Jordanian Entrepreneur, Eman Reda, Raises the Benchmarks for Female Entrepreneurs in the UAE

A mother and a wife, entrepreneur, business founder & director of Rich Delights- Dubai, Academic researcher and soon earning her “Dr” title from Northampton university-UK, chocolate chef, a recognized volunteer in Red Crescent- Abu Dhabi and many years of marketing management experience in multinational companies in Dubai – Eman Reda.

Here is a very inspiring discussion with Eman Reda to explore her journey and learn from her experiences.

Eman, what has been your greatest inspiration?

My children. I have always wanted them to be proud of their mum, who provides love and care for them and at the same time, demonstrating self-motivation to work for my goals.

Did you have a mentor or an idol?

I was inspired by many people in the business field, who worked hard and have achieved the greatest success. However, I have always been focused on my abilities and my own dreams. All achievements so far are tailored for Eman by Eman herself.

What are top 5 characteristics a woman desiring success must cultivate?

Characteristics that lead women to success could be subjective, depending on the person, abilities and talents and their environment. We cannot ignore the influence of the culture we live in. However, it is important first to have faith in yourself, and your ability to succeed. Other people’s opinions of what you do never matter. Your professional pathway is your responsibility, only you can achieve through it.

Determination is another critical factor. Without it, nothing can be accomplished. Life is always filled with obstacles; it could be people, or financial issues, or legislations related to your business, or competition, or having savvy customers, and many more. However, you will be successful if you have the right mindset, consistency, determination, passion and courage to face challenges.

Knowledge is the key; and I’m stressing on knowledge not information. There is a huge difference. You need the type of information that is valid and supported with evidence, these shall provide you with insights helpful for your decisions. Another important characteristic is the ability to balance different aspects of your life; your family, friends, work and your academic approach, if you are studying as well.

If I would touch upon financial perspective, I would say, it has never been wrong to start up with a small-scale investment that doesn’t exceed the amount of your savings. Don’t seek for mortgages, in fact, by gaining customers satisfaction, gradually your financial figures shall start supporting your growth.

Share with us any challenge that your business has faced as a brand?

Rich Delights brand concept is to provide high-quality ingredients. From day one, I was determined not to use ready mixes or products with many preservatives. The challenge is when other businesses imitate your product aiming to gain a market share, you need to stick to your concept and avoid sliding away from it. This requires both strategic and tactical decisions, that involve the operation, sales, and marketing plans. These all together must effectively present your strength and competitive advantage to customers.

What about the line of gluten free products, is it becoming a trend or is it because of customers demand?

Actually, it is simply because I am celiac and my elder son and my brother too. I can’t run a food business without me and my family eating from it.

Seeking for a PhD and Doctorate level is a difficult academic approach, and usually contradicting with a business approach, what do you say for that?

Yes, I agree, the four years I spent seeking for the Doctorate degree were not easy at all; my university, UK based, has a high standard of academic learning, and my research supervisory team as much as they were supportive, they also provided attention to details to which I complied. This journey was very difficult but, as you can see, it is possible. As for your question of why I had decided for an academic approach while I ran my business, I would say, it was one of the best decisions I have taken in my life. My research journey has provided me with the power of knowledge that has contributed and shall continue benefiting the growth my of business. Furthermore, the discipline and the skill of seeking evidence-based information have all enriched my decision-making structure.

In fact, currently I’m preparing for the graduation and getting my award, I can’t deny I’m so excited for my next journey that combines research and publishing, and at the same time, growing my own business.

What was the most memorable moment in your journey and why?

I would touch upon two aspects of my journey; in the academic one it was the day my supervisor accepted my thesis submission. Completing the thesis within timeline and multiple demanding revisions was quite a thing. The submission day was a celebration day.

As for my practical journey, I remember, few years back in Abu Dhabi, almost a month after opening the shop, it was “Eid” the next day, and we (as me and the chef and the assistant only) have worked till the morning to fulfill submitting our orders. I do remember hearing the sound of Salat Al Eid from outside, and I felt so grateful to Allah s.w.t who has blessed me with customers’ acceptance and loyalty. For it is the customers, who make a business successful.

What type of work you contributed as a volunteer with Red Crescent? And do you aim to involve your kids in your activities?

My last campaign with Red Crescent was initiated and fully executed by me, it was “Wed Wa Ehsan” which has supported 50 elderly who are in need! The program covered touching on equipment support, social communication and sending them to Mecca for Omra. As for my kids, yes, they had come with me several times during my meetings in Red Crescent, and currently they are involved in activities to support the less fortunate. Also, apparently, they are interested in business, that’s why when it comes to new marketing ideas, I like to hear their opinions, particularly about the social media!

Lastly, as a female entrepreneur and a student, what do you say for other women?

Well, hats off to any woman who is dedicated to her kids and home; you are on the hardest job on earth. Hats off to any woman who is determined to succeed and to become a great role model for others. Hats off to any woman who seeks learning and education; knowledge evolves and never ends. Regardless of what each of us do, we are contributing towards building a better future.