10 Questions with Qi Juices
BADER Chats with Co-founders of Qi Juices and Here’s What They Had to Say
As part of our vision, BADER gets to meet and mentor many innovative startups that made it big in Lebanon’s startup scene. Qi Juices is the second place winner of the first edition of BADER startup cup that ended in 2013. A year later, we sat down with the co-founders to hear all about their progress, what they learned on the way to success, and what advice do they have for the upcoming young entrepreneurs.
Qi Juices makes fresh cold-pressed juice from organic fruits and vegetables, and is riding a global wave of “detox” and wellness diets.
Its juices can be consumed as part of a 1-5 day juice cleanses. Qi Juices is a safe natural and delicious way to get a high intake of quality nutrients without turning to processed shakes, pills or powders, and people who have been on a juice cleanse feel it works as a catalyst for a healthier lifestyle moving forward.
Hana Alireza and Leila Nashabe from Qi Juices
We spoke to Leila, to learn more about Qi Juices, their entrepreneurial journey and their upcoming plans.
Can you tell us more about how you started Qi Juices and its mission?
When Hanna was abroad she tried this kind of juices and liked its concept. At that stage we were both new mothers, we wanted to eat healthier and to maintain a healthy diet for our family. And that could be done with Qi Juices.
Additionally, we’re both living in Lebanon, a country that has high fertile ground, being on the Mediterranean cost, so organic produces are easy to grow around here.
Overall, we wanted to make people feel healthier.
What do you think about this field’s market?
Qi Juices is part of two fields: Health & Wellness, and F&B, and both markets are challenging.
As our concept and products are very new to the market, it is a bit tricky to implement the idea of organic juices especially that it is a bit expensive and not affordable for everyone on regular basis; and this is mainly due to the limited number of suppliers. In order to lower our prices, we need to lower our cost. Even though the supply chain is currently expanding, this growth is unfortunately still not enough for us to decrease our cost and expenses.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
The fact that we are certified organic makes us stand out amongst other companies in this field.
How were you funded at first?
Initially we had two sources of funding, our own savings and Kafalat.
What was the turning point that made you want to be an entrepreneur?
Hana, was from the start involved in entrepreneurship, and had already a successful startup. As for me, I always wanted to have my own startup, and Qi Juices is my first.
What was your biggest mistake so far and what did you learn from it?
First of all, our initial startup cost was too high, and could have been reduced.
Second, I would advise every young startup to have everything documented, such as agreements, deals, questions, etc., it will help them avoid future problems.
Who was your greatest inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is definitely my father.
What would your say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
I think every entrepreneur should be:
A master of numbers, he or she should have a minimum knowledge of finance and accounting.
Focused and flexible, because entrepreneurship is a very long journey.
Excluding yours what startup do you admire most?
There’s no startup that comes to mind now, but I would say any Endearment Company can be admired. It is every company that respects its staff and employees, that is authentic, conscious of ethics, that recognizes value, etc.
Where do you see yourself and your startup in 5 years?
In future years, we would like to own or rent our private land, so we could grow our produces and supplies. We are also planning to have a franchise in Saudi Arabia in the near future. Finally, Hana and I hope that Qi Juices will one day become the leading company that will offer an alternative healthy remedy for people’s lifestyles.
Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program is in partnership with Bank Audi.