Five minutes with Nimisha Raja
Nim’s Fruit Crisps has transformed one of the nation’s favourite snacks into one of its healthiest. Founded in 2012 by Nimisha Raja, the award-winning food business makes air-dried crisps with just one ingredient. The green-minded business produces virtually no waste along the way. We catch up with Nimisha below, and she tells us that entrepreneurs are control freaks, why she stopped her company from trading for 18 months and the enduring importance of ‘Made in Britain.’
Describe your organisation’s purpose
Nim’s Fruit Crisps is all about: health, healthy snacking and creating a quality product.
How would you describe the culture at your organisation?
We’re hands on. We’re a small, but perfectly formed team. Together we make sure all our products are the best they can be whilst constantly improving efficiencies.
How does your organisation prepare for the future world of work?
For us, the future world of work means preparing for Brexit. The uncertainty is worrying but we have been strengthening our relationships outside of Europe – with China, Israel, India and Saudi Arabia in particular.
Despite the uncertainty, we remain positive as there is a huge domestic market for Nim’s. Healthy snacking is one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK economy and Nim’s ticks all the boxes to service this sector. Everyone has a stake in the business so we’re all committed to its success – no matter what the future may hold.
What has been the best decision your organisation has ever made?
“The best decisions we ever made was to move production to the UK. Wherever possible, I would recommend any brand to set up their own production as not only are the margins better but the control over quality and innovation allow you to keep ahead of the competition”
We used to outsource production to Europe and – while this worked well enough – after a while the quality suffered and new product development was hampered. Rather than damage the brand with a sub-standard product, we decided to cease trading for 18 months so we could move production to the UK – but it was worth it and I would do it all over again.
What would you say represents the biggest opportunity for your organisation in the next five years?
We have two big opportunities. The first is making the most of the growing healthy snacking sector. The second is taking advantage of British manufacturing and the trust consumers across the world place in it. We have had plenty of international buyers choose us because our products say ‘Made in Britain.’
What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given?
To trust my instinct.
In your experience, what is the best way to build diverse teams?
Learn to delegate so you allow people with different types of experience to explore their ideas. Problematically, entrepreneurs are control freaks by nature who think “nobody can do it as good as I can.” We end up taking on too much, which can – and often does – prevent others from having a say and having a sense of ownership which I believe is really important.
What has been the biggest challenge to your growth?
The biggest challenge to growth stems from the fact I started the business alone. I truly wish I had found somebody to start the organisation with because it’s a really, really difficult thing to do. Going into a sector you know nothing about without any marketing or sales experience alone is very hard work.
Does your organisation do any work in your local community?
We work with a lot of schools, giving talks about the importance of healthy eating and healthy snacking habits. My passion is helping children in need, and we proudly support the charity Hope4Children by working closely with them.
What does a Vibrant Economy mean to you?
A Vibrant Economy is one where you are able to innovate. It’s one where you are encouraged to grow at the local level as well as the national one. “A Vibrant Economy is one where we are all working together with the goal of making Britain great.”