Boss of the month
Irum Zahra: Owner of the Lokal Café and Beyond Sanity Media
There are many faces to this talented young lady. An entrepreneur, an author, a friend, a sister and much more. She is a determined soul, who at such a young age have achieved so much. Join Social Diary as we get to know more about Irum Zahra, and how she deals with everything.
Please tell us about your background, family and education.
I’m from Islamabad; I have a family of 3 people: me, my mother and my younger sister Maham. I have a Master’s degree in Mass Communication.
Tell us about your responsibilities as the business owner?
Honestly, it all looks very fancy, but people don’t understand that it is actually a lot of hard work combined with many sleepless nights. As a business woman I have to manage home and work so both can run efficiently.
You run your own café/business; generally, what do you think are the main challenges when a woman wants to set up and run a business?
It’s not common opinion, but being a woman makes certain things easier. People are more responsive, more eager to listen when you’re a woman. Challenges begin when you start making decisions. That’s when you face friction.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Social media for the win because everything that I have built runs through social media pages and the website. When you interact with the audience, that’s when you gain their confidence and help them understand what you do. You have to be more responsive to people so they can be responsive in return.
Being a boss, what do you think makes a great employee stand out?
Understanding what the boss wants and presenting new ideas of his/her own as well. Employees shouldn’t just say yes and get the work done, he or she should present something from his own too, that’s how a business becomes successful. When your goals align with your employees, you can grow.
What is your vision for women in Pakistan when it comes to becoming their own bosses, or higher level administrators?
We still have to learn a lot, we have to learn how to become better at decision making. We’re doing great so far, I know so many women who are going above and beyond to make their careers and I am in complete awe of what they are achieving. We just need to stay strong, that’s all.
To what do you attribute your success?
My sister Maham, most of all and then few friends that I have made along the way. If it weren’t for them, guiding me through the turmoil, I would’ve given up on myself a long time ago.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Do not let bad decisions rule your life. Learn from them and move on. Always keep some friends close to you so you know they’ll catch you when you fall.
What best motivates you?
Writing. My poetry keeps me moving on.
What are your short cuts to successfully handle frustration and success?
A good book, good music and good coffee.
Describe a typical day of yours.
It’s nothing out of the ordinary if I had to think. From making breakfast, doing dishes to get ready for meetings and events and finally enjoying Ludo with my friends over tea from Lokal sums up my day.
When you’re not busy with work, what are some of your favourite things to do?
I watch movies, and tv shows. A lot of them. I love Instagram, I talk to my friends or I just pack a bag and travel to Lahore or Karachi.
On what do you spend the most: clothes, accessories, perfumes or anything else?
I am not big on shopping. I spend on food, books and watches. I love watches.
How do you maintain a perfect balance between your work and family life?
I’m still working on it, to be honest. You’re always learning.
Give a message to your fans through the platform of Social Diary Magazine.
Read more books, enjoy the tea and food from Lokal and don’t forget to live a little.