This Asian Women Mean Business event was special not only because the guest host was business woman and chef Angela Malik but we were invited to her lovely Modern Asian Deli in Ealing where she would be cooking for us.
I walked into the Deli and apart from the wonderful scent of oriental spices l was pleasantly surprised by the organic look and feel of the decor. It was like nothing l had seen before from an Asian business. The Deli was bright, spacious and brands colours were dotted around areas but were not overwhelming unlike many Asian establishments. On one side of the Deli there was an area where individuals could grab some lunch and on the other side was an area to sit and mainly for Angela’s cooking classes. It was refreshing to come across an authentic yet clean and professional British Asian Deli.
As l glanced over to see Angela’s prep’ed vegetables, l was met by the lovely ladies of Asian Women Mean Business who welcomed me in and even though l didn’t know them they made me feel at ease. It was as if l had known them for years, l knew they were going to be great hosts as the welcome usually tells us all l need to know.
I was glad to finally meet Rupinder and Panna (Asian Women Mean Business) as l’d only come across them on social media, they seemed really friendly and supportive. So l had to take a half day from work, client online strategies and deployment would have to take a back seat for these wonderful ladies. Plus to be honest, when l heard the evening consisted of Angela Malik’s cookery session, food, chit chat with nice ladies and more food you need to say no more l’m there!
Apart from demonstrating and cooking for us Angela shared her story from when she was an accountant to pushing to live her life long dream of being a chef with not having much to fund her passion.
I was inspired by some words to encouragement and shared her trials and tribulations which l and genuine people like Angela. It’s had to find honest, straight talking and real women who don’t hide behind a smoke screen. She was right; we don’t need designer bags on our arms, caked on make-up and hair extensions as we have much more within us to give e.g. knowledge and experiences.
Angela explained she was never in control of her finances especially after marriage and she had to learn the hard way. Yes, ladies you shouldn’t expect anything from family or men and just work hard in life and be in control of your future.
Family, society and community tells us how to be yet we need to break from that mould and not worry about what others think as long as you are true to yourself. Not being scared to ask for help, listening to experts in the field (do your research) and just going for it!
In terms of business; the main takeaway, Angela Malik told us half of her money went on branding e.g. logo and brand identity which l discussed in a previous brand identity blog. She mentioned how imperative it was to create the ‘Angela Malik’ experience and how it shine through now in everything she does. With branding/marketing no-one can try and replicate Angela Malik. There’s only one Angela Malik.
We were asked what business challenges we faced and the ladies responses included women not supporting others, not a lot of Asian women in business and we have no voice. No inspirational Asian women and being afraid to doing something different to societies norm.
Also on a business prescriptive from speaking to some of the ladies l found aspect most of the women found as a business challenge was harnessing social media (digital marketing). I found women needed support with their digital strategy and as you all know l am always more than happy to help so feel free to check out my industry articles specialising in digital marketing - Are you effectively Embracing the Power of Social Media? I hope it helps.
Something Angela said that struck a cord; she mentioned integrity (honest and having strong moral principles.) It reminded me of my parents who kept my siblings and me away from family and Asian community politics and brought us up to have strong morals. It’s shaped who l am today and l would have to full hearted agree with Angela. When l leave this earth l want to leave knowing you helped others and passed on your knowledge to make the world a better place than when you came into it.
I would highly recommend Asian Women Mean Business to Asian Women who not only want to go into business but want to meet like minded women who are more than happy to listen and support you.
Thanks Rupinder & Panna! X
I hope you enjoy reading the magazine, as much as I loved sharing the hidden fashion gems and supporting women promoting their fashion business. I'm always on the lookout for inspirational women running or thinking of starting up a fashion business. If you're one, please get in touch and you can join me at one of my exclusive meetups for women with fashion businesses.