ADMIRED WOMEN

IN BUSINESS

2021

Pooja Bali

Pooja Bali, the CEO & Founder of Venuscast is completely redefining the way digital marketing is done. In an era where most digital marketing companies are focused on delivering results fast, Pooja with her unique approach, emphasizes creating meaningful, impactful work that isn’t just seen but remembered. Her company delivers cutting-edge marketing, branding, technology, customer experience, and personal branding solutions that move you and the world. With her focus on generating quality outcomes and empowering brands to develop a clear and long-term vision, Pooja is not only a leader creating change but is also a mentor who inspires, encourages, and drives teams to exceptional results. Founded in 2020, Dubai, UAE-based Venuscast serves clients across the globe.

In a candid interview with Aspioneer, Pooja Bali shared some important aspects of her entrepreneurial journey, her successes, and her vision.

Doing things differently
Pooja Bali: “Speed. Efficiency. Efficacy. It’s what defines marketing in the digital age. An idea is only as powerful as the agility with which it’s brought to life, and the results it delivers. And with a wide array of powerful technologies, comes infinite opportunities to bring your brand’s vision to life. But we believe that even in today’s relentlessly pacey world, there’s room for beauty - even before the genesis of an idea. And that beauty manifests itself in manifold ways. In beautiful, intuitive thinking. In the beauty of simple, powerful ideas. The beauty of the memorable, clutter-breaking design. The beauty of immaculate execution. The beauty of impeccable results. And most importantly, the beauty of making a statement while others simply deliver on expectations. This is the very reason why we named ourselves after Venus (the goddess of beauty). We dare to imagine the very same, fast-paced world of marketing in a beautiful way. While we meet expectations and targets, we also empower brands with a powerful vision for the digital future and what they stand for. Be it in our approach to digital marketing, advertising, or consumer engagement - it’ll deliver powerful results today, and be remembered for something far greater tomorrow. Our motto is ‘The Power of digital. Delivered Beautifully.’ At Venuscast, that's not a goal. It's a promise! It isn’t just delivering for the sake of it or just because you’ve agreed to, for a sum of money. It’s about taking a moment to do things differently. To not unleash the power of digital efficiently and effectively, but to do so with finesse and craft. Our objective is to make your brand stand out in this sea of sameness.”

Learning by doing
Pooja Bali: “Having lived and worked in Dubai for 5 years now, I keep meeting a lot of people of different nationalities day in and day out and with this experience, I understand basic needs and perceptions of the consumer towards a category. Also having worked both as a client & marketer gave me the exposure to structure things in a much seamless way as it is a very people-intensive business. I believe that business is the outcome of good relationships. I never sell the business to my clients, focus on mostly hearing them out and building the relationship and business comes as an outcome of that trust built. I have always been a people person from my childhood, to listen, learn, understand, connect and then engage. I actively listen to my team, get involved at the ground level to understand problems, and encourage and help my team to discover their own potential & core strengths. I am also a creative thinker, have great networking skills, problem-solving skills, and business management skills which have helped me in my entrepreneurship journey. Leadership lessons that I have learned are to adapt and evolve to the ever-changing environment, to try new ideas and tools which haven’t been done before. Networking is an investment in yourself, as you never know the kind of opportunities you get from good networking. One last thing I have learned is to never lose hope and focus on your end goal.”

Pooja Bali

“We are Venuscast. We deliver the power of digital. And we deliver it beautifully.”

Persevere. Endure. Succeed
Pooja Bali: “Inequality and unconscious bias are the most significant barriers I have come across in this gender-dominated society/industry, where our opinions are not valued enough or considered logical. Yes, there are stereotypes of us not being good at certain jobs, my question is who gets to decide and judge this? Another stereotype is that the growth of a woman in a company is always being judged or questioned instead of thinking about her hard work, persistence, and performance. It is also very unfortunate sometimes that women are women’s enemies in the workplace. In the early years of my career, women were so intimidated with the knowledge that I as a Gen Y.1 carried and was often commented as over-enthusiastic and over-ambitious, but they fail to understand that even they have walked a similar path to get where they were. The industry is also running in a very bureaucratic way of years of experience matter than the knowledge the person brings on the table and was often questioned by that as well!

The only way to overcome this is to take it with a pinch of salt and have a positive mindset every day. It requires a lot of tolerance, mental strength, patience, and hard work to perform better against all odds, challenging myself to learn more and strive to be the best in what I do. Women in leadership roles also need to be looked at as an individual or a resource who brings in the intellect, responsibility, talent, hard work, team management needed for the role rather than a gender bias. Women need to be trusted in leadership roles as they were equally or sometimes more competent than other men colleagues. There needs to be a mandate in all companies to increase the % of women being hired, paid equally for the same skills in traditionally male-dominated roles. As for women leaders, they should believe in themselves and have a go-getter attitude. We can’t expect the system to change overnight but rather be the change the world needs today & tomorrow. The only focus should be to dream big, reach the end goal or dream, irrespective of the hardships that might come, one should never give up and give in to societal taboos and pressure. Live your life the way you dream and dare to live the way you want and not what others expect of you with all honesty and perseverance.”

Inspired by the greats
Pooja Bali: “As the saying goes that learning starts at home, this resonates well with me. My learning started at home as I grew up in a progressive family, where women are treated equals and learned from some amazingly strong women both my grandmother & mother, the impact they have made in our family. I call them strong, as life wasn’t easy for them but rather just filled with obstacles one after the other. But they managed all of it & came out stronger each day. I am also inspired by the impact created by women leaders & entrepreneurs like Mother Teresa, Margaret Thatcher, Indra Nooyi, Oprah Winfrey, Shery Kara Sandberg & Susan Wojcicki. I look forward to benchmark these women leaders & entrepreneurs, put my life to learn, work & create successful business ventures with a goal to make a social impact – a better world & future for the coming generations.”

Building a better world
Pooja Bali: “My current goals are to focus on completion of my Global Executive MBA. I pursued my summer electives in the U.S.A, specializing in Finance. I want to get into the Finance industry involving business analysis & valuation, private equity, and mergers & acquisitions. Until now I have contributed to the business growth of the business from a sales and marketing angle but now want to leverage my finance skills and contribute to better EBITDA, profitability, and valuation by investing, growing ventures & helping them to exit in the private equity and venture capital universe. The finance or investment fraternity which is traditionally male-dominated is moving well towards investments in women-owned businesses and I want to do my bit of contribution to diversity & inclusion. My career aspiration is to lead investment in companies, work with them to grow & take them public (IPO), and list them in NYSE, NASDAQ, ENX, LSE, etc. Will consciously make an effort of supporting the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) initiatives and work with companies who are more ESG compliant. I want to build a legacy of being a successful investor and setting up my own PE fund eventually in the coming years and focus on women-owned and ESG compiled business thereby encouraging more women entrepreneurs from diverse cultures and backgrounds with innovative sustainable ideas to come to life and create a better life or society.”

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