1. Tell us about yourself, your family, life in Kuwait, your values, principles in life.
I have graduated from St. Xavier's, Mapuca & got married in Assaga, North Goa. My husband and I have been in the Middle East for many years. We are currently based in Kuwait. My husband is a project manager at The Kuwait Danish Dairy and I have two young, lovely daughters who go to school.
We moved from Kuwait to Dubai and then back to Kuwait. We lived in Salmiya which boasted of a good Goan community.
Today, in this fast moving world, people expect a certain quality of service and therefore following are the core values adopted by the company;
Respect and trust are our key principles. We build respect by operating in a honest, consistent and socially reponsible manner. We would wish to be treated respectfully fourselves and challenge when we see something wrong.
We promise only what we can deliver. We accept our mistakes and and are very clear & transparent in our business dealings
2.When where why and how did Goabizzle start? What are the challenges you faced? How did you overcome them?
During our move from Dubai to Kuwait...I was down in Goa for a visa change. An old friend of mine now settled in the UK came for a visit. We got chatting and she was the one who suggested i get into the real estate business. She gave me a couple of contacts. The next day i called them and made appointments...and started out working on the idea and giving serious thought of what my business model was going to be . I did not even have a website at the time. I I put my ideas accross to some of the developers I met and they were extremely positve and instantly encouraged me. When we returned to Kuwait I started working on my website. I learnt how to create a simple yet informative website from scratch and bought the domain name 'Goabizzle.com' My husband and I came up with the motto,’Efficiency means Business’ and we designed thelogo at home.
From there things did not stop, I had a lot of support from my dearest husband, then of course many builders who are now my friends who believed in my venture, I also appreciate all those who helped me promote my new website on Gulf-Goans, Bahrain Xitt Koddi Newsletter, NRI-Qatar Goans and a lot of other people who have helped me grow and become what i am today. My old website made by me did attract lots and lots of clients - finally after 2 years - we recently decided that Goabizzle desperately needed a face lift - and i contacted Joel owner of a Goa based website designer company to help me out.
Yes I did face a lot of challenges. Competitors used to send threatening emails telling me to stop my business as i was “spoiling” the Goan market and of course their business (as you know unlike other agents - I do not charge the person buying through me any commission). But of course, this did not stop me I just got stronger and wiser.
I remember a time, when a Goan competitor having roots in the UK thought he had marketing rights to a developers property and just to get back to me got my website frozen. Anyway with the kind help of the developer itself my website was restored back after 15 odd days.
So yes launching Goabizzle has not been an easy ride for me. But unfortunately all the hurdles you come across in life just made be more stronger and made even more determined to be successful.
3. Tell us about you’re the secret of your success. your idea of women entrepreneurship, how is women entrepreneurship important for the development of Goa.
Entrepreneurship isn’t a walk in the park for anyone and it can be even more challenging if you are a woman.
First of all women tend not to be taken seriously. It takes a women greater effort to get accepted and to be known for meaning business.
Women are stereotyped to be weak and easy to fool and I have certainly had my share of attempts being made of being cheated. I am sure quite a few attempts have been successful too – but we need to live learn and move on.
In our personal lives, women tend to wear so many different hats that juggling everything becomes very difficult. So, when we add “entrepreneur” and “business owner” into the mix it can be a real challenge. Family support is also one of the keys to have a successful business.
I always wanted to have a business of my own. I also realised having so many real estate agents in the market I had to be innovative and do things differently to carve my niche in the market.
4.Your advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs.
Don’t let go of your dreams.
Believe in your self and put passion into whatever endeavour you plan to undertake.
Efficiency is the need of the hour in today’s business world and if you respect value other’s time and money chances of failure are grim.
Decide what makes you different and go ahead and do it.
5.What is your advice for those aspiring to work abroad?
Working abroad is not as lucrative as it was in the past. There is a lot of competition and rate of inflation back home is not really in sync with the pay rises in any given job out here. So yes - it’s a tough cookie and people aspiring to work in the Middle East need to make sure they have very clear objectives and goals set out right from the start. Gone are the days where you could just show up in any Middle Eastern country, expect to get a job and support 10 people back home.
Education, willingness to learn and motivation is the key. You need to believe in yourself and put passion into whatever endeavor you plan to undertake. If it’s a business you’re trying to set up then in my eyes efficiency is the need of the hour. If one treats each other’s time and money with respect the chances of failure are greatly reduced.
6. How helpful is the Indian Community to those who have recently arrived in the country? Can you share any personal experiences?
Extremely helpful - especially if you reach out to them. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of the Indian community here and the social network which I have painstakingly set up. I would like to take the opportunity to appreciate all those who have helped me promote my new website on Gulf-Goans, Bahrain Xitt Koddi Newsletter, NRI-Qatar Goans and a lot of other people who have helped me grow and become what i am today.
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