One of the best ways to make money; Start and grow a company to $62 million in revenues in 6 short years.
As you are studying and researching all the different ways to make money and how to become a millionaire, you might do well to focus on one of the 3 or 4 necessities in life. You probably learned at a young age that food, clothing and shelter are the three basic necessities. In this day and age you could probably throw entertainment in there since quite a large percentage of the population believes that entertainment is a necessity. Look no further than Youtube.
In 2006 Shazi Visram was a young lady attending Columbia Business School in New York. A daughter of immigrants she had seen her parents struggle and even risk their lives to give their children a shot at a better life. Visram already had visions of succeeding and becoming wealthy. Not out of greed though, she had a strong desire to help others as much as she could whether it was financially or in other ways. Visram really believed in the concept of paying it forward.
Shazi Visram was already a self-described “foodie” or health food nut. So when she heard one of her friends complaining about the quality of store bought baby food, and how she wished she had more time to make her own; Visramgot her big idea. She would start a business making food that would have a positive impact on the health of children and babies, and at the same time give back to those who are in need. Visram initially called her company Happy Baby.
Visram explained her idea in simple terms, “I saw a need for baby foods that were less processed and more nutritious.” Happy Baby (Later re-named Happy Family) was founded on Mother’s day in 2006. Today the company is based in Manhattan.
Visram had no way of knowing if her business idea would succeed, but she had just set in motion a way to make money that would be beyond her wildest dreams.
In an interview about her company and how she got started Visram stated, “I saw an opportunity to change what children are eating. I thought you could give a baby a fresh start by providing whole foods that taste great and offer nutritional value. The concept was to create nutritious, organic super foods that parents could feel really good about giving their children, knowing they were giving them the very best.”
Launching her startup; A study in how to become rich
Ms. Visram began working on her business plan while still in college. She also began a fundraising push where she was able to scrape together approximately $550,000 through friends and angel investors over an eight month period. Her first product was organic baby food sold frozen in ice cube trays. Initially she approached a couple of small local New York-based health food stores to carry her product. Soon her organic baby food was on the shelves of Gormet Garage and Fresh Direct.
As a small startup company going up against the big boys in the baby food industry Shazi Visram knew that she had to be different, and truly offer a superior product if she was going to be successful. She specifically wanted an alternative to the traditional jarred baby food. So many of her products were packaged in screw-top pouches that were easier to pack and carry than glass jars. Her product line continued to grow to include yogurt, cereal, melt snacks and one of the company’s top sellers “puffs.”
Currently baby food is a $1.25 billion industry in the U.S., which is about 95% controlled by the three giants in the field, Gerber, Beech-Nut and Heinz.
What obviously sets Happy Family apart from the highly processed baby food industry is their commitment to organic foods. According to Visram, Happy Family was the first baby food company to supplement with probiotics, DHA and Salba - the most nutrient dense form of Salvia hispanica L. (chia) and the richest whole food source of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber found in nature.
Visram proclaims that Happy Family is one of the most nutritious baby foods on the planet. We wanted our foods to do something for a baby's growing body.
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Millionaire Status is Secured
Fast forward now from 2006 when the company was founded to 2010. At the end of the year 2010 Happy Family reported revenues of $13.3 million. Not bad for a company that was only four years old. But from 2010 to 2012 the company exploded into new markets really around the world. Their products were on the shelves of more than 20,000 stores in the U.S such as Whole Foods, Target and more. They have since gone international with markets in China, Turkey and even Trinidad.
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In this same two year period from 2010 to 2012 the company went from $13.3 million in revenues to $62.3 million in revenues. Now if you are still wondering what the best way to make money is, or how to become a millionaire, you now know that starting a small company in the food industry is still a real and plausible way to succeed.
Today Visram’s company has about 50 full time employees and about 70 part time employees called “Happy Moms” that are wellness ambassador who help teach parents about the benefits of organic foods and help market the company’s products on a more local level.
Visram’s success has finally come full circle. She was vacationing in the Bahamas when she got word that French-based food giant Danone was ready to sign a multi-million dollar deal giving them 92% stake in the company. The exact amount of the transaction was not made public but part of the deal was for Visram to say on and serve as chairwoman for the company.
More about Shazi Visram&her success
Ms. Visram holds a BA from Columbia University in History and Visual Arts and an MBA from Columbia Business School in Management and Entrepreneurship. In 2011 Visram won the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the year award for New York. She currently lives in Jersey City, New Jersey with her husband a young son and a dog. What is Shazi’s mantra? "Dream big and never give up."