Darshana Ubl shares her business journey from ‘playing shop’ to designing and creating a luxury car rally for adventurous car enthusiasts. All this has been achieved whilst pioneering the TripleWin methodology to bring growth and success in all she sets out to achieve.
Tell us about your dream job as a child
One of the best days for me as a child used to be when my father would come pick me up from school in his car. On those days I was exempt from travelling with the other children by bus or rickshaw. My father ran his own business, which allowed him the flexibility of time to pick me up from school often. I would look forward to those times as we would run a list of errands like visiting the bank, meeting our broker at the stock exchange and stopping by for some ice-cream or sugar cane juice. There were times my father would take me along with him for meetings and I would sit and observe. I remember vividly how much I enjoyed this and I too one day wanted to be a businesswoman. I didn’t quite know what business to run. Although from time to time I’d play a shop owner of a children’s clothes store. During playtime I would display all my clothes and shoes and have imaginary customers who would come into my shop, I would talk them through taking pride in explaining the products displayed.
Why did you go into business in the first place?
I come from a community of business people. For as far as I can trace my family tree, my forefathers have been in business. Whilst studying in university I did get involved in a few business projects but I must say they were micro in size. One was organising a party at a newly opened go carting place in the town my parents lived in and the other was running exhibitions of clothes I had designed in university. Both projects were fun and we had raving clients who wanted more. However, the project was not designed for profit and so they barely washed their face. I enjoyed the experience and learnt from it and soon having received my degree, I switched to working for larger companies. I loved my work and as I got promoted, I received more income and gradually I started to save it. I used my saving to invest into properties whilst the markets were depressed. As the markets rose, my investments yielded more returns. Finally I had built assets and had a good capital base, which gave me the security to start thinking about starting my own business.
In 2011, I decided that it was now time to be an investor in my own company and with that I started my very first limited company business.
What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?
I wish I could say that there is one person that influences me greatly, but there are too many to list. I am inspired by many- my grandfather who I have never met but left a legacy, Roger Hamilton who I’ve worked with for a few years and some of my current entrepreneurial heroes and heroine such as Elon Musk and Sara Blakely.
What is the best and worst decision you’ve ever made?
As I often say, the best is yet to come. As for the worst decisions, it has been to go with my head when my gut (intuition) was telling me otherwise.“Worry is a misuse of your imagination and if you work hard, help others and be true to yourself, you will find yourself living the life beyond your wildest imagination.” Tweet This!
What do you think is the most significant barrier to women in business?
I find women extremely hard working, talented and giving. But often in meetings women hide behind their male counterparts in putting forward an idea or an initiative. I believe that along with skills, aptitude and attitude, confidence is a key ingredient for success. I wish that women believed in themselves more and added more confidence to what they do.
What’s the best advice you have received in business?
The best advice I’ve received in business is to attract the right consumers rather than chase them. This can only be achieved by developing a product/service that is unique or stands out.
What do you do for fun?
Fun is fundamental in my life. I enjoy the world of business, working hard but also enjoy letting my hair down over a glass of champagne, dinner with friends, holidays abroad, appreciating art, music and dancing.
What did you most fear in the early days of your business?
In business I’ve had several roles over the years. I have worked best through partners and the deals we’ve made. Those deals led us to achieve great successes.
In early days my biggest fear was that I was new to London. Having moved from Asia, I had left behind my school, university and work networks and had to start all over again. It felt like hard work initially. However, I used the methodology of TripleWin to grow the businesses and soon we started gaining a lot more attraction.
TripleWin is a methodology, which helps one build strategic partnerships in business. The underlying concept is that you can design a good deal which yields long-term benefits for partners. First it needs to have a benefit for one’s company, second it should benefit the partner and third that it should benefit the clientele, customer base, community or society at large.
What’s next for you and your business?
It has been a conscious decision to design a business, which brings in elements of what I am good at, what I love and what can be a sustainable return on investment. To answer your question as to what is next in my life project VerveRally.com is my passion. It’s not a race; you follow your pace in this car rally, which combines luxury, travel, adventure and all this with a group of like-minded people.
I find that life is too short not to have the experiences that fill your heart with gratitude. When it comes to working hard, I do not compromise and similarly in my down time I want to design the best holiday. I love travel and creating a community of wonderful individuals. My husband likes luxury performance cars. So last year when he suggested that we go on a rally, I looked for a rally that was more female friendly (not just for petrol heads) and did not make us drive for 9 hours to the next stop. I wanted to join a rally that had about four hours of driving a day, a route filled with spectacular scenery, staying in luxury hotels and having time to relax, unwind and make new friends over dinner and sun downers. I looked but could not find a car rally starting from London that ticked my box.
As an entrepreneur, this was my lightbulb moment. A gap in the market. So I asked my husband if he wanted to put our combined 16 years of experience in running events, training seminars and conferences to use in designing and creating a car rally to Europe.
The answer was yes. And the rest is history. Today we are lucky to have a wonderful group of people (entrepreneurs, artists, philanthropists) who are joining us for the rally in the end of July 2016. Due to popular demand, we have announced another rally in September 2016. We’ve gained attraction from sponsors and like-minded individuals who understand the value of a network of self-motivated people wanting to live life to its fullest.
I find that the more fun I have, the more inspired I am to work hard and help others. After all, dull is a life that is lived without verve (meaning: spirit or enthusiasm).
If you could tell your younger you something what would you say?
I’d say – Dear younger self, worry is a misuse of your imagination and if you work hard, help others and be true to yourself, you will find yourself living the life beyond your wildest imagination.
The Verve Rally
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