NAME: Erika Blazeviciute Doyle
INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @erika_blazeviciute_doyle / @drinkdrystore
JOB TITLE: Founder/Managing Director
MOVED TO THE UAE IN: April 2019
A self-confessed health freak, mother of three girls, and the champion of the zero-alcohol revolution in the UAE, Erika is proud to be the driving force behind the UAE’s first and only premium non-alcoholic drinks marketplace, Drink Dry. Alongside her professional expertise, Erika holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History and Politics from the University of Nottingham.
The journey and foundation of Drink Dry was seeded in 2015 when Erika decided to give up alcohol as she was keen on starting a family of her own. After relocating to the UAE in 2019, she found there was a gap in the market for non-alcoholic drinks in the region and as such, Drink Dry was born. The one stop shop caters to those wanting to either reduce or eliminate their alcohol intake and indulge in a variety of premium non-alcoholic hops and grapes, spirits and cocktails. What started as an e-store, is now a firm mainstay in the retail and hospitality sector across the UAE. People and businesses alike love the premium range of non-alcoholic drinks offered by Drink Dry.
What does her day look like...
7AM - I am a mother of three little girls so the whole house is usually awake by 6am and we are out the door just after 7 am for nursery and school drop offs. I am in the office and at my desk by around 8am with a cup of coffee going through yesterday’s emails. Majority of our suppliers are Europe based so there is always plenty to catch up on.
10AM - The first half of the day for me is always set aside for proof reading and approving various pieces of work from the team. My 10 -12pm slot would usually be filled with marketing, sales, finances, website or simply admin tasks. The most exciting but equally the most challenging part of my job is switching from one thing to the other. I think most people specialise in one specific area in their job and most tasks that they do throughout the day would be centred around that. As the Founder of a start up business, I have to wear many different hats at the same time. I have discovered that the key to success here is to surround myself with the best people in a specific area of expertise and try to avoid any micro management, always concentrate on the bigger picture and let people do their job.
12NOON - After a quick bite to eat, every day I spend at least one hour connecting with our customers via email or Whatsapp. Most of our customers have my direct number and regularly message me to ask for recommendations or share their feedback, for the business that is mainly focused on the end consumer experience it is vital for me to know my customers, their needs, their likes and their dislikes. I love checking our social media channels and getting a better understanding of our customer demographics. If I have any time left, I would indulge myself into reading various reports and new information published from our sector. You must always be a step ahead and know the trends.
2PM - This is my prime time for local face to face meetings – it can be with local retailers, suppliers or Food & Beverage professionals from the hospitality industry. We have a fantastic team of sales people out there in the market telling the world about our non-alcoholic drinks range and they all know that I am on hand to help close any deals if required. I am a very sociable person and therefore immensely enjoy the opportunity to share my knowledge about the Zero Alcohol drinks category and see how we can help our hospitality partners to improve their beverage offering.
4PM - At round 4pm, I usually start my round of virtual meetings with UK and European suppliers. This is the part I most enjoy as I get to learn first hand what is coming next, any new innovations in the pipeline – basically all the trade secrets! We have really strong relationships with our Brand Principles, they trust us and we trust them so even the most difficult conversations always end on a positive note.
I have an alarm set on my phone which encourages me to leave the office at 5pm to ensure I am home in time to put my children to bed. I immensely enjoy my work and I love the people I work with but it is important to keep that work-life balance. I also encourage the rest of the team to go home on time.
8PM - I am a results driven person so always aim to finish all my daily jobs on that same day so more often than not you will find me with my laptop on my lap in the evening.