Zeynep Turudi left Computer Science Engineering degree at Coventry University to found her own company in 2003 and Truede Ltd. was born, now exporting to 17 countries.
Turudi was invited by US Embassy to participate as part of a special IVLP International Visitor Leadership Programme, ‘A New Beginning Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation.’ with 32 business delegates from 32 countries in 2011. President Obama announced this special initiative at the April 2010 Summit on Entrepreneurship in Washington, D.C. In recognition of entrepreneurship as a driver of job creation and economic growth, this initiative builds ties between American entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs around the Globe.
Turudi is committed to supporting the efforts of fellow female entrepreneurs worldwide. She served as a speaker in several conferences empowering women entrepreneurship including at the International Women’s Entrepreneurs’ Forum (IWEF) where she also is a Board member and one of the project’s advisors.
More About Me:
Serial entrepreneur Zeynep Turudi saw a gap in the market
for high quality Turkish Delight and her first business was born.
How her entrepreneurial journey and how it all began.
Tell us about your background?
I tried studying Computer Science Engineering :) because I knew the world will be all about internet and technology. Yet I failed to sit in a lecture room – I did and could not handle being told what to do. I got through a very tough management programme, to run a department store management training programme, where I had the experience to lead a team and a department. With the team, I always referred to “Our to do list” for the day rather than “their to do list”, and whichever department I was in, we would always achieved our sales targets. Then, after 12 departments of training, I was offered a great job but refused it because I still had an area manager to answer to.
Tell us about your business Truede and what inspired you to launch it?
With Turkish roots, my parents always brought real Turkish Delight back to the UK to give to all our friends and neighbours. And so I decided to research the UK market to see if there was a gap in the market for a quality Turkish Delight brand, which of course there was. I then spoke to a couple of well-established and well-known manufacturers in Turkey who would supply Turkish Delight at our required standards. We re – innovated Turkish delight by going back 500 years on how it was made originally, we re-designed the packaging and ingredients suitable for our targeted market, slowly marketed the brand in the UK and also added a few other chocolate & now Roasted Chickpeas snacks products from suppliers. It was a success!
What has been the most exciting part of launching the business?
Launching our own Luxury TRUEDE confectionery brand internationally.
What has been the most challenging part of the business so far and how did you overcome it?
Cash-flow was the most challenging part. Banks do not believe in you or your business plan and I don’t have the ability to draw my business plans on paper – it’s all in my head. I therefore sold our dream summer house to overcome the problem!
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?
My parents… They ran a business in London when they hardly knew any English!
What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who are starting out today?
Believe in yourself, conduct market research in your field, check your pricing and don’t be afraid of failing… you succeed quicker when you’ve failed!
When launching a new food brand, what are three things that you think an entrepreneur must do?
Make sure you have the right packaging for the target market, the right information on the packaging and include all claims on the packaging e.g vegan, natural, gluten free, gm free etc. And get your pricing right.
What are your plans for the future? I’ll follow my instincts, doing whatever makes me happy and excited.
When you look back on your life, what would you like to be remembered for?
If you could be stuck in an elevator with anybody, who would it be?
I think it would be my children – they always inspire me. And if there was another, it would have to be Richard Branson!