Exclusive Interview of Salman Attieh, Nomu Group. Edited by Powered Magazine
Tell us about yourself and your business.
I'm Salman Attieh, the chairman and co-founder of Nomu Group. I developed my intrapreneurship abilities early in my career and then made the transition to entrepreneurship because I wanted to use technology to bring about revolutionary improvements in the food and beverage sector. Since we first introduced Nomu as a startup idea, we have developed into an 8-figure business with operations in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. Our two main services, Jumlaty for hospitality businesses like hotels, restaurants, and cafés, and Appetito for families, both target specialised niches. The F&B supply chain for the hotel industry has been altered by us, and we've provided a full digital platform for easy procurement and delivery of food supplies. Our app offers a practical, all-in-one shopping solution for families with AI-driven dynamic pricing,
What were your biggest challenges when starting your business?
As I started the Nomu Group project, I ran across a number of unusual and unexpected problems that put our determination to the test. Having recently completed a fundraising round and right before the worldwide epidemic, we launched our service. Our first target market was restaurants, but due to the shifting industry, we were forced to fast change course and start serving customers directly. We also ran across a problem with our strategy for marketing. Due to fundamental flaws in the supply chain architecture, the marketplace model we first examined wasn't a viable choice for our region. We became aware of the importance of maintaining our own inventory in order to satisfy the demands of our commercial clients and deliver within 24 hours. This important change significantly altered our cash flow model and necessitated a quick and substantial change.
How have you handled success and failure over the course of your career?
As I waded through the choppy seas of business, I quickly realised that failure is a necessary component of the trip. It's a lesson that never gets any easier, but it's essential to accept failure and identify what went wrong. Such encounters provide tremendous possibilities for reflection and education, particularly when accompanied with direct criticism. In addition, it is crucial to acknowledge and celebrate accomplishment, no matter how small it may appear. Each triumph serves as vital fuel for our group's spirit and is evidence of our tenacity, inventiveness, and tenacity. We must never undervalue the power of rewarding our spirits with the praise of our victories in a world that frequently focuses on flaws.
What strategies do you use to stay competitive in a changing market?
I believe that a combination of humility, curiosity, and adaptability is necessary to be successful in a market that changes rapidly. To start with, I accept that I don't know everything. There is a lot to learn and a wide variety of viewpoints to comprehend. I thus make it a point to always learn from those around me, industry developments, and our clients. Second, keeping a tight relationship with our clients is a key component of my approach. We can anticipate changes and tailor our services to their needs by always listening to their needs and comments. Our commitment to the customer ensures that we remain relevant and offer value.
Finally, I challenge our group to come up with fresh ideas. Together, people from all backgrounds may achieve remarkable things. To maintain our competitive advantage, we must promote free dialogue, experimentation, and the bravery to challenge the status quo. Humility, curiosity, and adaptability are the three pillars on which I base my strategy for navigating and being competitive in a market that is always evolving.
What motivations drive you to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity?
People frequently extol the virtues of motivation, but as my trip has shown me, the true source of drive is action. It has been quite helpful to take that initial step, which was frequently pushed at the urging of my support system, especially during difficult times. I've discovered that inspiration frequently occurs as a result of action rather than waiting for it to come to me. My family, mentor, and friends served as my support system during difficult moments, giving me the motivation to act. This action always ignites a spark of inspiration, which closes the cycle and inspires others to take further action.
The best way to advance has therefore been to combine action with a strong support system, even though motivation is crucial.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their chosen field?
I would emphasise three key elements if I were to offer guidance to someone looking to launch their own business: Start right away, communicate with your community, and stop attempting to be flawless. Making that first move is necessary to launch a business, so get started as soon as you can. A new firm can frequently succeed or fail based on its speed. The sooner you begin, the sooner you may begin to learn and develop.
Converse often with your customers at the same time. You should use their suggestions and criticism as a reference when making company decisions. They will demonstrate what functions and what needs to be altered. Finally, give up striving to be flawless. It is a fallacy that perfectionism may speed up development. Instead, concentrate on improving over time and being adaptable. Keep in mind that in the world of startups, a decent solution today is frequently preferable than a flawless one later.
How have technological advances affected the way you conduct business/operate your venture?
The use of AI has changed Nomu's company. We are driving the AI transformation in the food sector. Nomu is primarily reliant on AI. Our dynamic pricing strategy makes sure that our clients receive the finest offers. Our AI algorithms analyse market trends, consumer behaviour, and supply chain dynamics to instantaneously change prices. This provides us a competitive advantage in the extremely cutthroat food and beverage business.
Beyond pricing, AI increases supply chain efficiency. Algorithms for machine learning anticipate demand, optimise inventory, and reduce lead times. Due to our consistent delivery, our Horeca clients have faith in us. Our consumer app, Appetito, utilises AI to tailor family purchasing. With the help of AI algorithms, users may buy more easily because recommendations are made based on past purchases and browsing patterns.
In what ways has customer feedback/response influenced how you prioritize goals/objectives for your business/venture?
Consumer opinion is essential to Nomu's business plan. Nevertheless, because customers might not know what they want until they see it, customer insight must be matched with strategic innovation. We have discovered improvements, untapped potential, and new trends thanks to customer input. These results have helped us enhance our platform and services.
Appetito was modified based on customer feedback. This enhanced the interface's usability. As a result of client feedback, our supply chain and delivery processes have been tailored to each customer's specific requirements. It's crucial to mix listening with experimentation and invention. Although unsaid wishes and wants drive breakthrough discoveries, feedback might be helpful. We appreciate asking questions and attempting new things.
Every change is driven by hypotheses. We believed that AI-driven pricing may offer us an advantage. Before implementing it, we evaluated its impact on sales and customer happiness. We were able to assess our inventions and make data-driven judgements thanks to these trials.
What trends do you see emerging in your industry that are likely to shape its future growth and development?
AI and ML are gaining popularity. We employ AI and ML for personalised pricing and dynamic pricing, but they have enormous potential. They might revolutionise quality assurance and demand forecasting, improving productivity and client happiness. Sustainability: Food and beverage businesses are becoming more ecologically aware. The amount of food wasted and carbon emissions might be decreased with intelligent inventory management or delivery route optimisation. Sustainability enriches the whole planet and appeals to shoppers who care about the environment.
Direct-to-consumer models: Sales to consumers are growing. Families may purchase directly from growers using our Appetito app. D2C platforms will expand as the model gains in acceptance. The pandemic has accelerated and is anticipated to continue to accelerate the digital revolution in the Horeca industry. Digital supply chain solutions are desired by this sector. This need may be satisfied by Nomu's large digital platform, Jumlaty.
What have been the most rewarding and difficult aspects of your chosen career/business path?
The most rewarding part of my professional life has been the chance to combine various expertise in lean manufacturing, operational excellence, and product creation to found a business that shares my values. The process of creating a business that embodies my vision has been very fulfilling.
The road to business is not without its challenges, though. Negotiating with mental health has proven to be the most difficult difficulty. With any high-stakes endeavour, there is a risk to one's mental health when the expectations and pressure become too great. This component of starting a business emphasises the importance of resilience, balance, and support systems.