Entrepreneurial profile : Marie-Josée Richer of PRANAJune 14, 2016
Promote wholesome living through good nutrition – this is what PRANA pursues. At the head of the company, Marie-Josée Richer strives to redefine the corporate landscape and the western consumerism by offering certified organic and vegan products.
At a young age, Marie-Josée developed a strong interest for recipe books and culinary TV shows. Already eager to adopt healthy and responsible eating, at only 12 she decides to only drink water and subtract certain foods from her daily diet. Also qualifying herself as ‘’difficult’’, she took pleasure in cooking family meals and developing a daily and conscientious relationship with food.
After completing studies in biochemistry and physiotherapy she took off for Asia to experience five years of various healthy diets that allowed her to fully understand the impact of her nutritional choices on a daily basis, but also on the environment. Back in Quebec, the now completely transformed food landscape appears to her as affected by poor quality products found on supermarket shelves.
Her spouse and her then performed several field studies to officially launch PRANA in 2005. Armed with a self-acquired experience, they choose to lead their decisions as to set up a progressive corporate culture. They opt fort a triple bottom line approach (people – planet – profit) that will continuously guide their actions and business philosophy. Ultimately, the goal is to have a positive net impact: what PRANA uses, is given back twofold.
Since its creation, PRANA’s activities have contributed to the emergence of organic and vegan sections in grocery stores across Canada. Also, the company has been awarded B Corporation certification, an initiative that aims to recognize the efforts of companies to address both social and environmental issues in their corporate practices. This platform, recognized by consumers, especially allows PRANA to periodically compare its results and to ensure continued innovation by effectively identifying the elements that can lead to improvement. According to Marie-Josée, this initiative makes it possible for her to create a corporate culture highly praised among employees.
In 2017, PRANA aims to launch a new product line of healthy indulgence products. Meanwhile, and still in the hopes of bringing significant and positive changes to the western culture, the company wants to establish social and environmental programs that will serve to raise awareness on the impacts of food choices. By workshops exposing different approaches that allow a company to be more responsible, PRANA wishes to inspire many entrepreneurs and managers to join conscious capitalism.
Marie-Josée in a few words
First thing you do in the morning?
I have three children, so I embrace the morning routine. I take care of breakfast and lunches.
Do you have breakfast?
Not really, mostly by lack of time. I often have smoothies and I try to drink a glass of water with lemon every morning.
Your favourite breakfast?
One word to describe you?
What do you do on your free time?
I spend time with my family and friends. I undertake some personal projects too, on the side.
Everything: the people around me who are super inspiring, travelling, companies and brands in which I have an interest.
Any advice for entrepreneurs?
Make sure you know why you do what you do, think about the real purpose of your project. Be driven, don’t be afraid to follow your intuition, do what you love and stay authentic. It’s important to be well surrounded, too, in order to be able to make your dream exponential.