One weekday morning, I accidentally gatecrashed Nadia Nasimuddin’s food tasting session at Dotty’s Pastries and Coffee. I had turned up at our brunch interview unaware that she was reviewing the cafe's latest menu with her team.
“You must have this! Tell me what you think!” she said enthusiastically while scooping funnel cake and cream cheese ice cream on a plate for me.
Once she was satisfied that I was fed, she turned her attention back to the spreadsheets of data in front of her and effectively switched from bubbly to business-like in a flash.
The youngest daughter of Tan Sri SM Nasimuddin and Puan Sri Zaleha Ismail, Nadia stepped into the limelight during her late 20s to continue her father’s legacy.
Aside from overseeing the conglomerate’s F&B businesses, Nadia is also the brainchild behind Portluxe, an online platform for buying and selling authentic pre-owned fashion luxury branded items.
In addition to the above, she is also a devoted wife to Hamzah Alang Shah and hands-on mother to toddler son Aidan and newborn daughter Tahlia.
What is your secret to getting things done at work?
“I think it is having the right support for work and family. At work, I have a good team who are dedicated in helping me execute my vision, especially my sister Diana. It’s great to have her with me to share the calories during food tastings.”
What about your brothers? Do they weigh in during food tastings too?
“Yes, they do sit in with us occasionally during big launches and openings and share their ideas when they can. But mostly they trust and leave things to Diana and me.”
One of your brothers told me that you have a great eye for details. After watching you in action at the food review session today, I have to agree. What do you think?
“When you are in the F&B industry, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes in operations: the menu planning, the presentation, service and so much more. You need to look into the tiniest of detail that others may miss.”
But all work and no play isn’t the way to go, right?
“Yes! I am actually quite adventurous by nature. That’s why I travel overseas regularly to experience food and dining concepts from other countries and cultures. Being detailed is not enough because F&B is still rooted in lifestyle.Travelling opens up my eyes. I always take note of new ideas and experiences from my travels and keep them in reference for the business.”
How do you balance work and motherhood?
“Although I have help with them, I choose to be hands on with my kids every day. Above all, I am so grateful to have my husband and best friend Hamzah, who is always ready to step in when I need it.”
Brought to you by Hublot
Photography: Allan Casal and Shaffiq Farhan
Hair: Kay Tuan from Centro Hair Salon
Makeup: Jean Cheah and Fibiee Liew using Decorté
Location: Hotel Stripes Kuala Lumpur