interview is a part of Startup Terminal interview series to mark the occasion
of ‘International Women’s Day’
Please tell us more about yourself.
Bhatt Deorah: I did
my Masters degree from University of California Los Angeles and worked at
Microsoft in their Redmond office post that for a couple of years. Having
always wanted to start something of my own, I eventually came back to India and
founded Advantage Club. Associated with 2200+ brands providing exclusive perks
to 150+ corporates, Advantage Club is now India’s largest employee-benefit
platform. Here, I oversee strategic alliances, brand building, marketing,
operations, customer relations and product vision.
|Smiti Bhatt Deorah,
Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer,
Who is your biggest influence in life?
Bhatt Deorah: Parents
are always the biggest influence in anybody’s life, as the maximum amount of
lifespan is spent with them. Apart from my parents, my nani (grandmother) has
been one of the biggest influences in my life. I have spent most of my
childhood with her, every vacation I would camp at her place simply out of the
sheer amount of love and affection I had for her. She is by far one of the
strongest women I have met in my lifetime. She taught me how to be strong,
independent, how not to shy away from problems but to embrace them, and also
introduced me to meditation and self discovery. Even her bedtime stories were
‘moral’ stories, not fairytales. A lot of what I am today is dedicated to her.
What challenges do you face in your day to day professional life, if any?
Bhatt Deorah: Challenges
are overrated. They are simply opportunities to improve the quality of
something. You shy away from the challenge, you miss out the opportunity. As an
entrepreneur, I face multiple challenges everyday, its hard to pinpoint one
given the diversity of my role. Be it something as trivial as work item
prioritization to something as big as a live-site issue, work keeps throwing
opportunities towards me everyday to keep constantly improving product quality.
Where do you want to see yourself in next 5 years down the line?
Bhatt Deorah: I would
love to see Advantage Club go global in the next 5 years. Also, higher
engagement within companies and providing a deeper value to corporations with
regards to their employee happiness is one of my long term goals.
What is your message to the readers on ‘International Women’s Day’?
Bhatt Deorah: Believe
in yourself. There are millions out there who will tell you that you cannot do
it, but you’re the only person who’s opinion should matter. Self-confidence
combined with zeal and passion usually results in making magic happen.