Based in the US, Innoviom Inc is a global food and beverage company that analyses market trends and utilizes its findings to bring innovative new products to life. Specializing in functional wellness beverages and foods that are great tasting and proven to be beneficial to physical and mental wellbeing, Innoviom Inc has cutting-edge innovation embedded into the very fabric of its company culture. CEO and Chairman, Ahmed El Aziz tells us more, as he celebrates his recent recognition as Most Influential CEO 2021 of the USA.
Innoviom Inc is a dynamic food and beverage start-up that builds on consumer market trends and delivers innovative product solutions to global consumers.
Situated in the US and operating across the globe, Innoviom creates, produces and markets its own products that are purposefully designed to enhance wellbeing while also being delicious and nutritious. The team of global experts analyze market trends and uses more than a hundred years of combined business experience and success to create products that will meet global demand. When combined with the fresh, innovative ideas of those starting out in the industry who are in need of a platform from which to make themselves known in the global markets, Innoviom is able to create product lines that are guaranteed to meet international demand and exceed consumers’ expectation.
For instance, one of Innoviom’s most recent products to launch is Wowie™, a delicious, low-calorie, adaptogen-containing relaxation beverage that contains 20mg of hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD, per can. Made using all-natural ingredients such as lavender, lemon balm, chamomile and green tea, Wowie™ is designed to relieve stress, reduce anxiety and enhance mood without causing drowsiness, making it the perfect accompaniment to working in high stress environments that enables relaxation while being active. As such, with public feelings of stress and anxiety heightened during the Covid-19 pandemic, and other key political and social factors also taking a toll on mental wellbeing, Innoviom released Wowie™ at a time when demand for relaxation and anxiety-reducing aids was at a peak.
Profound knowledge of consumer market trends in the food and industry has been a key element of the Innoviom culture since its inception, having been founded by Chairman and CEO Ahmed El Azizi, who has over twenty-five years of experience in the beverage industry. Former Global VP of Functional Beverages at Pepsico with extensive expertise acquired from his work with Fortune 500 companies and start-ups across four continents, Ahmed is well-acquainted with the industry, as are the other members of his Senior Management team. Group CFO, Christine Morcos for instance, boasts more than thirty years of experience at P&G, Gillette and Pfizer. Chief Growth Officer, Julia Trofimova, has over twenty-five years of experience with Coca Cola, Red Bull, Diageo and Tranquini, while Chief Operations & Supply Chain Officer, Jorge Canizares has several years of experience at Pepsico to his name, in addition to major brands of other industries, such as Xerox and Hughes Helicopters.
The diversity and varied expertise of his team is a key feature in Ahmed’s guiding principles of leadership. “Ensure you have a team that is better than you at the things you are not strong at – and have courage to hire such a team, listen to them and embrace the diversity of thinking,” he says, when asked about his leadership style. After all, ‘you are only as good as the people you choose to surround yourself with.’ This to Ahmed is key to the success of any leader and is a philosophy that has served him well throughout his career.
Ahmed also advocates for hands-on leadership, that knows the business well and when to listen to the team. By actively listening to colleagues, as well as consumers and the market, a leader is able to understand without being swayed by certain opinions in order to make the right, well-informed decisions that they can put their name to with pride. As such, it is also important to involve other people in thought processes, both for their own development but for the development and refinement of an idea. The final principle of Ahmed’s ethos for leadership may be simple, but it is significant: to lead by doing, not just by saying.
With people at the center of Ahmed’s keys to success, recruitment is therefore a meticulous process championed by Innoviom. “We look for people who believe in our core values, who believe in diversity of thought, courage to speak their mind and most important of all, like to operate in an environment of constant change – our business, our consumer and our markets are always changing and we need to be just as flexible,” says Ahmed.
He continues: “We look for people who are hungry to make a difference, who want to have fun, who feel they own the business – and they do, as all our employees have stock in Innoviom and, most important of all, respect one another.”
The flexibility and adaptability of the Innoviom team is vital for the start-up as it manages costs without impeding or affecting the high levels of service or high quality of products. To do so, Ahmed and his team often have to ‘wear multiple hats’, a concept which has been “exciting, exhausting, but satisfying” for Ahmed, and has enabled the company to not only sustain business but grow revenue and manage cash and bottom lines, despite all the macros and challenges of the past year.
“The biggest challenge for our business was reaching our consumer,” says Ahmed. “This is where we pivoted very quickly to DTC (Direct to Consumer) and we have steadily built our business month on month [from there].” The new model allows Innoviom to engage directly with its consumers, learning from them so as to shape innovation strategies for future products as they are developed. Now, as the world reopens following Covid-19 lockdown, Innoviom is faced with the challenge of maintaining this dialogue with consumers who may consider returning to traditional retail shopping. By prioritizing the development of its DTC model, Innoviom aims to maintain consistency in its consumer engagement, with the ultimate objective of developing innovation as the company as a whole grows.
After all, there is no doubt that Innoviom as a company is growing, with plans to expand its geographic footprint into the UK, EU and Canada as it introduces ingenious new beverages and products to its product lines throughout 2021. It is an exciting period of evolution for Innoviom, and one that Ahmed is taking great pride in as he makes plans for the future. When asked what these are, he is succinct and clear in his aspirations: “to continue to build Innoviom into a world class food and beverage company, to have fun along the way, and to enjoy the ride.”
For business enquiries contact Ahmed El Azizi at Innoviom Inc via www.innoviom.com.