The Anti Jargon & Anti Trends in Media

Namrata Singh, Founder – Dark Horse Network Media

Namrata Singh is a Digital Native since 2005 and has worked with Startups like Pinstorm, Webchutney and Komli in the past along with established companies like Randstad and Colgate. She has been running her own startups from 2009 starting from Antfort to Everymedia and now Dark Horse Network Media plus a Niche Consultancy-Invloed Matrix. She is a Media Industry specialist and loves content, analytics and connecting the dots. She enjoys travel and being involved in the Startup Universe.

She comes from a Defence background and loves to write and tell stories! Her first love is people and emerging formats of narrative. She spends a lot of time in nature and solitude. She is a non culture led media consumer and chooses content very deliberately and not basis ‘what’s in’.

Namrata holds a degree in HR and Law and calls it a curvy instinctive career path – opting for marketing as a career and not the discipline she was trained in! In 2005 when she left her mainstream career to join a startup in Mumbai, she thought virtual marketplaces were the future.It has been that single point belief which she has successfully followed for more than 10 years now.

Along the way her expertise has honed. She also has a huge network of people and has grown to love marketing because integrated communication helps to solve real issues for real people.

‘’Digital marketing is also democratic with no entry barriers, and that to me is the key for the enduring love for the medium’’, she says. She is a Self Taught and Practicing Digital Professional! She has been Self Employed since 2009.

Here are some more insights from Namrata, as shared with the team of ABT.

Tell us about the Journey of DARK HORSE NETWORK MEDIA PRIVATE LIMITED
Dark Horse started off as a Digital Service Provider with focus on Content and Analytics and now we are also Consulting and doing a lot more Strategy. We have been able to evolve by keeping our focus on the Minimum Viable Customer Base for any business. We don’t go after invisible numbers and BIG. We go with Viable Markets and that’s mostly in thousands, lakhs and finite. This common sense, back to basics approach has kept us relevant to current business scenario of mature entrepreneurs who want to affect real people and not invisible fans behind multiple screens.

We have become human and emotions led in our work and are constantly imagining ways to tell meaningful stories as engagement between brands and customers!We have a strong inner compass which really comes handy in the constantly changing world today!

What has been your biggest challenge as a women entrepreneur?
Gender is not really a challenge. Finding my own voice, which is outside of the ‘popular and prevalent’ is. I operate from instincts and feelings along with data.The business world of Logic and Metrics without the intuition is incompleteI know that from experience, but to bring that to fruition in the still ‘male business world’ is hard and not all clients trust you with your experience!

Clients focus on the hard metrics without people first and without any stories and emotions attached to their delivery. That level of inauthenticity is no longer working in an increasingly connected world which demands honesty and care!  Again not as ‘company values’ that you tout as headlines but in daily small actionNurturing is needed. Enabling is still ‘You can’t do without me’!

What is that one milestone in your life that makes you happy and proud?
It’s personal. My nephew’s birth made me very happy. What was also critical was a shift where I decided to stay small and go deeper with each client.Long term relationships only. I also at one point stopped consuming pop culture to find ‘Non Google led’ ideas! That was huge!

Who is your greatest inspiration & why?
My father. He was very intelligent, but in his days as an Army officer Intellect was not the be all end all. His job demanded ‘adherence to rules’ and his mind wanted to run free. I learnt to balance discipline and play along the way looking at his struggles!

If you were to do one thing differently, what would that be?
I would make better partners and I won’t offer my trust and wisdom easily especially to people who don’t value it. I would walk away more!

What would you like to achieve in the next coming years?
Every single day I hope to achieve Moments of Clarity, Inspiration and Joy. Years are not really my thing. This moment is all I care about. This moment to the next moment!

 

Valuing academic enrichment, disseminating knowledge in Architecture

Stephanie N. Gilles, Principal Architect – SNG Designs, Chairman – UAP Emergency Architects -PH

Her career as an architect started early on, even as a child, having developed a natural curiosity on how structures are built. Stephanie remembers observing construction workers lay down the hollow blocks one by one, with the steel reinforcing bars, putting cement mortar after each layer and she found it amazing, how huge edifices were put up by dint of painstaking work and attention to details. She believes that the virtues that matter most in this profession were patience, diligence, industriousness, teamwork, sacrifice and caring for others.

A year after her graduation in Architecture, Stephanie took the Licensure Board Exam and received a scholarship from the German Mission Foundation for a 3-year course on Interdisciplinary Humanistic Studies at the Centro Internazionale di Studi in Italy, where she absorbed the richness of architectural details in the numerous monuments and decorative buildings in Rome, the Eternal City, and other parts of Europe. This was where she developed her fondness for the Renaissance and classical style, which came in handy while designing sacred spaces, and this soon turned out to be one of her areas of specialization: Liturgical Architecture.

To date, Stephanie & her team at SNG Designs have designed dozens of these liturgical structures, ranging from churches to chapels to memorial parks and columbaries.

Later appointed as the Chairman of the UAP Emergency Architects (UAP-EA), her firm SNG Designs recently celebrated the 3rd Founding Anniversary, as the UAP-EA was established a week after the devastating super typhoon Haiyan badly hit the Visayan Region of Tacloban, Samar, Roxas and nearby areas. “I am happy to be involved with this cause, knowing that in my own small way, by disseminating information through talks, lectures and capacity-building seminars, I am contributing to the Build Back Better agenda of our nation” says a proud Stephanie.

Here are more insights from the young Liturgical Architect.

Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
Among the female architects who inspired me is the famous Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Zaha Hadid, whose loss was felt the world over. She had been the first woman to have been bestowed with this prestigious distinction, for her originality and creativity in design. I like her flowing style, and her aggressively modern approach. In the local industry, one of my mentors was Ar. Roger Villarosa, who walked me through the essentials of architectural design, massing, from concepts to schematics to graphic translation. Among the qualities I admire most in him is his humility and being down-to-earth, despite his fame and achievements. In the academe, I look up to Ar. Prosperidad Luis, my first History of Architecture professor in UP. Aside from her successful career as a practitioner, she is fondly remembered as an educator who made us go through the basics of design, tracing the facades of historical structures: St. Peter’s Basilica, St, Paul’s Cathedral, the Colosseum, the pyramids of Egypt, and so on. The exercise made me appreciate the different forms in detail and inspired a sense of awe in aesthetics and harmony.

Tell us more about how did SNG Design Enterprise happen and its reach so far.
Looking back at those early years in practice, I fondly recall working with some of the country’s most respected architects and contractors. Soon after I graduated from the University of the Philippines Diliman, had the sng3opportunity to work with leading professionals in the field such as Ar. Roger SVillarosa, Ar. Edwin Gumila, Ar. Willy Coscolluela. My first project exposure was the Union bank main office renovation in Pasay, a project of W.V. Coscolluela under the guidance of Archt. Edwin Gumila, now the managing partner of Group 3 Design Studio. I then worked under the mentorship of Architects Roger and Roy Villarosa on notable projects such as Shangri-la Hotel in Mandaluyong and Tektite Towers in Ortigas.  Since my postgraduate studies in Italy, I had been travelling the world since: Europe, Asia, America, etc. These experiences have given me exposure to the architecture of different countries which, together with continuous professional education, heavily influence what I am today. Finding my niche in liturgical architecture, I honed my craft while working with Asian Architects, designing small chapels and centers for almost 20 years. I also was a Senior Partner in Pinnacle Design Professionals and helped in the renovation of the Unilever Offices along UN Avenue, Manila, aside from being a design consultant for banks all over the country. The time came when I felt that I could venture on my own and SNG Design Enterprise came to fruition.

What’s your design philosophy?
When it comes to liturgical projects, usually, we study the spirituality behind the organization and then we design sng1according to their parameters, then try to adjust to their preferred style, but giving it a touch of our own rendition, incorporating the principles of liturgical architecture, i.e. Verticality, permanence and iconography, which is the value added to the project. I am also an adherent of divine intervention both in professional practice as well as in everyday life.

My most unforgettable experience was when I was posed a challenge to reconfigure a plan layout to satisfy new zoning regulations. After three days of mulling it over in my head, the solution only came one early morning, at 2am. Taking up from where I had left off before sleeping, I woke up thinking of possible re-arrangements, printed out the plans, and started sketching over until all the necessary areas were relocated. Just like a jigsaw puzzle, everything fell into place! And it quickly dawned on me that it was the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas, to whom I attributed this eureka moment.

Other notable figures to whose intercession I entrust my professional endeavors are Blessed Alvaro del Portillo, a Spanish civil engineer whose beatification I attended last September 2014 in Madrid  and Antoni Gaudi,the designer of Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, whom people fondly call “God’s Architect”.

Tell us about any hallmark project undertaken by you
One of the biggest chapels that we have designed, dedicated to Mary Mother of Hope, is located inside a shopping mall, the Landmark Makati. Our design brief for the Landmark Chapel in Makati (and now in Trinoma) was to have a semblance of the Vatican as the clients wanted mass-goers who could not afford to go to Rome, to experience the Catholic universality in these sacred spaces. And yet this Client preferred a touch of austere simplicitysng2

In the appearance of the sanctuary, only the Crucifix, explaining that it was to help people focus on the essentials, i.e., the tabernacle and the altar, albeit under the neo-classic style. This Chapel has a seating capacity of more than a thousand, and overflows up to 1,500 on weekends. People prefer to attend Mass here due to the solemnity and peaceful observance of the liturgy, with a separate Children’s Room to avoid distractions for the mass-goers.

Tell us about any one milestone that you are proud of.
An achievement I consider a milestone is the privilege of being counted among the 62 ASEAN Architects from the Philippines (AA-PH #57) out of about 37,000 registered licensed Filipino architects. I think that this is a step forward in the process of globalization which fosters competitiveness among professionals included in the ASEAN integration. This title will enable us to practice architecture among the ASEAN countries, of course respecting the laws regulating the profession. It is an honor to be counted among the country’s premier architects as attested to by this recognition.

Did you face any challenges, how did you overcome them?
One of the more challenging projects we have undertaken is the design of a columbary complex within a memorial park, The Sanctuary at Heaven’s Garden, located in Baguio, the summer capital of the Philippines. Being at a high altitude amidst a mountain range, we encountered difficulties especially in the structural aspects of the design, as we had to apply engineering interventions to prevent potential landslides along the slopes. I recall how we went through more than 10 revisions in order to come up with the best scheme for the project. The end result was an aesthetically balanced and terraced structure that blended with the natural topography of the terrain, distributing the floor areas into three to four levels per section cut. Despite its modern space design, we managed to make the building feel warmer with the incorporation of natural stone and rustic finish instead of projecting an icy cold appearance.

If you could do one thing differently, what would that be?
Believing in the importance of research and continuing professional development, I can never over-emphasize the value of academic enrichment and the consequent responsibility of disseminating information and sharing your knowledge. It is true that I managed to finish my Masters in Architecture and a Diploma course in Urban and Regional Planning, but if I had started earlier, perhaps I would have obtained a PhD by now. It is not easy to balance intense studies with dedicated attention to projects, especially now that the projects are increasing in scope and complexity as well as the client base. I can say it is a good problem, but the dream of a doctorate degree is still in my bucket list.

What would you like to achieve in the next 3 years?
I think I would like to continue my work at the United Architects of the Philippines, where I currently hold the position of Chairman of the UAP Emergency Architects and actively organize Capacity Building seminars to foster a culture of disaster-preparedness. Our corporate social outreach involvement has led me to devastated areas such as Tacloban, Iloilo, Bohol & Roxas, assisting in emergency response and organizing seminars to architects on disaster-resilient design.  I wish to continue collaborating with several professionals in the field of planning, addressing the requirements of cities and municipalities such as Comprehensive Land Use Plans with focus on mainstreaming DRR/ CCA, Comprehensive Development Plans, Urban Master Plan, Ecotourism Management Plans, and the like.

I think that my new status as an ASEAN architect is due to the extensive work experience in the Philippines and other parts of Asia that have given me the exposure of working with foreign professionals and providing the competitive edge in the field of architecture and urban planning, gearing towards ASEAN integration and globalization.

The Coffee Connoisseur & Sommelier

Tapaswini Purnesh, Director – Marketing & Promotions at Classic Coffees

Tapaswini has a strong background in culinary sciences and coffee. The former is as a result of her education and interest and the latter as the result of the fact that she comes from a family of coffee planters, with a strong legacy of having grown up around coffee.  She’s also a foodie and a trained chef from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, the most prestigious culinary school in the world from where she did her Diploma.

Tapaswini took over the responsibility of steering the marketing vision of the 150- year –old company to take gourmet coffee to a larger audience in India. Now combining her passion for coffee and food, she’s experimenting with myriad online and offline platforms that promise to change the way Bengalureans (and the rest of her compatriots) drink coffee and dine. Tapaswini Purnesh, heir to the renowned Bengaluru-based Classic Group, which has interests across real estate, hospitality, retail, distribution and coffee. She is a food and beverage aficionado, who is committed to promoting the coffee consumption and appreciation culture in India.

This 5th generation coffee scion combines her culinary knowledge and understanding of flavor patterns with her expertise in brewing techniques to craft coffee that appeal to the Indian palate. Tapaswini travels the world in search of interesting brewing and marketing techniques to promote pure coffee grown in the lush coffee growing regions of India. A frequent visitor to coffee festivals around the world, Tapaswini is also actively involved in promoting the only coffee festival in South India “Coffee Santhe”. In addition to her passion for exploring brews, Tapaswini works on discovering new foods and flavor profiles to create interesting pairings for coffees.
Her professional assignments include Patisserie Internship at Blé Sucré in Paris, Patisserie Internship at the Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore, Co-founded Berries & Barrels, a coffee & wine lounge in Bangalore, Executive Management team member for the gourmet food division of Not Just Wine Cheese, a premium food and alcobev retail chain and Director – Marketing & Promotions for Classic Coffees.

Here are some more insights from Tapaswini, as shared with team ABT.

The legacy & history of coffee business in the family
The legacy of the Devarunda family interests in coffee go back 150 years, when the family nurtured plantations in the Chickmagalur area, which lies in India’s coffee heartland. Subsequent generations took forward the business quite significantly, including getting into consulting on coffee growth practices and gaining a strong foothold in the export sector over the last couple of decades. The family’s holdings have grown significantly to include, today, the premier Harley Estate in Sakleshpur and Kalladevarapura Estate in Chikmagalur. The quality and premium grade of coffees cultivated at our estates is admired the world over and have won several awards at leading international forums recognize specialty coffee. Today, in addition to our coffee cultivation and export operations, the company is actively involved in building and promoting high grade coffees through our own brands for the Indian domestic market.

On transforming the business into a niche in today’s times
There is a growing consciousness and demand for prime grade coffees amongst consumers today. Across the world, people are getting very conscious about the blend, quality of coffees they consume and are focused on experimenting with new blends, brewing methods, pairings and extending their knowledge about coffee in general – a trend that is led by the younger demographic and by South / South East Asia in particular. Through our product innovation, marketing & communications strategies and overall approach to product development & channel building, we are creating offerings and access points which the digital economy customer finds of appeal. For example: rather than promote products based on ingredient profiles (Arabica / Robusta blends), we are moving our product positioning to an easier-to-understand reference (time of day, consumption preference, brewing equipment preference, etc.) to broad-base our customer appeal.

Technology playing a role in enhancing business
Technology has changed our retail strategy quite significantly. Today, we rely quite significantly on e-commerce to create scale & breadth for our customer outreach. This has ensured that we are able to reach a very broad customer base, spread across conventional and non-traditional markets, in a cost-effective manner. Further, technology tools help us ensure that the logistics for order fulfillment are tracked closely – leading to a complete customer experience where the chance of failure is minimized. Technology, in particular digital marketing initiatives, are also helping us easily identify and communicate with the ideal target audiences to help us build our customer bases exponentially.

Challenges faced
The primary challenge in our sector is the lack of awareness about the category and the fact that it involves a basic change in people’s taste and preferences. From being perceived as a luxury and a niche gourmet product category, we have had to convince the Indian consumer about the sheer joy of consuming pure coffee in a brewed format. As part of this, we have also had to aggressively promote the concept of brewing at home. Our approach to addressing this challenge has been to build the right marketing imagery to promote sampling and experimentation; backed by a robust channel strategy to ensure ease of product access. Further, a large part of our marketing outreach is focused on knowledge and awareness building to bust myths around the category – for instance, showcasing through instructional videos, the ease of brewing coffee at home, traditionally considered to be a time-consuming and complicated process.

Most cherished milestone

Some of the cherished milestones achieved personally include graduating from the world’s leading culinary institute and a cafe I founded winning a silver award for best standalone cafe in India. However, my most cherished milestones remain the awards that Classic Coffees wins. We take great pride in ensuring that the quality of our produce at the estates is the highest and that our coffees are continually considered to be the best in our categories. Each time we win an award for our coffees is a reason for pride – this includes the most recent instance of being awarded the Best Robusta in India for the fifth year in a row in 2016 at the Cup of India awards.

On Being a Woman Entrepreneur
I believe that the world is moving towards a completely meritocratic outlook – and that quality of offerings are the sole measure the market evaluates – irrespective of whether the driving force behind it is male or female. Of course, some of the finer aspects inherent in a woman’s personality – eye for detail, focus on perfection, sensitivity towards all stakeholders from customers to team members – do help; but largely, I do honestly believe that we live in great, gender-neutral times.

Goals ahead
My primary focus remains making a success out of the coffee drinking culture in India and helping in building this niche category of domestic consumption, in very exciting macroeconomic environments. Once this milestone is achieved, we do have our eye on entering international markets with branded products; but the primary focus for the short and mid-term is to build and cater to the exponential demand for fine gourmet coffees in India.

Leading Businesses by innovation & collaborative ideas

Elim Chew, Founder – 77th Street

Elim’s first attempt into the retailing turned out to be a huge success in the retail scene. Prior to that, she was in Britain undergoing a hairdressing course and returned to Singapore to open a salon.

In addition to expanding her retail businesses, Elim lent her expertise, experience and time to various youth organisations in Singapore. She co-founded Singapore Street Festival – a platform for showcasing local talents in areas such as performing arts, visual art forms, fashion, entertainment and sports, The Young Entrepreneur Mastery (TYEM) – a non-profit academy that supported youth entrepreneurship and inculcated an entrepreneurial mindset in out-of-school youths. Elim was also a founding member and director of the Social Innovation Park (SIP), a social enterprise incubator which aimed to provide a replicable set of integrated services and resources that would help create a platform to support social entrepreneurs’ business models that advocated societal change. Through this platform, she championed Pop and Talent Hub, the first social enterprise talent development platform in Singapore which gathered talents from social homes, institutions and also professional artists to sell their artworks with the objective of making them self-reliant.

Some of her accolades include the “Most Promising Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” by ASME in 2001, “Mont Blanc Businesswomen Award” in 2002, “Young Woman Achiever Award” by Her World and “Leadership and Mentoring Award” by Research Communications International in 2003. She acknowledged that her first award in 2001 gave her the opportunity to become a youth ambassador in Singapore.

She is a member of City Harvest Church. When key members of the church are charged by CAD she was quoted : “City Harvest has been my family for 21 years and a family comes together in challenging times”. Here are some more insights from the versatile fashion retailer & dynamic entrepreneur.

Who is your greatest inspiration and why?
My greatest inspiration would be my mum who has always been my biggest source of support, and my role model. I still remember when I was in my early twenties, I drank and partied a lot, and always landed myself in a drunkard state, but I was glad my mum was there to talk sense into me and put me back onto the right track. My passion towards giving back is also through the influence from my mum, who has set up a children’s home in Myanmar, seven churches and an elderly home in China, and now helping a whole village in Tanjong Pinang.

Describe the circumstances in which you started 77th Street and your entrepreneurial journey so far.
Since young, I wasn’t very good at academics and usually got punished for doing all the naughty things in school. I always joked around saying that I am the most outstanding student – “outside standing”. After my O’levels, I went to London for my A’Levels, but after a series of events, I decided to pursue a course in hairdressing and upon graduation headed back to Singapore and started my first business – Elim Emanuel hair beauty and training centre.

At that time, I love being dressed up in funky punky street wear apparels and accessories that were trending in London. Many of my customers came up to me and said “I like your jacket! I like your bracelet, can you sell it to me?” And I would sell to them at a profit. This sparked me to bring in these London styles to Singapore, and we managed to open our first 77th Street store – with street wear fashion and accessories at Far East Plaza. At our peak, we had 16 stores islandwide, and also opened a shopping mall in Beijing called 77th Street Plaza.

I enjoy meeting people from all walks of life. Every person I meet has a story to tell – I gained insights from them, and in turn share these stories to the youths or aspiring entrepreneurs that I mentor. Currently, my favourite hobby is FISHING!

How do you feel about closing down the 77th Street business? Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
I will be lying if I say that I don’t feel anything. After all, it’s more than half my life. Since the news of closure was announced a few months ago, it was heart-warming to receive so many kind messages from all kinds of people, who shared their stories and fond memories of 77th Street with me. Indeed, a generation of young people grew up with 77th Street, and I’m glad to be part of this journey.

Tell us more about your latest business ventures and the reasons/ potential for undertaking them.
I sit on more than 20 boards and committees, and always need to sign many documents while I am on-the-go. So one day, I thought, why not create a platform that would allow me to get my documents within 90 minutes so that I can save time and money while maximizing productivity? Hence I got together with a few friends, and we started FastFast!

FastFast also helps to create jobs for people who needed additional income by signing up as a freelance driver. In a way, I “kill two birds with one stone” – making people’s lives easier, and creating employment. We work closely with companies, such as hotels, florists, ecommerce, start ups and even bakeries (mooncakes).

I think FastFast fills a market gap especially for start ups and SMEs which lack the resources and logistics support. Hence, our goal is to fill the gap and provide instant delivery on demand at affordable rates based on distance, anytime, anywhere. It also fills the manpower gap by offering employment, so I feel there’s a lot of potential for FastFast to grow especially with the high cost of living/business and when resources are tight.

Describe the biggest challenge you faced so far and how did you overcome it. Any lessons learnt?
When I first started 77th Street, I was still young, naïve and inexperienced. Some examples would be sourcing for investments to start the business, managing the finances and logistics. One of the most difficult parts is managing people. Once I needed to let a staff go due to his poor performance and attitude; I cried so badly that my mum asked if I was the one who got sacked. Especially when it involves working with external partners, I tend to be too trusting last time and got played out a few times.

All these ups and downs that I faced during these 29 years in business were all part of my learning and growing up, and it’s what made me who I am today. I feel that as long as we don’t give up, and keep learning, every obstacle will make us a better and stronger person.

What would you consider as the highest point in your career so far?
I wouldn’t say “highest point in my career” but rather what makes me feel the greatest sense of satisfaction is the whole journey of 77th Street when I look back. It is no easy feat, but definitely a fulfilling 28 years with a dedicated and supportive team. We revolutionized street wear and fashion as a lifestyle and culture today; we encouraged and inspired youths to dream big and that nothing is impossible. And from the success of 77th Street, I am able to support contribute back to the communities. That is my biggest accomplishment – to see lives being empowered and impacted.

What led you to venture into F&B business?
Even though there were many uncertainties, even with 28 years of retail experience, my siblings and I were well-aware that F&B is a totally different ballgame. Hence, due diligence was done to know more about the industry, consumers’ behaviors etc before plunging into the business. We understand the need to stay relevant, stay connected, keep ourselves up to date with trends and engage with the new generation to know what is in demand.

To catch the hype of Kpop, Korean styles and food, my siblings opened the korean bbq restaurant (I’m KIM Korean BBQ) and with a bit more experience and confidence, we started Kokomama café, and GoroGoro Steamboat & Korean Buffet about one year later. The restaurants focus on good food at affordable prices with elements of hip and fun, targeting the masses – families, students and working adults near the vicinity.

We are always open and looking out for market gaps and opportunities. After all, we need to do well to do good.

You have also started a social enterprise-related project with ElimChewTV. Tell us more about your intention for this and what you hope to achieve.
ElimChewTV – Changemaker Series (www.youtube.com/elimchewtv) is our YouTube Channel that features people from different fields around the world who are making a positive impact to society through their work. I hope that this channel will inspire more people to rise up to be changemakers; empowering and impacting one life at a time. We can all be the change we want to see in this world.

I also launched my book recently – which features my life story, entrepreneurship and philanthropic journey, in hope to inspire others to work towards their dreams. It is on sale at all Popular and Kinokuniya stores. For bulk purchases, you can write to elimchewtv@gmail.com.

What would be your advice to women who wish to become entrepreneurs?
Entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs and there is no gender segregation. Keep meeting and speaking to different people – they will give you fresh perspectives and insights. Setbacks are just part and parcel – it will not be always smooth-sailing. Every hurdle or challenge is a lesson learnt, reflect upon what went wrong and move on – it is all part of your learning process to get better and stronger.

There’s a quote I saw online: Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything. Having the right attitude towards whatever you do be it career, passion or people around you will give you the greatest opportunities and potential to achieve what you want in life. Keep dreaming, keep trying, keep doing –you will reach your goal someday!