Studies from University de Paris II, and despite my life long passion for all subjects linking food and health, I NEVER expected to work in the industry. I was enjoying life as a magazine publisher in Paris when our life transitioned to Hong Kong in 2006. Subsequent health challenges with two of our children motivated me to turn back to my sciences and the pathways between food and health to look for solutions. A few years later, the kids were rocking and I have not looked back since. I started to become an informal, then formal resource on the subject - and my life and professional focus changed with it. Momentum took me from lunchtime lecturer in banks to published author and TEDx speaker .. on to what has turned into my passion and life goal. As MD of Protelicious and our range of gourmet cold processed, whey protein sourced from grass-fed cows, it’s all about getting our signature range of whey protein blends into the word, because they bring game-changing health benefits with every delicious scoop.
Can you share with the FEW community more about your concept?
As Managing Director and Co-Founder, I wake up every morning driven to ensure these delicious whey protein blends make it to as many households and reputable F&B establishments as possible. The game-changing health benefits unfold with every delicious scoop. This drive started at home because I witnessed, and understood scientifically the difference it made to me and my own family. Protelicious rejuvenates, detoxifies and provide the urban dwelling woman or men with a solid ally for that daily antioxidant and immune building need. I also have to say that I wake up with a smile because I am blessed to have an amazing and super smart team that I enjoy working with day in, day out. Smart and dedicated, together we have brought it to the point now that we can scale internationally.
So far, what's the most challenging part of your journey?
As I am not interested in compromising on the quality of our primary ingredient: grass-fed cold processed whey protein, supply has been a bi_ _ _!! Think about it. It is a powerful antioxidant, & detoxifier, builds immunity, beauty and health. It’s also delicious. Also, the research is quite recent. As a result, recently large volumes have started to go to big players while smaller startups like ours got squeezed. Last year we got lucky as the number 4 worldwide in Dairy approached us for a JV. They were interested in our approach - bringing clean protein out of fitness onto breakfast and snack tables of the urbanite. Although we were too small to consider for a JV, they eased the supply and production issues. To this end, we are just about to industrialise our production with an unlimited supply of the best quality whey - allowing us to grow internationally. Sat Nam!
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE
On growing teams…
Drop the controls and let your team members do what they are best at, and keep them responsible for outcomes. When you are wrong as a leader, admit it. Live by your “why”. If your team shares the vision, they will be part of the journey. Where possible, provide equity or stock options to players with whom you want to share the journey for a long time. Think soft skills over hard skills. I have some really great hard skills on the team, but the “gel” is because of the soft skills.
On the top three things someone should consider before starting their own business…
Are you willing to enter into a marathon and work consistently and hard for months and months maybe years on end?
Are you a self-learner? Are you able to learn and adjust from adversity?
Do the math. Business is math, get on top of your numbers, the good and bad and don’t be afraid of it.
A FEW MORE QUESTIONS
What is your personal success?
Everyone will have a different measurement of success. If we refer to success in the classic sense, I’d prefer not to make a list of accomplishments but rather the seeds of them. Daily Protelicious. It has changed the quality of my health immeasurably. At 55 I can do more than at 43. Also daily disciplines, which to me are the mother of miracles. Mine? I am a dedicated Kundalini yoga teacher and practitioner. Every day I do practice for 1 hour plus. For others, it may be walking, running, tai chi, art... I know I could not to half of the things I do without the yoga or Protelicious. These are truly my seeds of success.
What is company success?
The fact that our customers and clients using our Protelicious, enjoy better health and peace of mind. And ok, the fact that we were just asked to do a signature menu for a luxury hotel here I think is pretty neat.