'My dad used to call me the son of the house'

'My dad used to call me the son of the house'

Aspiring women entrepreneurs can take a leaf out of Uzma Irfan’s book. The director of Prestige Group and founder of ‘Sublime Galleria’ and ‘Sublime House of Tea’, Uzma’s tough and fulfilling journey is an inspiration to budding women professionals, as Uzma is one who can safely say that her position today is due to her hard work and dedication.  

A recipient of the ‘Woman Super Achiever of the Year in Real Estate - 2015’, Uzma was just like anyone else when she started out. “New and shy, with a thirst to learn,” she says.

A youngster who had just entered an industry that is  male-dominated, even today, she is grateful to have received adequate support and motivation from her family and peers.

“I was always open to constructive criticism during my job. I was lucky that my ideas were never shunned and that people didn’t think I was  incapable because of my gender.”  

The experience she received by interning in different departments helped her understand the need to streamline marketing and branding services and it didn’t take her long to realise the importance of a department for corporate communications. Starting and setting up the department on her own added value to the company, she recalls. 

As a child too, Uzma never felt the challenges that were staring at her because of her gender, despite growing up in a society where gender bias existed to the brink. Coming from a progressive Muslim family, she thanks them for the faith that they placed in her, allowing her to explore a number of opportunities in society. “My dad used to call me the son of the house,” she says.

From the time she started her career, Uzma feels that the society has undergone a radical shift in the attitude towards women and a change in men’s perceptions and outlook, towards them. However, a lot still has to be done as such changes are prevalent only in certain pockets of the society.

There are many areas where traditional and fixed notions towards gender roles and stereotypes exist due to underlying issues of caste, class and religion. “Education has to come about in a big way for change,” she says.

“The fruits of education has to reach everyone in the society. Women like us, who have been lucky, should also help people as much as we can. My advice to all women out there is to work twice as hard to reach their goals so that we can hopefully help create a more evolved environment for our daughters in the future.” 

As a person who has evolved manifold and has the ability to think out-of-the-box, she is not ready to reveal her next projects in the professional front as it’s “full of surprises,” she wraps up.  

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