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Since leaving the corporate world to become an entrepreneur, Aarathi has never looked back…

What’s your story?
I was a corporate career woman who decided to change course and learn how to run a business on my own. I quit the corporate ladder, and dipped my toe into what I thought would be a puddle, but it swallowed me whole and now I am learning everyday to become a better business person. I now run a business in children’s events The Party Elves.

What excites you most about your industry?
It’s creative, it’s people oriented and it’s changing all the time. It is dynamic because it is driven by a need, and it’s small enough to allow us to change tack as we move and grow.

What’s your connection to Asia?
I am Asian born and bred, in Malaysia. I moved away for a while to study and experience Australia and Europe but Asia has always called me back. I spent my early years working in and around Asia; travelling, meeting people and working with proud people with rich heritage.

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Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Kuala Lumpur because of the connections you can make, and this is where the bulk of my network is and where I am most comfortable. My first business was leather handbags where people could design them inside out with the resources we had and the Malaysian market was the kindest to me and gave me the confidence that I could do it.Having said that Singapore is the city where I took the bull by the horns and embarked on this frightfully exciting journey.

What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Just do it. Don’t wait around and ask what if and how: Just do it. You will figure it out along the way.

Who inspires you?
My mother for strength, tenacity, quiet confidence and motivation to be the best in her field and yet be a mother who was always present and always available.
Anyone who gives something scary a try, and anyone who faces their fears head on.
My family is full of people who inspire me everyday, doing what they do and throwing themselves wholeheartedly into something to make things work well.

What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
This is a daily learning; if don’t let emotion into it, decisions are easier to make.

If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have pursued my profession in the realm of investments and treasury rather than audit and attempted being an entrepreneur earlier in life.

How do you unwind?
I dance, I sleep, I entertain and cook

Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Indonesia – it has a vibe that talks to my soul. Lovely food, lovely shopping and the people are delightful.

Everyone in business should read this book:
Who moved my cheese.
A fortune teller told me.

Shameless plug for your business:
The Party Elves are the leading bespoke planner for children’s events, and your answer to a well planned, fun and aesthetically pleasing event.

How can people connect with you?
[email protected]

This interview was part of the Callum Connect’s column found on The Asian Entrepreneur:

CallumConnects

Callum Laing invests and buys small businesses in a range of industries around Asia.  He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is the founder & owner of Fitness-Buffet a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 12 countries.  He is a Director of, amongst others, Key Person of Influence.  A 40 week training program for business owners and executives.

Take the ‘Key Person of Influence’ scorecard <http://www.keypersonofinfluence.com/scorecard/>

Connect with Callum here:
twitter.com/laingcallum
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Get his free ‘Asia Snapshot’ report from www.callumlaing.com

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Callum Laing has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen businesses in a range of industries across two continents. He is a partner in the Private Equity firm Unity-Group. Co-founder and non-exec director of The Marketing Group PLC and is CEO of Key Person of Influence (Asia). He is author of 'Progressive Partnerships'.

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