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STEPPING OUT INTO THE SUCCESS ARENA
Enterprising Ida Ali harboured a profound passion for food from a young age. The founder of Food Dreams & CO. learnt her cooking skills from her mother and serves her family recipes at Food Dreams. In an interview, she shares with TMV her dream and vision for the company she founded.
Ida Ali started her career as a flight attendant at Malaysia Airlines and learnt a lot about hospitality. “Subsequently, I worked in the administrative field at various companies before working at a quick service restaurant company for 11 years. The experience helped me learn about consumer demands and the food business,” says Ida .
Food Dreams is a brainchild of four friends and ex-workmates who share a passion for food. “In 2018, we were having a meal and we had an idea to start a food business together,” says Ida.
“Our original plan was to bring Malaysian food to London. That didn’t occur due to the pandemic and we had to regroup and re-strategize,” says Ida. “We started out with one kitchen in February and we now have five kitchens. We plan to open up fifteen kitchens by the end of 2021.”
Ida plans to provide home-cooked food to customers at their homes. “Food Dreams offers variety of food choices at affordable prices that are delivered to the doorstep,” says Ida. “We will also be introducing a range of pastes and sauces that are adapted from my beloved family recipes.”
“The challenge we faced is to adapt to the ever-changing Movement Control Order or MCO rules that have been put in place,” says Ida. “We also wanted to gain financial security and be able to give back to the community by providing jobs and conducting corporate social responsibility or CSR programmes. I also want to take care of my staff well, empower them and be a role model, especially for women,” shares Ida.
As a busy businesswoman, Ida believes that being organised and prioritisation is key to a good work-life balance. “Time management is very important. If you are not disciplined, you will always be drowning in work. It is also vital to have a to-do list and a not to do list for the day.”
“It is important for young entrepreneurs to surround themselves with like-minded people and search for a support group that can be their sounding board through the exchange of ideas and sharing about struggles and achievements,” shares Ida. “Never forget to take good care of your health by exercising regularly, eating, resting and sleeping well. This will enable you to make better decisions.”