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Friday, July 12, 2024

From Animal Lover to Industry Leader: Inspiring Veterinary Journey Of Nada Al Balushi

In this exclusive interview, we delve into the remarkable journey of Nada Al Balushi, the Practice Manager and Owner of Muscat Veterinary Center (MVC). With a profound passion for animal welfare and a strong commitment to responsible pet ownership, Nada’s career has been marked by an unwavering dedication to improving the lives of animals and their human companions.

As a visionary leader in the Omani veterinary field, Nada shares her insights, experiences, and the valuable lessons she’s learned over her more than nine years in the industry. From the importance of continuous learning to the vital role of client education and communication, Nada provides invaluable guidance for both aspiring professionals and seasoned experts in the dynamic world of veterinary care. Join us as we explore her inspiring journey and her vision for the future of MVC and the industry at large.

Could you share a brief overview of your career journey, including key milestones and transitions?

I grew up as an animal lover at heart and a believer in responsible pet ownership. I have always advocated for animal welfare and wanted to rescue every puppy, kitten, and critter that I had ever encountered on the streets of Muscat. As I grew older, I made it my life’s goal to work in the veterinary field.

Immediately after graduating from university, I secured a position at the same university as a veterinary technician in the Veterinary-Histopathology laboratory. I thoroughly enjoyed working with veterinary technology students as it allowed me to share my passion for animals with them.

Nada Al Balushi

However, after almost a year and a half of working as a teaching assistant in the lab, I felt that I had not yet fulfilled my dream of improving animals’ lives. It was clear that I needed to take a different path. I made the difficult decision to resign from my job at the university and, with the support of my husband and family, established my own veterinary center.

Muscat Veterinary Center was founded in late 2016 with the aim of providing high-quality veterinary services in a relatively young market, competing with only a handful of other small animal clinics. After establishing MVC, I realized that I faced an important decision: I could either work ON the business or IN the business, but attempting to do both simultaneously was not conducive to success.

Recognizing that MVC needed my full commitment to manage it and ensure the company’s vision was clear to the ever-growing team, I decided to step down from my role as a vet tech and focused on being a practice manager. This strategic move allowed me to become the leader that the company required and enabled me to concentrate on improving and developing the veterinary team.

How has your education influenced your career choices and success in this industry?

I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Veterinary Technology from Sultan Qaboos University and a post-graduate certificate in Veterinary Business Management from the University of Liverpool. I continually focus on developing my skills by taking relevant courses and attending industry-related seminars.

My undergraduate education provided me with a strong foundation to kick-start my career in the veterinary field. It equipped me with the essential knowledge and skills needed to understand the specific requirements of my business.

When I decided to manage and lead my own practice, I recognized the need to develop my managerial skills. My post-graduate degree provided me with the necessary leadership skills and a deeper understanding of the business aspect of the veterinary industry. It helped me steer the company in the right direction and become the leader my team needed.

Continuous education has also allowed me to position myself appropriately within the local veterinary industry. Studying alongside like-minded, diligent individuals has empowered me to connect with similar professionals in the field and expand my professional network further.

How do you tackle challenges in your field amidst changing market dynamics and technological advancements?

I believe that the company can overcome any challenge with the right people on board. Therefore, it is essential that the team is consistently motivated and encouraged to further develop themselves to adapt to the ever-changing market. For example, staying up to date with Continuing Education (CE) programs and engaging with like-minded individuals in my network has enabled me to stay informed about market changes and prepare my team to address these challenges effectively. Additionally, I find it highly beneficial to be active on apps such as LinkedIn and others, as they allow us to stay updated in our field.

How do you ensure your company remains adaptable to emerging trends and technologies?

Nada Al Balushi

By ensuring that every team member, especially the veterinarians, is adequately motivated to grow and improve. As a leader, it is crucial to ensure that each employee is eager to learn and make continuous progress. Maintaining this mindset will enable them to adapt to industry changes, stay updated with the latest medical advancements in the veterinary field, and embrace the necessity for ongoing improvement and enhancement.

What are your future plans or goals for your career and company?

I aspire to become a leader in the Omani veterinary field and make a positive change in the industry by advocating for high standards of care for all animals. My goal is to ensure that the community not only lives in good harmony with their pets but also understands the role of the veterinary team as not only animal health professionals but also promoters of true human-animal bond ethics.

What valuable lessons have you learned throughout your career?

Having been in the veterinary industry for more than 9 years now, I have learned that this field is constantly evolving, and one must be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to effectively address and adapt to these changes. I have also come to understand that having a vision and strategically planning every move can significantly enhance the likelihood of success, minimize losses, and offer a better opportunity to achieve significant milestones in my career.

How do you differentiate your services from competitors in the current market?

MVC truly believes in engaging closely with its clients and ensuring that every pet owner is well-informed about their pet’s needs. We prioritize client education and communication as a key element in our mission to create better-informed and empowered pet parents. I strongly believe that doing so will lead to happier and healthier pets that thrive in a dedicated and caring environment.

How has your company effectively navigated and capitalized on emerging global market trends or shifts in consumer behavior?

With the increasing number of pet owners who want to become more engaged in their pet’s health, I constantly strive to understand today’s customer needs. Today’s pet owners are more informed about their pet’s health, and I recognize that this new generation of pet owners expects more from veterinarians nowadays, thanks to easier access to information. Because of this, I believe that veterinary practices must offer more to their clients today than ever before.

What are the most important qualities or skills you believe beginners should cultivate in order to thrive in this industry? we asked Nada Al Balushi

Experience, experience, experience! I cannot emphasize the importance of getting as much experience as possible in this field. The veterinary industry is constantly evolving and being in it requires an individual that strives to learn and aims for growth regularly. Being goal-oriented is also vital as it allows you to stay on the right path and focus on your original mission objectives.

Connect with Nada Al Balushi on LinkedIn

Find Muscat Veterinary Center on LinkedIn.

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