Welcome to our ‘Conversation Starter’ series, that aims to introduce you to more business owners around you, and to help get to know each other better.
Through these questions, we want to learn more about you. Not just your challenges and what you’ve experienced along your entrepreneurial journey, but the person that you are, beyond your business…about what makes you, you!
We realize that work does not always define us and things may not be what they seem. Often, we tend to work with people we know and trust. Most work partnerships fail because people hold back and don’t openly speak about what they want, and think.
As business owners, we have to show up and make ourselves known, if we want our business to grow. For some people, it is easy. For others, the idea of networking and social gatherings is not something they look forward to. In a world where people ask you right away, ‘What do you do’, what if it were more about who you are and what your story is?
How fun would it be to first encounter people without knowing what they do? Just meeting them and finding out what you may have in common and what you can learn from each other. Work and business opportunities could come second, naturally.
Here are a series of icebreaker questions answered by the people that inspire us. We believe the answers to these questions can help start conversations in a different way.
1. As business owners, we’re constantly networking and meeting new people. Let’s say you’ve just met someone for the first time. What’s the first thing you’d like to know about them?
What do they enjoy doing the most?
2. We know you’re super busy – as all business owners are, no doubt – but when you’ve had the time to squeeze in some TV-watching, what’s the last thing you watched? What made you choose that particular show?
I love watching Hindi movies – they take me into a world of drama where anything is possible and no matter what happens in 3 years (or 30), there is some good outcome at the end (almost always).
3. Before you decided to go solo and be your own boss, you must’ve worked for someone else. What advice would you give your previous manager?
My manager was great! But this is what I have learnt over the years: Cadence and Continuous Communication around the Vision are key. If we can make the team understand what the vision and objective are, and what key actions will help it get there, that would change the way the team operates.
4. A koala bear jumps in through your window, and he’s looking at you. Why is he here? And what does he say to you?
He is here to remind me that there are people who need hugs and understanding, and he is here to tell me to go on hugging people and being a friend to whoever needs me to be one.
5. A resume can only tell you so much about someone. Often, the most interesting things about that person can’t be learned from those pages. What do you think is the most interesting thing about you, that your resume wouldn’t tell us?
I am a dancer and a drama girl. I twirl, I whirl and attempt to fly along with music which energises and lifts me. I can dance anywhere when I hear music that moves me, and I do. I believe dance and movement release emotions and feelings in us that we don’t even know exist and it is in such moving moments that I often hear the movements of my heart and soul.
6. What gets you out of bed every morning? What is it that excites you, or is meaningful to you?
I love to connect with my community and serve. Doing something that someone will value, having a conversation with someone that helps them steer through their thoughts, being able to make a difference to others through my designing, writing, creating – that is what I love to do.
7. We’ve all got different talents and skills. It’s what makes us unique. What do you think you’re amazing at? And what are the things you’re not-quite-the-best at?
I am not good with a lot of paperwork – I don’t like to do contracts etc. as I feel they are very onerous but if I have to do it, then I do it. Lately, I have found, I am not good at following a set schedule. I like to move freely.
I am amazing at connecting with people authentically and having a meaningful conversation with them.
8. Building a great team takes time. It’s not easy to find the right fit – like, the people who share the same work values, have the same vision for your business and have a sense of humor. If you were granted a wish to hire any 5 people – people you know, celebrities…anyone – whom would you bring into your team?
9. If you woke up one morning and found yourself on a deserted island, which three things would you want to have with you? Why?
A hunk I love and who can get anything done on a deserted island.
A beautiful home filled with all the things needed for communication with the outer world and survival.
A cruise ship sailing into the island.
10. Inspiration can come from anywhere…a picture, a bike ride, the lyrics of a song, a pet, or even a gorgeous sunset. But people have the power to inspire us like none other! There is always someone we look up to, someone we admire. Who has inspired you in your life, and in what way?
My mom is my biggest inspiration – she is a creative soul, and also someone who is very planned, organised, disciplined and direct. In some ways, I am a reflection of her and in others, exactly the opposite – so I could fulfil some dreams that I know she could not. So, yes, she is my biggest driver to do what I do.
11. What’s your spirit animal? If you haven’t ever given it a thought, the time is right now!
Haven’t thought much about it – could be the peacock, a dragonfly, butterfly, or a swan.
12. What characteristics do you admire the most in a person?
Resilience, zest, discipline and creativity.
13. Is there something that you’ve always wanted to do but were afraid to try? What’s stopping you from doing it?
I always want to be a lone-gypsy kind of person. Want to go away somewhere for some time, make new connections, and have no responsibilities. First, my environment, second, having a child who needed me. Now that he is grown up, I am hoping to take off for a while next year.
14. We’ve all been impressed by someone’s skills and wished we could have them too! If you could have a new skill at the snap of your fingers, what would it be?
Too many to list here – but being able to get my husband to do something I want is the skill I want to pick up.
15. What’s your idea of a perfect day?
When I am able to take out time for self-care, connect and spend time with someone I love and who loves me, inspire someone to follow their dreams, help someone with something they are struggling with and create something to add more beauty into the world – then I feel I have had a perfect day.
About Anupama Singal
Often referred to as a ‘Fashion & Tech Girl”, Anupama is known for breaking stereotypes. She is a speaker, an author, an Engineer and a Postgraduate in Fashion Marketing, and pursues both streams of fashion and technology with equal zest. After having worked with Levi Strauss for 14 years, she moved out of the corporate world and jumped into entrepreneurship. Anupama is a co-founder with 3 companies. Her vision is to touch a million lives meaningfully. Through her fashion brand, Anna Rainn, she promotes body positivity amongst women. As the co-founder at SLICeR, she has built an innovative merchandising & data analytics platform, Kanvas, that helps fashion companies see beyond their data, and improve profitability and productivity.
A dreamer, a doer and a connector of people, you will often find her having engaged and authentic conversations. She urges one to see beyond oneself, be unique, live a life filled with purpose, and move forward with enthusiasm.
Now that you know a little more about Anupama online, you could make things more interesting by connecting offline!
You could contact Anupama here: