Tracy Batta is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Smoothie Express Limited, Nigeria. She is a passionate entrepreneur, with a sterling 6-year experience in business building. Tracy was recognized on the Forbes Africa 30 under 30, 2020 list. Recognised on Business Day’s Top100 Fastest Growing SMEs in Nigeria list. She is a former Guardian NG contributor on Small Business (both print and online), she contributed majorly in 2018 & 2019. She has made remarkable strides in business and nation-building. Tracy is married to Samuel and together, they have a daughter, Brielle.
Smoothie Express is a company focused on helping individuals achieve their health and fitness goals — how did the journey start?
The Smoothie Express journey started in 2014. I was on a Smoothie detox diet when I realized the hassles of making my own smoothies and in time for work. I quickly gathered, it wasn’t peculiar to myself and there must have been more professionals trying to eat healthier but facing the same challenges. I called up my friend, and now Smoothie Express Co-Founder & COO, Omowunmi Akande and we talked about starting up a healthy food & beverage company. A few months later, we came up with Smoothie Express and have grown it to what it is today.
How did you know that this was what you wanted to do? That you wanted to make this level of impact?
I always admired my mother’s business acumen (God rest her beautiful soul) and had an attraction towards entrepreneurship. Subsequently, I realized fulfilment from the fruition of Smoothie Express and the impact on society.
Let’s backtrack a little bit — who is Tracy Batta — and what makes her tick?
Tracy Batta is a Wife, Mum, Entrepreneur, Forbes Africa 30under30 2020 lister, BusinessDay’s Top100 Fastest Growing SME and former GuardianNg Contributor. Tracy Batta does her quota of good in the world, by; helping people live a healthier and active lifestyle, empowering her team and other businesses. The undiluted passion to solve a diversity of problems in the health, lifestyle and society at large, keeps me inspired.
We imagine that there’ve been highs and lows. What are the significant milestones and challenges you have encountered in your entrepreneurial journey?
Opening up Smoothie Express Lekki & Yaba stores has been one of the major highlights for me as an entrepreneur. Knowing a business that started out in a small house kitchen, has grown to have 4 locations around Lagos where it serves customers. Fundraising as female entrepreneurs was a major challenge we faced in business.
And what are the major lessons you’ve learned being an entrepreneur?
That challenge will always come, we just have to be adaptive and resilient all the way.
Do you think that there are challenges that are specific to female entrepreneurs?
Yes! I have mentioned over time, the difficulty of raising funds in an all-female owned company. It comes with the mythos that women will move on from their businesses when the pressure of raising a family comes.
Name 3 women who inspire and motivate you?
Bella Disu, Bukky George and Kamala Harris.
Now for some more personal stuff — what books are you reading now, and what music do you have on your playlist?
‘Pour Your Heart Into It’ by Howard Schultz and the Bible. I have a mix of Afrobeats Hits playlists for workout and Gospel music playlists for worship.
What does self-care mean to you, and what three things do you do to unwind?
Selfcare is really taking time to prioritize my well being over family, work and everything in between for me. To unwind most times, it’s catching up on a good TV series on Netflix, other times I play Chess online to clear out my mind and occasionally, it’s a glass of wine and a decent book.
If you had an intention or wish for 2021, what would it be?
Just one thing! For the COVID-19 pandemic to be over.
The Lady Boss Series is a weekly interview series that highlights the achievements and entrepreneurial journeys of African female entrepreneurs. The idea is to showcase the Leading Ladies who are transforming Africa and the African narrative through enterprise and business.
It is an offshoot of Leading Ladies Africa, a non-profit that promotes leadership, inclusion and diversity for women of African descent.
If you know any kick-ass women of African Descent doing phenomenal things in enterprise, email firstname.lastname@example.org, and she could possibly be featured.