Elena Shifrina, founder of BioFoodLab
IN RUBRIC "BUSINESS" we introduce readers to women of different professions and hobbies that we like or are simply interested in. In this issue is the founder of the BioFoodLab project for the production of Bite natural snack bars, Elena Shifrina.
I spent my childhood in the Krasnodar Territory, in Novorossiysk, in a very happy family. Dad was the head of the courier service, and mom was the pharmacist. They love each other terribly and never leave for more than four days. Even now they call back ten times a day, and if we talk about family support, then my brother and I always received it in full. For example, when I went to enter the budget department, but did not enter and decided to earn money, working as a model in Paris and London, my parents decided that I did everything right, although they could not help me financially.
I received my first business education at Regent's Business School London, and upon my return to Russia I worked in the oil industry. Although the income from working as a model was relatively higher than that in the oil industry, I really did not want to return to Europe and decided to get an MBA here in Skolkovo. Immediately I met my future husband. A year ago, we had a daughter.
Children change their attitudes very much. You automatically change some dietary habits, learn to look after yourself and your health. Killing about their weight is absolutely meaningless, and I realized that it all depends on a certain choice in life, which, most likely, needs to be made. It is not necessary to forbid everything to yourself and to give up everything in a row - a woman is more than weight and appearance.
When I studied at Skolkovo, then in the last year we had a module dedicated to startups. There we were told about the wildly popular and high-end trend in the West - healthy food. This is how the idea of healthy food was born - that you can create a product that will be simple, useful and very tasty. I decided this: OK, if I manage to create an absolutely natural product without preservatives, pleasant to the taste, then good, if not - I'll move on. When we began to look at the research of taste sensations and habits of people from different countries, it turned out that the people of Russia are big sweet-toes. Therefore, we came up with a bar that is still sweet, but there is no sugar in it.
If you give the same task to a man and a woman, then after several unsuccessful attempts, the man will say: "Well, to hell with it!"
If we talk about food, I like Russian cuisine, we have a lot of healthy and delicious dishes. The problem is that the taste habits are caused by the climate - in spring and winter it is really impossible to find natural products. I myself am not a vegetarian in the full sense of the word, as I eat fish. But I really can't eat meat - I am very sorry for the animals. My daily diet is based on buckwheat cereal and soy milk. And, of course, candy bars.
I really like working with women. They look at the workflow in a completely different way and solve problems - somehow deeper, perhaps, getting to the bottom of the essence. If you give the same task to a man and a woman, then after several unsuccessful attempts, the man will say: "Well, to hell with it!" A woman will always look for the cause. They really changed and became more influential, although we have the concept of "female worker" existed and respected since the days of the Soviet Union. Now they just became riskier.
In Russia, failures are very painful, both ours and those of others, and in talking about start-ups you hear more about failures. But there are a lot of reasons to rejoice. According to statistics, from 5 to 12% of the launched startups come to success - this is a huge number. Funds that sponsor a new business are much more interested in those who managed to fail once or twice - it’s customary to admire mistakes. Of course, everything is wrong with us.
From business, I made the following: you need to include logic and common sense in time. We are always looking for some workarounds and loopholes, although there is an obvious and simple solution, but it just does not occur to us. I recently met a very influential person and wanted to ask him for another person’s contact, suggesting that he has one. And this man says to me: "Why are you wasting my time?" - we sit down and start looking for contacts on the Internet together. If you need someone, do not look for contacts and contacts through friends. Any person can call and meet him, with any person you can negotiate. If you want to build a successful business, then in Russia there are a lot of prospects - just roll up your sleeves and work.
Wonderzine thanks Fotofaktura for the help in filming.