What was your childhood like? And how did it shape your journey as a person you have become today?
I have always been a decision-maker, even as a kid. At that time it was about what I wanted to study, where I wanted to study or what I liked to wear, who I wanted to be friends with. I have always been a person who does what she feels is right, no matter what the odds are or how difficult it is. I never believed that anything was impossible. It has really helped me become what I am today because I never gave up. I did what I believed in no matter what it took, and still continue to do so.
How was the journey from managing the social media of the dance company you worked in to starting your own company, “The Unknowns” and being your own boss?
It was quite a journey and it was full of opportunities I would say, I never knew I will end up here. I just kept on picking myself up and putting my best no matter what came my way. One thing I always knew was that I will lead from the front no matter which industry I am in and here I am.
You started your journey in technology as a software engineer, which you originally never wanted to pursue. So how did you come around and love it?
I was a professional dancer for 10 great years and that’s what I always wanted to pursue. Dance is not just an art for me, it’s my passion. While taking care of the website and marketing requirements for my dance company, I got this job opportunity at Hogarth (A WPP company). I got the job as a software engineer, which I never wanted to take. However, I never said no to any opportunity, and like many others my family wanted me to have a stable career. So, I gave the interview, got selected, and that’s where my journey in this industry began. Leaving dance was a very big deal for me so I promised myself that I would do the job for 6 months and if it doesn’t feel right I will return to dance. I decided even if I was going to choose this, I was not going to continue in a nine-to-five job forever. I will learn and then start my own agency. Well, interestingly enough after 6 months I was in love with this.
You mentioned in one of your past interviews that your favorite life quote is a song by Avicii, which is “one day you will leave this world behind, so live a life you will remember”. How do you incorporate it into your life in what you do?
Usually while trying to achieve the goal we often forget about why we are doing this and start focusing on the day we achieve our goal. My favorite life quote is a song by Avicii, which is “one day you will leave this world behind, so live a life you will remember”. This line made me realize it’s not the goal that you should focus on but the journey towards it. Every day is important and you should make it worth living. Just don’t live for that one day but live every day.
You created your company with the aim of improving creativity and technologies via communication. How much do you value the importance of communication in your business/personal life and how do you ensure it happens effectively?
To describe my company in short, I would say that’s the foundation of The Unknowns Agency. I am a people person and believe that one should treat your people (i.e. employees) like your family. If you have a good team then only you can have a growing business. I wanted to create a place where people feel free to say what they feel and feel valued because in my industry being creative is a requirement and people can be most creative when they have a sense of freedom and have the right to put their idea or perspective on the table without hesitation. Happy to say that it’s the one of the many great achievements of my life.
Being a woman in business, what are some of the challenges that you have faced when it came to your capability to become a good leader?
My biggest obstacle was being a woman, a young one at that, running a new company. When I entered any room for business, people looked at me before listening to me but I was well prepared for all that. I made sure once they listen to me they end up talking about my skills, knowledge, or what I can bring to the table. I define leadership as parenting. I treat my company and my people like my children. I teach them, protect them, love them, sometimes give them some tough love, and at the same time prepare them to fight with the world and make a name for themselves and the company.
What skills have you learned through your journey which are a must for every woman?
When you enter any room for your business, especially when you are a woman, people will look at you before they will listen to you. Make sure once they have listened to you they end up talking about your skills and knowledge and what you can bring to the table. Also, you have to have a good team to be a successful growing business.
What advice would you like to give to the young people, who are in the process of taking the leap of faith for what they believe in as you beautifully portrayed in your life’s journey?
You being young is a power in itself but you need to find what you have that can turn that into a superpower. Be a people person, treat your people like your family. A good team is indispensable for a successful business.
What are some of your life mantras that you abide by?
I have always believed that if you really want to help people, help them grow. Knowledge and learnings only increase when you share them. So share what you learned on your journey. I did not have anyone to guide me, but I can always help someone else when they find themselves stuck in the same place as I once did