Curiosity and transparency – The key to Enabling Entrepreneurs
Pratiti V is the Marketing Manager at Dubai’s Business Incorporation Zone. She inhabits a hectic world of business owners and customers, guiding and empowering them through the ever-changing UAE business environment.
Hectic is a keyword here. It describes a fast-moving landscape of change and opportunity, and navigating those shifting sandsrequires expert hands. Opportunities alone are not results, and enabling entrepreneurs to thriveis the primary purpose of BIZ.Pratiti shoulders a lot of the burden in achieving this, and it’s a task she relishes.
Secrets to success
Working as BIZ’s marketing manager requires complete immersion in Dubai’s dynamic business environment. Diverse skills are required, but Pratiti is keen to highlight an often overlookedone – curiosity.
“The most effective, transformative leaders I have worked with are exquisitely curious, and asking questions allows me to constantly learn and improve the way I approach my work”, she comments. “We all can benefit from asking questions and soliciting feedback.”
Additional feedback can be gained second-hand, too.Pratiti’s business curiosity extends to devouring business and self-improvement audiobooks. Dozens of new titlesare released every year, giving insight into how some of the world’s best minds approach personal and business challenges.
Curiosity is about leaving the virtual office doors open at all times. Pratiti uses the buzz phrase ‘zero distance’, which means the closing of the gaps betweenBIZ and business owners. Digital platforms have led the zero-distance revolution, and in many ways a marketing manager is now anenabler in a vast creative space.
Transparency is also essential if creative thinking is to be nurtured and transformed into action. This comes back to the notion of closing the ‘2’ gap in B2B and B2C, sharing relevant information with employees, customers and other stakeholders.
“Transparency helps us build our reputation and increase interest in the organization”, Pratiti asserts. “We tend to have open meetings so our team members have the opportunity to ask questions and can present their feedback.”
Taking the friction out of onboarding
Enhancing the online customer experience underlies all of Pratiti’s work. If consumers find a platform easy to use, they will embrace it. However, if the onboarding process for a business is not user-friendly, there is a dangerthat frustratedprospects will look elsewhere.
Onboarding is never going to be a simple click-and-collect process, as there are many legal requirements to observe. However, Pratiti plans to make BIZ’s entrepreneur onboarding procedureas frictionless as possible.
“We are going to reduce the integration timeto help our customers unleash their entrepreneurial spirit”, she says. “Everything that happened in the past year and a half posed many challenges for us all. The pandemic was not only a catalyst for us to organize internal processes more efficiently but, importantly, to get us closer to our customers and spread entrepreneur literacy among them.”
Although she can take much of the credit for the resilience of BIZ’s marketing division through difficult times, Pratiti underlines the importance of teamwork. “I have learned that I sometimes need to take a step back and allow people from my team to make decisions”, she comments. “This has increased accountability within the team and has been beneficial for the general atmosphere in the workplace. It has also helped me look at the larger picture of navigating the division creatively.”
Reshaping Dubai’s business landscape
As a pioneer in the UAE’s business setup landscape, BIZ has been part of the ongoing evolution of Dubai as a startup hub that has successfully navigated the various stages of growth and is now defining its own future.Pratiti acknowledges the UAE innovations that have supportedentrepreneurs and startups. These includeDubai’s free zones, robust infrastructure and strong legislative framework.
“The UAE is pushing the boundaries of innovation to nurture the business ecosystem”, says Pratiti. “Dubai has built an infrastructure and a lifestyle like nowhere else in the world, with a diverse, highly-skilled workforce, plenty of available funding, and a quality of life unequalled globally. But there are still certain limitations, and that’s where companies such as ours can guide customers through that complex route and advise along the way.”
The times we live in pose numerous challenges, but these will continue to help businesses improve their resilience and increase their capacity to learn and grow. “I believe in being a life-long learner”, says Pratiti. “I challenge myself to learn something new every day. We are working on becoming a continuous learning organization whose people follow their passions to work on the projects they want with the people they want.”
This confidence underlines the key takeaway that evolving a business landscape is powered by the passion and drive of individuals. A business exists to make money, but the process is all about people. Even in an age of AI and algorithms, marketing remains a very personal, human discipline.
The power of sharing
As in many business environments, the past 18 months have brought complex internal and international challengesfor BIZ. Pratiti acknowledges these, and she is proud of the significant achievements that have been made in extraordinary circumstances.
“There were a lot of tricky moments, and mistakes are inevitable”, she says. “We all make them throughout our careers, and it is important to admit you are at fault rather than blaming others for it. For me, it’s about treating errors as a steppingstone to something greater, using it as a way for the whole team to learn. This earns you the respect of those you lead and humanises your leadership, helping you build trust”.
Pratiti V is in no doubt about the continued success of BIZ and the teamwork that has enabled her work to flourish.She is understandably upbeat about the future for startups in Dubai.
“We reinvent our future every day by listening to owners’ wants and needs”, she says. “I see us continuing to grow our operations and diversifying our supply chain so we can be even more nimble and reactive to the market. That’s a differentiator for us.”
To achieve this, curiosity and transparency will continue to define ‘business as usual’ at BIZ.