Nadiya Albishchenko is the founder of INAS EXIM LLC a global food and beverage distributor
Started by Ukranian Entrepreneur, Nadiya Albishchenko – INAS EXIM LLC is the health conscious organization, focused on 100% natural products and agricultural cultivation. Our company cares about the health of its consumers and therefore offers natural food and crops.
This is her interview
Tell us about your business
INAS EXIM LLC – International Network for Achievable Solutions, company offers food solutions. It works with its clients to help them with the challenges they face and we work on finding the right key to help manage the issues. We at INAS are not just another trading company that provides products we work to provide solutions, help grow the companies and work along with them as partners insuring Easy, Profitable & Sustainable solutions understanding, evaluating and analyzing all our client partners to help provide a win-win situation.
Our team of experts and networking can help develop specialized products for the food industry in any market, ranging from developing taste to appearance, characteristics, performance or packaging solution for the products.
INAS works closely with its clients not only to help provide customized products and packaging but goes the extra mile to help them develop new ranges sharing its global expertise to help support growth and development. Helping them with new innovative ideas plus, suggesting marketing strategies working with them hand in hand as a team to help implement it. We consider all our customers as our business partners!
Please tell us what being a business owner means to you and why you became an entrepreneur in the first place?
Trade was in my bloodstream from the childhood. I guess it was from the DNA of my fathers’ mother, my parental grandma Maya Albishchenko who was into network marketing selling cosmetics through her contacts, trading it with friends and relatives. She was very popular communally and had many chains of followers. During those days it was just the word of mouth that got you members, but not social medias or networks.
I remember by the time when I reached the stage of kindergarten at an age of 5. I started to collect wraps with car images from popular Turbo chewing gums that were well-known. I liked to eat the chewing gum and sell the cars wraps to my friends. Choosing collections of imagines which was missing from other kids’ collection, exchanging, selling… I had created kind of chained trade deals for myself. It kept me exited I could not wait to buy new Turbos with the money I earned and sell them at a higher price, so I could buy more. I was greatly fascinated and overwhelmed during this process.
Living under USSR had its moments. I still remember being a proud Octobrist at an age of 7 and suddenly everything collapsed. An independent Ukraine was formed, this was a big change. This change in the government on August 24, 1991, an 8-year-old experienced among the most challenging economical straggle of its country. Change in currency, privatization process and segregation of assets from Russia, new strategies of the government and many more. My family too suffered financially and I remember how my mother kept inventing different recipes to substitute meat in our meals.
In spite of that all changes that had happened my entrepreneurial interest continued to mushroom more to help myself.
Till I reach the highs of entrepreneurship, all various experiences molded me to a diverse expert from different business perspective. Walnut’s trading company gave me an opportunity to understand whole process of export-import operations, warehouse management and workers hourly job control process. Cosmetic trading taught me how to look for clients through tele-sales channel approach and feel the whole negotiation process. Learning of the bank structure and my role as deputy of chief accountant was an awesome opportunity, considering the fact that been a banker was in high level of respect across our community.
While socializing and building my professional network, at some point of time, one of my contracts had asked me if I can find a supplier for sunflower oil, knowing that my origin roots come from Ukraine. The famous fact, that Ukraine is the leader in helianthus oil production, so this topic of discussion grabbed my attention. I’ve conducted searched among my old connections back home on how potentially resume supplies of sunflower oil to a different market. Thinking, possibly to open my company on the latter stage and, finally, I got minded like a partner. After long planning the shipment of 40 feet container with sunflower oil sailed to Middle East Market. We managed to accomplish the first deal by third party, since the company was not yet established. The feel of the game and monetary remuneration part of it gave a kick to start own firm.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
A very famous saying goes – “There is always a woman behind every successful Man!” I would like to rephrase the saying – “There is always a woman behind every successful person!”
In my life I have always found my Mom standing with me during every phase of life. Be it challenging times or successful achievements, she has been my encouragement and support helping to pick me up every time I fall, standing by myside every time I stumble, encouraging me anytime I feel low, she has truly been the wind beneath my wings to help me take off and fly high. I have always known this but have felt so close to her that I have never thought of sharing. I want to take this opportunity to thank her for believing in me.
Today after receiving success to become an entrepreneur, I would like to express myself and tell her – “Thank you Mom! You have been the best and without you I could have never thought of making it this far.”
“Mom – I Love you, I don’t know what I would have done without you!!”
What would you say is your greatest professional accomplishment to date?
All things have a bright side to it and with my three years of challenging partnership I looked at it as a lesson that no University in the world would offer. I took away the skill-set to set-up my very own company, even though I had lost a lot of money I gained a lot of experience. Once I managed to set the business up, I already knew believed that I could do it. I had people asking me for goods, goods that I knew now where to procure from. My ambition to do business was bigger than one fall, a fall that not only taught me how to get back up on my feet again but also how to balance.
This time it was my money, my rules, my efforts. I hired a friend, trained her to help me manage my documentation and communication. Made sure things were put in the right place micro managing and putting structure to it, insuring secured and healthy transactions to help grow of the business. It did take me time to get my courage back to start by myself but the thought to quit was never a question.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to our readers?
I think the most important is one should believe in is oneself. I trust I can do more investing in myself for no one will work and value my money the way I would. Once, one of my clients from professional network had asked me if I can find a supplier for sunflower oil, knowing that my original roots come from Ukraine a country that is the leading producer and exporter of Sunflower Oil to the world. This topic of discussion grabbed my attention. I started searching for my old contacts I had during my work in Ukraine. Getting connected to the right source and this got me to think that I could possibly be trading with the commodity in future. I managed to get like-minded partners who helped me support my dream. What started as a casual discussion changed my life. This was possible because I believed I could do this, trusted myself and got on the ground to do it. Your initial steps in business are very delicate and you have to be a strong believer in yourself to achieve success.
What has been the most effective marketing initiatives or programs you have used to promote your business?
Interpersonal skills Something that has helped me sail through some of the very challenging storms in my life. It is always important to have a respectful relationship be it a customer or suppliers. This skill helped me under all phase of life. I have always kept myself very level headed even while going through experiences where people have taken advantage of my trust. This has not stopped me from building my network although it has taught me a lot how to choose and connect to the right people. In the end it is who you know that makes a lot of difference specially to get attention in today’s competitive world, connections are and have always been the most important aspect of business life.
This skill has helped me achieve great lengths be it sourcing or selling, friends, well-wishers referrals have always helped me support, grow and sustain my business.
Recently due to Covid a lot of companies have experienced non-shipments, major delays and unavailability of goods / material. But we are proud to say we have had a much smoother sail than most due to our strong partnerships between both our buyers and suppliers. We have thankfully managed to grow a strong reputation that has rapidly spread in the markets we work in.
There was a time when I had shipped a large consignment to Jordan and the shipment got rejected due to sudden change in regulations by the authorities. My client even though had branches in various other countries was not able to do anything with the cargo. With the help of my relationship I managed to get the shipment re-shipped to another Gulf country got the shipment approved and cleared from the authorities and also helped the new client in my best capacity to sell the shipment. All this would not have been possible without my network and interpersonal skills that helped me during this very challenging situation.
I would say the best marketing for us is networking, referrals and our services to bring loyalty.
What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?
Self-motivation While you believe in yourself it is also important for you to keep motivating yourself. Pushing and promoting yourself. Reminding yourself what you are, where you are, why you started, where you want to be in life. Achieving goals should not be your only target but setting new goals and improving should be continuous effort. This can only be possible if one keeps motivating oneself. Be focused with all your energy. In case things are not going your way, stop, re-charge, rest but never quit.
Like everyone I have days when things seem to be falling apart. That is the time I remind myself where I am, how I reached and the challenges faced.
I remember when I was a new nursing mother and I had to give my exams in Ukraine where I needed to travel over 6 hours by train and change buses, my family and friends objected to my travel but I motivated myself reminding me how important it was for me to do it. How I had put my handwork and efforts to prepare for the exams. I took it upon myself traveled, gave my genetic engineering exams and on the same day came back to my state It took will power and self-motivation constantly reminding myself of my focus on completing my exams. That qualification helped me later to relate characteristics in milk which helped engineer and develop a new modified Mozzarella cheese that we successfully distribute in the region of MENA today. Life is full of obstacles just remember that you are bigger than that!
It has indeed never been a joy ride to set-up the business specially when one experiences the kind of challenges that I had gone through. Given that I have mothered my two wonderful gifts during the journey which, was not at all easy. Yes, the emotions play a vital role to your success and failures but you have to learn to grow above your emotions. Easier said than done!
Are there any resources or tools you’d like to share with other small businessvowners that have helped you run your business?
Today in this competitive world My advice to a young founder would be to get into venture capital try to make some extra money and then get into bootstrapping.
For me Bootstrapping would be the eventual goal for your major investment as there is no greater thrill than to have a business from scratch. However, just to keep a diverse portfolio it is always better to keep your money divided. As I mentioned earlier nothing can motivate success like investing your own money in your own business and nothing is more electrifying then, to see it grow.
Do you have any new projects coming up (or have you just completed a big project ~ reached a milestone, etc.)? If so, please tell us about it.
My next project is my first business book which am planning to be published this year. In the book am sharing all experiences what lead me towards business setup establishment as a single owner. Failures, learnings and tips how to overcome obstacles. “Synergy: A synopsis into an elite business partnership” – is a practical example of successful startup launch from the scratch.
What do you do for fun/relaxation?
As a child I had a chronic of bronchitis and mom wasn’t feeling enthralled from hospitals trying to fix my health. Through the years the understanding of living among the marine surroundings tuned to be an important part of me. Every day is summer, astonish clear sandy beaches, heart touching radiant sunshine and effulgent navy-blue sky is the grateful blessing someone could ever dream about. The smell of sea breeze and distinguish zest of iodine in the air works favorable specifically towards immune system, to feel strong and protected from illnesses and infections.
The seashore reconnoiter trips become a preferable lifestyle to the past agonized episodes spent on the hospital benches.
What is Number One Business Goal you plan to accomplish over the next year?
Under the Covid pandemic, one day I was sipping my green tea at home watching my children play when I realized what kind of world are we leaving them with? So much plastic waste, a world full of environmental challenges, global warming, carbon footprints is this the world I want to leave for them?
I decided to help change the world a little in whatever capacity I can. I want to leave my children a better place. Today, I am proud to say that INAS EXIM LLC is extending its wings to develop new range of Bio-Degradable and Ocean friendly products. I am investing my time and dedication to help change the world to be a better place. My new 2022 project of “Equal Earth” where we plan to create platform dedicated to give back the Earth equal to what we take from it.
You want to write a book on “Synergy: The Synopsis into Elite Partnership” (fill in the blank and feel free to explain).
It is a book about an East European girl born under the regime of the USSR and her success story of how she managed to bring up her carrier and business struggling under the crises making UAE its final base. Also featuring her phases on how she shaped up her skills to become an entrepreneur and a sole Founder of a global company (International Network for Achievable Solutions) to establish a well diverse business. Experiencing various business tie-ups and how things finally worked.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
It is always easy to talk about good advices one receives and challenging to talk about the bad once you got stuck with. The reason for that is when you are stuck to the bad advices you will eventually make the best of it and that bad advice would change you for the better.
I can think of time when I was new in business with a business partner who I trusted and he advised me to invest with him in export of walnut business. I had no idea on what I was getting into but I trusted my partners advice and guidance. That made me learn the hard way as it taught me never to invest into projects you are not aware of based just on advices. I lost a lot of money and never recovered. Had I been a little wise and not lost the money I would have not faced so many challenges during the start of my business. Anyway, it was a lesson that cost me almost all my carrier savings at that point.
My advice after this event to people is know the rule of the game, you don’t have to be a master of it but either you have to be an integral part of the deal or know the basic rule of the trade before you put all your eggs in one basket based just on someone’s advice even though that someone is be your trusted business partner.
What’s the best way for the readers of WE Magazine for Women to connect with you?