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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
A purposeful spirit that has to be let loose and for women to hold on to who they really are, will trajectorise more the growing global entrepreneurship to its zenith, according to a consultant espousing a new era of management and leadership as well as into bridging digital technologies and human mindsets.
“My advice for female entrepreneurs is to avoid trying to be like men. Stay true to yourself. Play to your strengths. Surround yourself with people that empower you every day. Do not shy away by expressing your opinion and your voice. Reach out for support when required. Know when to rest and believe in the perspective and balance women bring to the workplace,” said Gellify Middle East-Smart Human lead Maria Baladi.
She added: “There is a pressing need to rediscover humanity amidst the increase of remote work and high tech progressively taking on human tasks. In today’s economy, where needs and opportunities are evolving faster and more fluidly than ever before, employees must have a mindset that equips them to recognise opportunity, take initiative, and innovate in the face of challenges.”
Gulf Today approached Baladi regarding her views on female entrepreneurship in the new era of management and leadership, unleashing entrepreneurial mindsets among employees to the benefit of companies, and the application of emotional intelligence at the workplace, amidst the backdrop of the increasing number of Filipinas trekking sole proprietorship or partnerships.
Philippine Ambassador Hjayceelyn M. Quintana, who has been in the UAE since 2018, said: “In my travels across the Emirates, I have been meeting more and more Filipino entrepreneurs who own their businesses here in the UAE. Most of them are women with stable professional backgrounds. They thrive in their competitive markets because of their innate ability to understand trends, tap opportunities, and take calculated risks. However, it is hard not to notice that they are motivated by a common desire, and that is to provide jobs to their fellow Filipinos in the UAE, especially to those who were affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.
“That has been the over-arching reason that made these entrepreneurs chart a path that is less predictable than their previous jobs or careers. They are entrepreneurs with an altruistic purpose and I am very proud of them,” Quintana also said.
Dubai-based Philippine Middle East Commercial Attache Charmaine Mignon Yalong said 99 per cent of the Filipino business ventures in the UAE are small to medium enterprises. Philippine Business Council in Dubai and the Northern Emirates-League of Food and Beverage (F&B) Entrepreneurs Sub-Committee chairman Gina Valbuena said “out of 12 members, eight are women with seven either owners or business partners, and one is a manager.”
Valbuena herself was a corporate lady directly reporting to the top management of the highly-diversified and among the largest Philippine conglomerates, JG Summit Holdings. In the UAE, she is the brains and at the helm of the Kubyertos Cuisine and Kiesha Beauty Lounge in Dubai. She has “very high regard for our local culture, immense awe for the Filipino talent, hospitality, and congeniality; and a deep appreciation for all the delectable dishes from the regions of my country.” She deep dove into the beauty industry because women should and must be the big contributors in the “personal care ecosystem.”
Twenty-six years in the UAE and an architect/interior designer by profession, Vangie Monjardin owns and runs the Multi-Line Design Contracting for 21 years now. With her clients in the areas of supermarket chains and real estate companies, she took the brave step of plunging into the F&B industry. Thus, the establishment of The Desert Wok, a Chinese restaurant for she believes that “Chinese food attracts an international market. I have been dealing with F&B people. So why not (join them)?”
Industrial engineer Daisy Calabyab was a visit visa holder when she landed in the UAE in 2011 courtesy of her sister. She landed a job as customer service personnel, eventually tasked as a purchasing executive, purchasing manager, marketing manager and operations manager. Her boss set up a restaurant with her as the overseer. Yet came a labour case which she won.”
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