Raised in Mumbai in the 1990s, when the city changed and developed considerably, Tahany Taher says that while she loved her time during those years, it was in the 2000s that she returned to the United Arab Emirates. , “The country I was born in and meant to live.”
Of Emirati nationality, with a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Missouri, USA and a bachelor’s degree in accounting and economics from the University of Mumbai, India, she is during working hours vice senior president of a multinational bank and in the evening the hat of the co-founder, HAYAWIIA (derived from the Arabic term for health, vitality and vigor), a premium destination for food and the range of natural beauty treatments, designed to meet a healthy lifestyle.
Tahany, along with her husband Akram Oomer, launched the brand in May 2021 because she believes everyone deserves a healthy lifestyle.
So, what is it like to share the workspace with a spouse, we ask him. “These are the tops of the clouds coupled with the bottoms of the Mariana Trench! We are constantly questioning our comfort zones and complementing each other. I am purely numbers oriented and he is very empathetic. My only advice to all couples who work together is not to take it personally and realize that empathy and understanding is more powerful than ego or anger, ”she shares.
We learn more about her journey in the world of entrepreneurship, as she shares how she was left out in school and how she owed her success to a grade 7 teacher, who encouraged her to excel, and how her motto in life is that nothing will hold her back.
She adds, “This country has given me everything that makes me who I am today, from my husband and children to an incredible career and now a thriving business. The leaders of this nation had a vision that no one would believe and yet today it is a reality. From empty lands to the tallest skyscrapers, I am extremely proud to call this place my home knowing that I have, among other things, contributed to the present and the future of this beautiful country.
While working around the clock, she makes sure her family dines every night without gadgets or devices.
Tell us a bit about your first inspirations when you were starting out in the business world.
My childhood played a big part in who I am as a person. I had a bit of a rough childhood as I moved to India at a young age, didn’t speak English and was usually the outcast at school. I had two choices, either accept it or fight it. I learned at a young age that the key to successful leadership lies in the choices you make and I chose to believe in myself. “Nothing will ever hold me back” is my motto. I became the head teacher at the school, elected by the same children who at one point did not accept me because I am different (not Indian), but who are now friends of mine the closest.
You humbly remember your teacher and attribute your success to him, tell us more.
I spent most of my early development years in Mumbai, a place that taught me courage, empathy and ambition. The only teacher to whom I owe a lot is Miss Peters, who brought me out of my shell when I was reserved and introverted. She not only inspired me to speak in public, but also taught me to express my opinions as needed. From then on, everyone noticed a positive change in my attitude.
You are passionate about the environment. Do you remember a time when you knew this was an area you would work in?
I never really had a blistering moment. It was more like an orchestra, starting slowly before reaching the high notes. This is how my passion for the environment developed from the start. It was not at the forefront of my thoughts, but after having children, I now realize the importance of it. Protecting the environment is the best legacy I can leave for my children. This positive change and attitude in my kids would make me super happy. HAYAWIIA follows a zero plastic and zero waste policy, and even customer thank you notes are made with eco-friendly seed paper encrusted with flower, herb or vegetable seeds, which can be planted, promoting a greener future for the company. country.
How was the brand born?
Before HAYAWIIA came to life, it was just an idea running through my head. I always wanted to venture into something that I loved, believed in and something that would make a positive change in the world. I would have these recurring thoughts while eating a meal or snacking – ironic? That’s when it hit me and I realized what I wanted to do – make healthier options accessible and affordable for everyone. After long thinking, long nights, looking for the right like-minded suppliers and surveying people to understand the needs of the market, it all fell into place. The concept also took shape very quickly thanks to two special ladies, Ayshwarya Chari and Shraddha Barot Amariei from 1115 Inc, who helped me set up and set up the framework for the company.
From a pandemic perspective, what are the positive and negative points that you have witnessed as an entrepreneur?
The positives would include the fact that people are open to new things, that the ecommerce space is now the arena of choice, and people are price conscious. The downsides would be that shipping can be tricky in these times and people are constantly looking for deals. Of course, the fear of the spread of infection is a primary concern.
How do you work to break glass ceilings in the corporate world?
The only thing I can say categorically is that my organization is already empowering women. I truly believe that women can accomplish anything and have a bigger impact and as a result the majority of our products come from brands owned by women in developing international countries. With the aim of also supporting the entrepreneurial dynamic in the United Arab Emirates and ensuring the continuity of the activities of SMEs, we also source our products from emerging local suppliers. I am also very proud to say that the UAE is already doing a tremendous amount to empower women.
Who among the women leaders of the United Arab Emirates do you idolize the most?
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi. She belongs to the royal family of Sharjah and was one of the first women to hold a high-ranking position in the government of the United Arab Emirates.