A close look into Ziad Al Najdi’s pioneering journey.
Embracing entrepreneurship is not an easy path to take. But Ziad Al Najdi, inventor of the Nadie product and having his own organic farm project in Riyadh, did not succumb to life’s hardships, and held his ground in the face of adversity.
Growing up, Ziad and his father found their passion in nature. Ziad loved to observe and study God’s creations, whether animals, insects or plants, and discovered a love for learning. “When I reached adolescence, I fell in love with science books. I would often ask my father for cash to buy more books, not candy. I was reading about everything from biology and chemistry to history.”
After his father passed away when he was 14, Ziad was left alone to plan his future. He would sell chickens at a local bird market for money. “Other times, I would sell homemade scientific instruments to students at school. They improved in physics and I got paid. Win-win!” Al Najdi shared. Simultaneously, he started learning how to code.
Being the first member to join a university in his family, Ziad was put under a lot of pressure majoring in finance at the King Fahd University. He struggled with depression while trying to focus in college, but remained determined. “I wanted to do something to channel my emotions more positively; I started learning to play the guitar. It was such a powerful way to express what I feel. Playing guitar saved me,” Ziad shared.
Ziad pursued finance as a career. “My first job was at Ernst and Young as a financial consultant. That exposed me to the world of business. I also got into electronics and designed a system to control my entire room using my voice. I called the system Samantha. She controlled the lights, TV, my calendar, and more. I programmed Samantha almost from scratch, with minor help here and there.”
A few years ago, Ziad was introduced to the Gum Arabic substance at work when he once got a terrible food poisoning. His coworker told him this substance made of snake oil is high in nutrients and does wonders to the human health. At first, Ziad was skeptical. He needed scientific proof.
After conducting a lot of research, he discovered that Gum Arabic did contain nutrients and benefits that no other known natural food has. “Studies revealed many health benefits, starting from colon health to the immune system. Studies also highlighted the benefits for kidney and colon diseases, as well as relieving constipation.” He added, “We had a vision to create an amazing product for the people, and we’d soon name that product ‘Nadie.’ We had to believe in ourselves, our products and brand with every progress.”
“Two colleagues and myself started working on the idea of creating a product that contains high-quality Gum Arabic in very convenient packaging. It had to be clean, organic and most importantly, people should know about it.” Ziad was responsible for the scientific aspect of the project, and together they started learning how parts of the human body works and started conducting every scientific study about the Gum Arabic they could find.
“We went to great lengths trying to source the best quality Gum Arabic in Sudan and tested many samples, often to be disappointed with the quality. We wanted the best, and once we found it, we designed Nadie. It contains Gum Arabic that meets all the standards that were set by the European Union.”
The Nadie is a white powder supplement that is good for multiple usage. You can drink it by dissolving it in water or you can add it onto your foods and drinks, such as in a smoothie or on a salad. Ziad emphasized on how the Nadie can be more beneficial to your health than other drug store supplements as it’s completely organic and contains all natural ingredients.
Ziad then ventured into the world of farming. His lifelong passion with his father finally turned into reality as he now owns an organic farm in Riyadh. Ziad wasn’t a fan of purchasing vegetables from stores as he said that due to picking the vegetables too early, it made them taste bland and poor in nutrients.
“What you find at the supermarkets are modern versions of our ancestor’s vegetables that have been bred to have certain desirable traits, like long shelf lives, a good appearance, heavy production, and pest resistance,” he explained.
“We wanted more people to get their hands on these amazing vegetables. We started to research this further and we bought a farm. It is not easy to plant and grow crops in Riyadh’s weather without the use of pesticides. But we are determined to find a way; we want to do it organically.”
He faced quite a few challenges along the way. “For Nadie, we faced many difficulties in learning how retail works and how to let people know we have something special. Hot weather, strong winds, and salty water were setbacks in the farm; we are working on a method to use solar power to desalinate the water.”
Next up, Ziad is planning to offer more superfoods and bringing the farm to full production with organic dates and heirloom vegetables, and growing 50 or more species of fruit.
Whatsapp: (+966) 0555142365