Meet the woman behind Pakistan's largest IoT firm.
Flare: Was it passion or coincidence which made you step into this industry?
Sidra Talat: It was my passion to be a part of something big, something that brings innovation. Nothing could be a better option than BlueEast as it aims to lead the way for innovation.
Flare: BlueEast has recently joined arms with JS Bank for forming Pakistan's first ever IoT banking alliance, how would this benefit our country?
Sidra Talat: As the world is moving towards digitalisation, I think it was about time someone took the responsibility of coping up with developed countries in terms of technological advancements. It's an honour for us to be the first one in Pakistan to bring this concept. We plan making it a reality.
Flare: Every startup has to experience a lot of challenges, how do you face them?
Sidra Talat: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! Challenges are there, but it is important to understand that overcoming them is the main key to success. It is all about making the right decisions at the right time, staying positive, dedicated, putting yourself to the test and believing in your abilities. Reinvent, recreate and conquer is my rule to do it. As far as the discouragement is concerned, it serves as the driving force for you to become better with every day passing. For me, challenges are a way to break barriers, realign and transform oneself for the bigger picture. The best way to respond to discouragement is being successful.
Flare: What do you plan on doing for the bright future of Pakistani youth?
Sidra Talat: At BlueEast, we always welcome talented youth. It's not like we just produce jobs, we create life changing careers. We help our young talent become more proficient and skilled; we provide them equal chances of growth and development. Considering the unemployment rate in Pakistan, we are playing our part in making the lives of fresh graduates more meaningful. Apart from this, our CEO Abdul Rehman Talat is also an active part of "Idea Croron ka" (the Pakistan version of Shark Tank) in which he finances struggling entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and scalable business models.
Flare: How do you differentiate BlueEast from other technology companies?
Sidra Talat: Speaking in corporate terms, BlueEast has shared the success of businesses all around the globe. From startups to fortune 500 enterprises, BlueEast has served them with innovative solutions and products. We have grown from a one man's dream to a cluster of highly skilled software engineers, creative designers, innovative business strategists and marketing experts.
Flare: What is the most exciting part of your position as a Deputy CEO?
Sidra Talat: Everything is exciting. Helping employees excel, productive discussion sessions, making corporate decisions and seeing them manifest into reality. It's been a wonderful experience so far being the Deputy CEO of BlueEast.
Flare: Who is your inspiration?
Sidra Talat: My biggest inspiration is my father, Mian Talat Mehmood. He is my ideal. What I am today is because of him, the values he has taught us help me a lot in the decision making process. Even today I ask for his suggestions and opinions while making a tough decision. The struggle he has experienced in forming a multi-million enterprise is very inspiring. He makes me feel proud; he is the best daddy in the world. He is currently looking after the duties of the Managing Director of Orient Electronics. He is undoubtedly a source of vast knowledge and his experiences are a guide to me.
Flare: How do you balance your work and private life?
Sidra Talat: Managing private and work life is a tough job. I have a lovely daughter who always needs her mum on her side. She is the little version of me. She is the most important part of my life. Despite being a minor, she's very smart and understands her mother's hectic routine. When I get home, I make every effort to spend quality time with her. I love the way she tells me her innocent stories, it makes me go back in time.
Flare: Any advice for someone who aspires to be where you are?
Sidra Talat: Firstly, confidence is the key factor. Have faith in yourself and stand resolute for a noble cause. The position of Deputy CEO is all about managing operations, being human centric and realistic. You should know how to manage your organisation. Always be open to new ideas and have an accepting nature. Lastly, keep polishing your interpersonal and technical skills.
Flare: How do you keep your employees motivated?
Sidra Talat: Every year we award trophies to our best performers, we make sure that the team is kept motivated, so that they can deliver to the best of their ability. We involve them in important decisions and gain their input on all operational matters. We give them a free hand in their thought process and provide them a healthy work environment.