Name of Own Business (How did this business name came about?)
Optimus Distribution, technology publications, germanium ventures, Momenta Technologies, to name a few. I am a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and social activist with business interests in multiple organizations across the globe, either in a direct capacity as a board member. The sectors I primarily focus on investing in and working with include technology and technology related ventures. As part of my role in the non profit Foundation that we formed 3 years ago, I also spend a considerable amount of my time campaigning the case of women empowerment, specifically in the male dominated industries like STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math).

How did you start your business?
Since childhood I have had a penchant for being an entrepreneur. I set up my first “venture” when I was sixteen – a high school project that I converted into a saleable business proposition. My exit from that venture, and the money I made therein, however little it was at the time, created a firm realization about my potential to develop and then sell an idea/concept/company. That was the foundation for what later became a passion for serial entrepreneurship and angel investing.

Why did you decide to go into this line of business in the UAE?
As I mentioned, the nascency of the technology market here, and its progressive, modern and women-friendly outlook made UAE the ideal seat for my technology ventures in the region.

What were the highs and lows of setting up your business? High and Low Moments 
Of course nothing can compare to the high of selling out my first school venture. But yes, in the actual competitive business world, my biggest high has been meeting President Obama and his lucid appreciation for my achievements . He said ” I’m so proud of you ‘ . This reaffirmed my faith about women being able to take on a leadership role anywhere in the world, regardless of age, creed, background or education. Like my mantra, “Women can do whatever they set their minds to do”.
Being the optimist that I am, I have always believed every problem has a solution and we need to be part of the “solution creators” rather than “problem makers”. So I don’t recognize any episode or event as a “low”. Every failure that I have ever encountered has been the start of another success. There is no space for a low

What was your best day at work?
Best day was when a woman I had mentored contacted me to tell me how she had successfully set-up her own venture and wanted to join our foundation to help her to give back to more women!

What was your worst day at work?
I’ve never had a bad day ! It’s amazing what a positive frame of mind can do to your perspective. As I always tell my teams – what you see around you is really how your mind is perceiving it.

How did you manage to fund or finance your business?
Money begets money. I can say I have been lucky. And I have been. But I have also worked really, really hard, and smart. I have 4 multi-million dollar exits to my credit, which helped me fund a lot of my initial endeavors.
Additionally I am very picky about who and what I fund. A combination of due diligence, market feasibilities and trend analysis has helped me invest in areas that have flourished, and self-sustained themselves, and some of my newer ventures eventually. And the fact that I have always owned/managed multiple companies at any point of time, the cross–funding of my new businesses has been facilitated.
I possess a very keen nose for business and I study new technologies and trends and keep abreast of innovation to predict markets where growth is possible. And then invest there accordingly.

Who has been your greatest influence in setting up this venture?
There are 3 people who have had significant impact on my life as an entrepreneur. The first person who pushed me to be who I am has been my Father . He is responsible for the person that I am. Despite the success, he pushes me to be a better person everyday.
My mentor in business has been another family member of mine – Shirish Saraf. As a dynamic founder of one of the largest private equity funds in the region, he has been responsible for pushing me to understand my own potential. I owe to him my tenacity to prove my worth.
My mentor Arun Wakhlu, who grounds me, teaches me and aligns me.
Through the years, there have been team members who are the reason for who I am. Nehul Goradia, Delnaz Kakroo, Syed Sirajjudin, Ramu V – the reason that we are able to do what we do is them.
People who have influenced my life by being there for me no matter what – Iqbal Butt, Rohit Verma, Sukant and Ruchika Misra, Amol Awasthi. 

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs when setting up their businesses?
Successful women ask for what they want. Good work does not always guarantee success. We have to learn to assess our leadership skills and affirm our focus towards being vocal and advocating on our own behalf.
How many times have you been asked to chair an event and you have said no when you wanted to say yes? How many times have you wanted to take a direction with your business and though you know you are right in your assessment, you have failed to get an affirmation from your business partners who are happy with status quo? How many times have you been talked down in meetings even when you are the only person in the meeting with any expertise on the topic?
If we do not learn to assert ourselves; we will never be an important participant in any decision making process at any time.
Women who achieve leadership status always challenge beliefs. We ask for what we want. We are firm. We don’t accept what is unacceptable. We maneuver our business with power.
We are not consensus leaders. We are conviction leaders

Describe any amusing or strange experiences, or interesting moments (an incident that happened that you will never forget) that took place while establishing or running your business.
Trust me, every day has been a fun ride. Every moment has been memorable ! If I had a chance to reset my life, it would be this life replayed

Describe any challenges you experienced and how you overcame them. 
Hardwork. Lots and lots of it.
Educating myself in a variety of areas and constantly being on a drive to learn more as knowledge is truly power
Grit, Determination, Perseverance.
Not taking ‘No’ for an answer.
Thinking smart, working fast.
I think the main reason for my success is self-confidence, and fearlessness. I feel fear cripples us more than anything else and strips us of the ability to utilize and exploit our capabilities to their best potential.

Outline the reasons why your business succeeded and any particular factors that influenced your success.
Hardwork. Lots and lots of it.
Educating myself in a variety of areas and constantly being on a drive to learn more as knowledge is truly power
Grit, Determination, Perseverance.
Not taking ‘No’ for an answer
Thinking smart, working fast.
I think the main reason for my success is self-confidence, and fearlessness. I feel fear cripples us more than anything else and strips us of the ability to utilize and exploit our capabilities to their best potential.

Did you ever think you will be what you are today?
Maybe not exactly the scale and width and breadth of it, but yes, I always imagined it, and I sincerely believe that is why it became a reality. For me it was never a question – “Will I be successful?” It was more a statement – “I will be successful.”

Outline your future plans for your business.
There is only one word for that. Big growth.

Outline any important lessons you learned along the way or ways in which you would have done things differently.
I have learnt in life there are no short cuts. Your success is a function of your focus and perseverance. Even the most difficult situations in life become easy if you focus and do not lose the objective of your life.

Describe the defining moment that made you feel certain that your business is going in the direction you want it to go.
In business it’s always a work in progress. There are no defining moments – there are definite paths. If one doesn’t work out , another one will open up.

Explain why you set up your business in the UAE.
As I mentioned, the nascency of the technology market here, and its progressive, modern and women-friendly outlook made UAE the ideal seat for my technology ventures in the region.

What is the single most important decision you made that contributed to your business?
Already described many of them above.

Anything you want to add or tell us?
I think I have said what all I needed to

email address
neha@momentatechnologies.com

contact number
00971504507068

by Cristina Magallon
Tweet @UAEDNAofficial
LinkedIn: Cristina Magallon
Company Page: UAE DNA

Share this article on social networks
Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestEmail this to someonePrint this page