Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Her Journey As An Entrepreneur – Razia Ali, Founder, Blend Community

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The idea of Blend Community was triggered during the pandemic when Razia saw how badly the F&B industry suffered and she wanted to help food brands revive their business without bleeding for profitability, courtesy the food aggregators. Personally, food, fashion and fiction are her passion areas, and she noticed that there weren’t any platforms that cater to these three themes specifically. She wanted to create a platform that curates and distributes relevant content all in one place rather than users having to go to different pages for different topics. That’s how the whole idea was born of creating an online community that celebrates, shares and curates stories around these three specific categories.

After establishing Blend Community, her co-founder, Hariprasad Shetty and she wanted to find a way to monetize the community they had built. That is when they got the idea for ‘Blend For Food’. With that, they are building India’s first Content to Commerce Food Tech Platform powered by Creator economy & Community Tech. BFF will be a one-stop destination for all things food. Consumers need not have different apps scattered for different needs like, ordering in from restaurants, groceries, recipes, etc. They are the only players in the market that will bring all your various food choices in one place to make it a hassle-free food ordering experience.

What gets Razia excited about her startup is the fact that this idea is still so new in the country and she doesn’t see anyone else doing it as of now. This makes her feel secure in the fact that they’re on the cusp of something extremely special.

This sense of security does not shield her from paranoia. She says that a start-up is the founder’s brain-child or baby. Due to this, the success of the start-up is a lot more personal not just tangibly but emotionally as well. Hence, there’s undeniable paranoia around “What if”. What if the brand tanks, what if no one resonates with the idea, basically what if nothing works out. However, she has found that the way to overcome that is to understand that ideas don’t exist in perfection. You’ve just got to start and keep working on perfecting it.

Being not just a start-up founder but also having a full-time corporate job definitely makes it challenging to have a work-life balance for Razia. But, she has found that finding the right partners, teammates and resources is very important in order to manage it. She believes, as you’re establishing your idea, you need to try to attract talent and team members to not only believe in your vision, but also be able to execute it. Finding the right brands and companies to partner with, is another important aspect in executing your vision the right way. Razia Ali started her career with banking sales, but she always had a penchant towards communication which made me make an early switch to advertising. She realized she had a passion for shaping brands and consumer perceptions. She loves ideating with people from varied niches and finds great joy in helping translate them into realities. She led the Consumer and Small Business marketing efforts of a large tech company. She currently has her a full-time job while also working on her start-up. She was also an Angel Investor to aspiring Start-ups and entrepreneurs.She has leveraged her passion towards brands, fashion, food and her experience in the advertising and marketing industry and brought to life a brand and community of her own. The ability to do that, in a male-dominated, food-tech industry is what sets her apart.

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