Win, win, win – the Darshana effect
Name: Darshana Ubl
Years in business: 10 years in property investing,
8 years in business leadership
Specialty: ‘I’m in a business of helping small businesses thrive’
Key to success: Triple win ™
(win for the business, win for the client and a win for the ecosystem – refer to Darshana’s book “Triple Win” for details on this methodology)
Greatest asset: IP
For the record, Darshana Ubl is one person.
Lovely to talk to, a kind spirit, a loving wife, shrewd investor, keynote speaker and a proficient business woman with an entrepreneurial mind. She has a personality of a she-wolf: nurturing and caring, but stands her ground, if need be.
When I met her, I experienced her kindness and humour first. Then, as the conversation progressed, I knew I had better pay attention, for the fear of missing out. But that’s just it, this worry was futile. She has an ability of making sure each conversation is a win-win situation. Actually, a win-win-win… but more about this later.
I’ve just realised that what I am about to write may feel as if I am developing a crush. You know what, I am – on a professional level. To me, Darshana is as easy to look up to as she is difficult not to be written about in superlatives.
It is about freedom, independence and individuality. No society assures you will be able to enjoy them, even when lawfully guaranteed. There are sociological and economical aspects to be considered and there may be barriers to overcome. Above it all there is also a matter of choice. Darshana Ubl made up her mind early on – whatever choices she was to make in life, they would always be her own.
In the culture she grew up in, that meant gaining financial independence. Even if your family was well situated, she had to venture out to make a name of yourself, through a career or such to be able to make life’s important decisions.
We are the sum of our experiences
At Uni she already had other jobs, working in customer service, which involved night shifts – she definitely knows both sides of the counter. Later, while working as a radio jockey she learned from her producer that ‘there is a business side to her and she should not limit herself to being a talent’. She didn’t.
Next step was key account management that truly developed her understanding of the commercial world. MediaCorp TV– that was a dive in the deep end. She learnt how the Chinese did business and how big companies marketed their products via promotions and advertising on TV. After that she joined an event company where she gained the in-depth understanding of the ‘pull’ methodology and value creation potential in comparison to forceful selling. It was intense and powerful experience and she became the general manager within the 6 months. There was travel, profitability, routes to market, venture development and on top of that international relationships and business.
Then she moved to London for even more business this time on her own terms. She noticed a niche in the market and created a group buying website excelling in customer service. This was sold during a period of industry consolidation. Next she took up the challenge of being the CEO of Entrevo for yet again more business and more people.
A beautiful and colourful journey from learning about business to being able to advise others how to thrive – it was and is even more now about the ‘People’.
I ask her whether she defines herself as a businesswoman more than an entrepreneur. The answer is ‘a businesswoman with an entrepreneurial approach and philosophy’. Someone who understands the importance of creating new possibilities, development, idea generation as well as appreciates the strive and challenges of being focused on one business and making it grow by developing systems, funding, teams and leadership.
“When I first got into business I thought it was about being your own boss. But, to be good in business you need to understand it’s about helping others. Understanding your clientele. And what you soon realise in business is that you don’t have one boss, but you are answerable to many people such as your clients, share holders, etc. and find yourself having many. When you look at it that way you understand that business is to serve and solve a problem. When you do a good job of that you notice that you get rewarded and that is where your turnover comes in. The more you serve, the more you get rewarded.” – says Darshana.
This philosophy makes business less transactional and more humane – ultimately leading to an environment where the business wins, the client wins and the society benefits as well. That is her own business philosophy, which she describes in her book Triple Win ™.
I see this as an entrepreneurial interpretation of the three “Ps” (people, planet, profit) of sustainable development where we all grow – as businesses, society and environment we all live in. When you combine it with the best practices of negotiation you work out the best solution for all involved. For me this creates a better world and it happens now. It works for start-ups and established businesses alike. If you ask me the sooner it is widely implemented, the better. And…as it is up to us, I say – I am in.
Why she is my brand hero:
Darshana could have stayed in her home country to have a comfortable life. She didn’t. She wanted security, but on her own terms. So she went and got it. Today she shares it with us.
This article describes an individual journey more than a brand, or does it? In Darshana’s case, this is a story of how a strong personal brand came to being. Whenever you meet her, it’s just that, you meet HER and with time the experience gets richer and richer.
She has a saying “There’s no such thing as the right time, just the right time for you.”
There are some quotes and books you read with a voice of their authors – whatever Darshana creates has that same effect. She develops her brand elegantly, with clarity, consistency and confident femininity. She’s kind and clever. It’s worth paying attention to what she’s up to next, because it’s almost as if she can make the time to be right for her.
Darshana Ubl – a personal brand that I learn from.
My lessons from this conversation:
– know your stuff, learn and grow and you will be able to create the right time for your next step [or] remember the tough times, they will make your good times even more successful.
– serve a purpose, it will make it easier for you to create value for yourself, your clients and the ecosystem
– be reasonable but do not let the ‘doom & gloom’ of the economic climate sway you
If you are interested in what we talked about, here’s something you may find engaging as well:
- Tesla, their mission and the way they choose their partners
- Lego, mission of their brand and how it’s visible in their strategy
- “Triple Win” by Darshana Ubl (book is going to be published soon, in the meantime go to darshanaubl.com)
Elements of a strong brand:
Live. Love. Embrace life. Leave the planet a better place.
P.S. She says there are not enough female role models out there. She admits that in her youth there was pretty much a choice between the Iron Lady , a militant career woman or a performer (actress, singer, dancer). Today we have a few more choices, including celebrities but a few she-wolves of business should be added in a mix.
Now we know there is at least one.
To find out more about Darshana Ubl:
- visit her official website darshanaubl.com
- find her on LinkedIn linkedin.com/in/darshanaubl
- see what she’s up to on Facebook facebook.com/DarshanaUbl
- follow her on Twitter @DarshanaUbl
- follow her on Google+
- and watch her TEDx talk “The Triple Win Effect”
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