TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Neha Anand, Founder, Three Layer Hospitality & Partner at We Idliwale Barroom

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Extraordinary restaurateur and visionary business owner, Neha Anand, Founder and Managing Director of Three Layer Hospitality, has quickly established herself as a forerunner in the hospitality industry, paving the way for aspiring female entrepreneurs. Her dynamic journey exemplifies her power of knowledge, confidence, and determination, proving that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and start something new.

Neha’s accomplishments and accolades speak for themselves as her successful company has launched several national and international food businesses, including Pind Bathinda, Little Jun’s, Jun’s, Circle of Crust, King’s Dairy, Fuji Cream Ice Cream, Mambo Gourmet Pizza, and expansion of We Idliwale and We Baroom, and the recently launched Noor Luxe Collection of villas in Goa.

Neha embarked on her entrepreneurial journey after her children had grown up. She is extremely passionate about championing diversity within the sector, as she has established an annual Women’s Day Lunch at Jun’s as well as co-hosted the first Bold by Veuve Clicquot in Dubai at Jun’s, a program promoting inclusivity and visibility for women in leadership.

Neha Anand’s journey in both Pune and Dubai’s hospitality scene is a testament to her resilience, thirst for knowledge, and inclusive leadership. As a female founder, she has broken barriers and risen to prominence, firmly making her mark on the industry. As Anand’s culinary empire continues to grow, her impact on the industry and beyond is poised to be nothing short of excellence. In an exclusive interview with TheGlitz, Neha Anand talks about her magical journey and more.

Over To Neha Anand

Life Changing Milestones

Becoming a mother. Like many aspiring female entrepreneurs, I chose to wait until my children had grown up before embarking on my entrepreneurial journey, viewing motherhood as invaluable work experience. While some may have started their ventures earlier, I firmly believe that the skills acquired as a parent are just as vital as those honed in the boardroom. This philosophy has driven me to succeed in the fiercely competitive landscape of Dubai’s hospitality scene.

Going from motherhood to business, there has been an evolution. While I still make many of my decisions based on gut instinct, there is more practicality that comes with my decision-making and leadership style. With parenting, there tend to be more emotions involved. As a leader of a company with many sub-companies, I am more practical in all matters.

Finding Buddhism. I turn to my Buddhism practice for grounding. As a practitioner of Nichiren Daishonin’s Buddhism for the past 16 years, a philosophy that upholds the dignity of each human life in the same measure, I believe if you have faith in your purpose or mission, you are ready to take the next step and put that faith to practice. This belief has helped me keep going whenever I am caught in a slump or lack motivation.

Becoming an entrepreneur. I have an immense passion for the field that I have chosen with so much joy – this is the one thing I love. I have always been a passionate person since I was a child and that has not changed at all. Aside from my practice of gratitude, I feel so much joy and am so grateful for the value of creation that I can bring to the business and my teams. There is no greater motivator than seeking out and seeing purpose in every step we are taking at Three Layer Hospitality and watching our team grow and thrive – especially so quickly!

Award-winning brands. One of my flagship restaurants, Jun’s, has achieved significant recognition in the culinary world beginning at just six months old. Securing a place on the prestigious Michelin Guide ME, 50 Best Restaurants list in the Middle East and Africa in both 2023 & 2024, and receiving One Toque in both the 2023 & 2024 Gault & Millau guides further cements my own and my project’s reputation for excellence. Jun’s success is a testament to the passion, dedication, and creativity that I invest in my ventures, partners, and teams.

Circle of Crust has won numerous awards in Pune over the years including the Times Food & Nightlife Awards, Times Hospitality Icon, and Times Food Delivery Icon. A truly iconic brand in the making!

Expanding hospitality portfolio. Aside from traditional F&B, I also am at the helm of Three Layer Hospitality owned and operated state-of-the-art factory, Kings Food Tech produces milk and milk-based products for the Indian market at international standards accepted by global certification boards. Under Kings Food Tech you can find our incredible Kings Ghee as well as our new ice cream brand. Available in 7000 stores across Maharashtra, India, Fuji Cream is quickly becoming a household name for homegrown ice cream brands. With 85 SKUs currently being produced, and 50 SKUs being added by the end of 2024, Fuji Cream is slated to deliver happiness across all of India in 2025. In addition, I have just launched a luxe collection of eleven villas in Goa to make your next escape a luxurious rest.

Setbacks, tackle, learned

The most challenging situation I faced was finding a way to stand out in a sea of options. I realized that simply offering delicious food would not be enough, this had to be the bare minimum. I had to build a brand that resonated with the people of Dubai, create a distinct culinary experience, and provide exceptional customer service.

To overcome this challenge, I took several strategic steps:

  1. Differentiation: I conducted in-depth market research to understand the preferences of the 250 different nationalities that make up the population and ate my way around the city and other cities.
  2. Branding and Marketing: I invested largely in branding and marketing efforts to create a strong and memorable brand identity. This included distinct brand assets, a compelling story, and an online presence that perfectly showcased our offerings.
  3. Networking and Collaboration: I actively engaged with other entrepreneurs in the food industry in Dubai. Building relationships and collaborating with like-minded individuals allowed me to tap into their knowledge and experiences.
  4. Resilience: As a business leader, I had to remain resilient and adaptable. The competitive nature of the food industry in Dubai meant that I faced setbacks and challenges along the way. However, I learned to embrace these challenges as opportunities for growth and innovation.

This experience taught me a great deal about myself as a person and a business leader. It showed me that I possess the determination to overcome obstacles, even in the face of fierce competition. I learned the importance of staying focused on my goals while being flexible. Building a successful venture in Dubai’s food industry has reinforced my belief in the power of perseverance and the value of continuous learning.

Three qualities that make you who you are today

  1. Value creating
  2. Ethical
  3. Courageous, bold

The people who have been the wind beneath your wings

Without a doubt, my family! We are an incredibly tight-knit team cheering each other on and pushing each other to grow in ways we thought were impossible.

First and foremost, my mother. Growing up in a small town, I had big dreams and those were supported with unwavering love and encouragement from my mother. Till date, my mother remains my biggest pillar of support and my biggest cheerleader.

My husband, Kartik, encouraged me to forge my path after my children had left the home to further their studies and helped me find clarity on direction and strategy to execute this at my highest potential. He remains my sounding board and entrepreneurial compass.

My children. They are my “why”. They motivate me to do better, be better, and to achieve my greatest dreams. I will always face challenges for no reason other than to show my children that we can achieve anything through hard work and faith. They applaud the loudest at each of my successes and nothing will ever replace that feeling of making my children proud.

A quote to define you

Rumi’s words have always resonated deeply with me. “Only from the heart can you touch the sky.” It’s a reminder that the greatest heights we can reach, the truest experiences of joy and fulfillment, stem from the depths of our being. Our intellect may guide us, but the heart propels us upward, toward the infinite expanse of possibility.

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