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News

Business alum achieves success by taking chances, being relentless


July 2018

Jay Murdock

Farmer School business graduates who start their own businesses find their purpose for the business in a variety of ways.

In Ray Doustdar’s case, it’s because he really didn’t like to take vitamin pills.

“It’s been a hell of a run, and the ride’s about to get even better,” he said.

His career started off in a typical fashion. After graduating with degrees in finance and marketing in 1994, Doustdar got the “dream job” of working at P&G in brand marketing. After a job relocation to Los Angeles made him fall in love with the West Coast, he moved to a position in the entertainment industry, licensing intellectual property at Universal Studios.

Later, his career moved in different directions, from general manager of a boxing team to the co-founder and president of an online dating website. But one day in 2013, hesitating to take a pack of pills because he knew they would make him nauseous, he decided to try something that would end up changing his personal and professional trajectory.

“I thought, ‘Let me crush up these vitamins on the counter and dissolve them in juice. I wonder if that will help my nausea,’” he recalled. “Well, it did! I felt great, felt really good for the next four or five hours.”

When he couldn’t find a liquid vitamin solution that he liked, he decided to make his own.

“Then the next day, you get up and think ‘How do I do this? I don’t know anything about making vitamins! I’m not a chemist, I’m not a nutritionist. How do I make this?’” Doustdar remarked. “That’s where the research process started, and I spent the next 15 months figuring it out.”

His business, BUICED, became fairly successful over time, selling online and through Amazon.com. But in 2017, Doustdar decided to take a chance. “I applied, completely on a whim, for Walmart’s ‘Made in the USA’ program. I went there, I pitched BUICED, I showed the buyer why there was a need in the marketplace,” Doustdar said. “He told me, “You know what, Ray? There’s a need on our shelf for this type of offering. We have a lot of baby boomers who shop Walmart, they have a harder time swallowing pills. We’re going to give you a shot.’ I didn’t know what that meant at the time, but what it turned out to mean is that a year later, you can find BUICED in 3,000 Walmart stores.”

As for the name, Doustdar explained, “I originally set out to create a ‘boost’ for my juice. So I wrote the word ‘juiced’ down on a piece of paper, thought about wanting to create this ‘boost’ product, crossed out the J and added a B, and next thing you know, BUICED was born!”

Doustdar said that going to Miami helped make him the businessman he is today in more than one way. “I thought the business school was such an open, collaborative experience, where I really got to dig into what I found interesting with financing and marketing, which really gave me the foundation to get into the workforce with a solid pedigree,” he pointed out. “Miami is the quintessential college experience. It is set up to allow you to focus on being in college. The socializing aspect was tremendous, kind of molded me into the person that I am.”

He explained that current and future students have a few tasks at hand if they want to succeed after graduation, the first of which is skills. “You have to acquire skillsets. Figure out what type of work you enjoy doing and gather the skills in order to be valuable to an organization or your own business,” Doustdar said.

He said his early jobs at P&G and Universal “gave me the skillset to be able to then take advantage of the Internet generation and the boom of the Internet, which created a new channel of distribution. It has allowed me to launch a complete consumer product and brand as a one-person company.”

“When I graduated from Miami in 1994, there’s no way I could have created BUICED then. There was no way to distribute unless you got into the mainstream retailers, which is incredibly challenging.”

On a similar note, he said, students need to know the things for which they have passion. “Start putting thoughts toward what you enjoy and what you want to contribute to society. That way, you’re not going to waste time by taking jobs just for the sake of taking jobs.”

But above all, Doustdar remarked, students need to be self-driven if they want to be successful, especially as an entrepreneur.

“You just have to be relentless. You have to be absolutely relentless in rallying around what you believe in. Until you find something that you believe in with every ounce of your heart and soul, don’t make the sacrifices that are needed to become an entrepreneur,” he said. “If you figure out what you believe in and are relentless about it, you can rally people around your vision, and there’s nothing more rewarding than that.”

“I went from zero to Walmart, and it’s all happened because I’m just relentless about this, because I believe in it.”

Ray Doustdar and bottle of Buiced