A former Youth Member of Parliament and GE19 Parliamentary Candidate, Atifa is a renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist who combines a successful management consulting career with active community involvement at local, national and international level. Beginning her professional career at Accenture, Atifa established her own consulting business in 2013, operating at Board Level large public and private sector clients to drive forward complex change and transformation projects. She is now a Partner at Generations, an international practice providing financial reporting, management consultancy, real estate planning, and private equity services, to family offices, executives and entrepreneurs.
She has also established and chaired successful corporate networks at organisations including Accenture and Worldpay to create more opportunities, provide mentoring, inspire and support people in their careers. She has directly and indirectly raised in excess of £1.4 million for charities since 2010 and is known for backing transformational philanthropy projects in the areas of livelihoods and skills and mental health.
She has represented the UK on several foreign state visits, was listed in the Pakistan Power 100 Future Leaders List and served as an International Observer for the Maldives Electoral Commission in 2018. She is a trusted Government advisor in area of Business, Communities, Technology and Philanthropy, the former Chief Executive of Muslims For Britain and a fellow at the Initiative for Free Trade.
1. How did you get started in your career?
I was elected Youth MP for Rochdale at 17, and that’s when I’d say my career really started, whilst in full time education, I continued to pursue my role as youth MP. Achievements during my time in office meant that after stepping down I continued contributing to Government and notable philanthropy initiatives. After full time education, I started my career at Accenture and began working for myself in 2013! Although you could also argue my business career started when I sold China imported iPod lookalike MP3 players at college!
2. What is the most interesting thing you have done?
Visiting the Maldives as an international observer for the presidential elections. Sun sea sand and polling stations… you couldn’t make it up!
3. Why is the work you do important to you?
My underlying theme in my work, is helping people and making the world a better place. My faith teaches me that in this life we have a duty to god and a duty to people, and dedicating my life to that so far has bear fruit for me, financially and spiritually.
4- What does an average workday look like to you?
When juggling multiple roles across different domains such as business, philanthropy or politics, every day is different. Most days, I manage to drag myself out of bed for morning prayers, after which I check my emails on my phone, and get straight in my mind the problems/issues I need to solve in the day and set the motions with reaching out to my teams. I then have my breakfast and catch up on coronation St or Eastenders from the night before. The rest of the day is fixing problems, having meetings and getting through my action list and I usually keep going until late evening. Lunches/dinners and events are usually adjusted accordingly, but my priority is always to keep things moving across all my different domains. Night time prayers usually settle me for the night and I end the day with thinking about all the things I should have done until I eventually fall asleep!
5.What has been the greatest hurdle for you to overcome in your career?
Probably my age. It is uncommon for someone in my age bracket to have much experience and relationships across various sectors, however as I keep trying to tell people I’ve led two careers since I was 17 and I’ve had some excellent mentors! I;ve learnt to just crack on with what you need to do, and just let people
6. What is the best thing about your job?
Flexibility and the sense of achievement. I love the feeling of solving problems and making people’s live easier, so in every aspect of my business and personal life, there’s always an element of helping someone, and with others at the centre of everything I do, it feels likes I’ve been blessed in abundance.
7. What are your plans for the future?
I’ve never really had a plan, I believe you will always end up where you need to be. I was bought up with the notion that this life is temporary and we have numerous choices to make, if we continue to make the choices we believe God will be happy with, then things will always work in your favour and you’ll never look back. I just want to continue to make a difference in anyway I can, not just locally or nationally but globally, and life until now tells me, that’s absolutely possible.
8. How do you unwind?
I always find learning about something new, or researching has helped me unwind. I usually have a list of things I need to research and I always have a creative project on the go in some shape. I also really enjoy Interior Design, so I enjoy spending time on Pinterest and designing my dream home. I also like to spend time visiting historical sites and the countryside with my parents, there is nothing like warm scones and tea with your parents in the Lake District!