Many entrepreneurs will have found themselves at some point in their previous lives thinking “there’s got to be more to life.” Though some people are born knowing they want to be entrepreneurs and go for it, whilst others feel the entrepreneurial inclination but go through the motions of discovering this whilst employed by someone else. Turns out, some people then make the switch to being their own boss, whilst others stay “intra”preneurs.

Zoya has gone through this journey. In fact, she started off in banking in London at the prestigious Goldman Sachs. Armed with a techy/mathsy background, project management seemed to come naturally. Managing people and deadlines is not for the light-hearted, after all.
However, being in a numbers-driven environment, Zoya realized that her creative side was being suppressed — a little too much. And so, she made a career shift! She decided to move into marketing to give that left side of her brain some tender loving care.

Now, as personal commitments come into play in people’s lives, Zoya found herself moving to Pakistan, where she’s ethnically from, due to family reasons. Whilst there, away from the fast- paced London corporate scene, she was given the opportunity to try something new.

This “something new” stemmed from a personal problem she faced, as well as from passion. She was dearly missing the traditional breakfast staples that she grew up in Switzerland, mostly granola and yogurt. Not only did Pakistan grocery stores not offer this so availably, but the versions that Zoya could get her hands on were sugary and just not as tasty. Yearning for a taste of home and curious to tap into her passion for creating food, Zoya decided to make her own! In addition to nailing down the recipes, Zoya applied her marketing savviness to the branding and packaging, and decided to productize her goodies to sell and share with others under the name “No Whey Yogurt.”

And… it was a hit! Both her granola and yogurt were flying off the shelves, so much so that Zoya realized that a business could be made out of the demand. And so she went on to hire staff who could support her with customer service, sales, and distribution.

But, alas, having grown up in Europe, Zoya could not find herself staying in Pakistan for so long, in spite of the ethnic connection. And so, she moved to Dubai, where she could be in a cultural environment as close as possible to London, whilst balancing her proximity to Pakistan.

Leaving No Whey Yogurt away from sight, but still operating, Zoya decided to rejoin a marketing firm when she moved, which is Haus of Hendricks (based in The Co-Dubai). However, watching her business from afar made her realize that she, in fact, missed being at the heart of entrepreneurship — not to mention her passion for cooking! And so, she decided to get back into it and is currently exploring how she can expand No Whey Yogurt to Dubai, as well as dabble into wider culinary services. Though she doesn’t know her exact path quite yet, she’s excited about the prospects of exploring what options there are in Dubai to tap into.

Zoya is of the opinion that when moving to Dubai, immersing yourself in a community (such as the one at The Co-Dubai) is key to opening professional doors. And so, next time you spot her at a networking event in the community spaces, please go over to say hello, and ask her how you can try some of her yummy granola!