- How did you make the jump from studying Biology at University to having a successful career in Marketing Organisation?
Coming from a scientific background and straight into a marketing consultancy was all to do with being in the right place at the right time.
After leaving university I had the whole summer ahead me. A friend of mine mentioned that Encyclopedia Britannica were looking for a marketing manager and that they were planning to advertise in national press. This sounded very exciting so I applied and before I knew, it I was hired. This then progressed to me becoming a regional marketing manager leading a marketing team.
This job was only going to be a summer stop gap but turned out to be a five years. I was then headhunted to work for Yell.com as a marketing consultant, which became a 17 year journey.
I look back and wonder, how did my scientific background help?
It helped me to analyse and process business with a logical mind. Today I utilise this experience and skill set to implement into my day to day work.
- What is a regular day for you in the office?
What I love about my job is that every day is different. There are no two days which are the same in the office, which keeps my feet firmly on the ground.
A typical day starts with a brief, team catch up on pressing discussions and updates. My day is usually structured from 9.30 – 12pm, it’s a good time to schedule phone calls with clients. Between 12 – 1.30pm is a time where I have my head down catching up on emails, as it’s hard to get hold of many people due to the Iunch hour. I find that by not opening my inbox first thing in the morning, stops me being dictated by emails which could end up running my day. Between 2 – 4pm is my “thoughts” period. After lunch is when I prioritise any project that needs my creative input or thoughts as this is the best time to get my attention (this is my favourite time!). Between 5 – 6pm I’m usually making those key decisions – it’s my decision-making hour.
- What was the reason behind starting Arc Management?
Having worked for a blue chip corporation for over 17 years and whilst on maternity leave with my third daughter, who was only three weeks old; Arc Management was born from a light bulb moment. I had been inundated with calls from clients, getting in touch whilst I was off. As great as this was, I had realised the pressure of working for someone whilst trying to bring up a young family. That’s when I realised, I could do this myself.
I had lost my father at the young age of 21. He successfully ran a dairy business known as ARC (Abdul Rehman Chaudhry) Dairies. Being the eldest of six siblings, there was always a sense of duty and fulfillment in taking his name forward. So when it came to naming the company, it was only natural to name this after my late father.
- What’s a highlight of your career?
There are many highlights I look back upon. One that always makes me smile is winning a National Gold Award; this was awarded for consistently achieving targets. For me the word consistency is important, as I do not believe in one hit wonders. I believe in always building upon every achievement.
- What advice do you have for those wanting to begin a career in consultancy/start their own (consultancy or otherwise!) business?
My advice is: ABSOLUTELY GO FOR IT! Start off with test marketing your service or product. You find by doing this you will be able to adapt and benchmark a service to what’s out there in the marketplace. More importantly by doing this you will also keep your feet firmly on the ground. Always look at the business as a business and set a robust commercial development plan. I always come across many entrepreneurs who are so emotionally attached to the business and without a financial forecast it ends up becoming a passion project. It is always good to have a SWOT analysis for all your services being offered. This really helps me think objectively and rationally on strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats before making any decisions. My final advice to anyone is that you are nothing without a good team and having a great team dedicated and focused under your leadership sets you apart.
- What does your role as Ambassador at the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry entail?
I was delighted to accept the invitation and to become the official Ambassador for London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. With the amazing platform for all businesses, it was only a pleasure to support such a organisation. My role allows me to engage, influence and connect. My work also helps me facilitate networking to the members and provide feedback in helping to influence the development of the membership services.
- What upcoming plans do you have for Arc Management (e.g: expansion, new clients, etc.)?
My plans for Arc is to develop and expand the team. The acquisitions of new clients across many sectors allows greater opportunity in developing specialist teams within our organisation. Plans are also included to expand the services from our Paris office as well as launching a presence in Zurich in early 2019. The future of Arc is to become the best at what we do and do it consistently and do it well with honesty and integrity.