As a child she saw her parents, first-generation immigrants to Canada, pick up and move their whole lives only to resign themselves to the dream of a better future. Their sacrifices inspired her and led her to chase a career in immigration. After completing her grad-school, she started pursuing law- obtaining a JD degree at University of Toledo, Ohio, USA. Then she attended the University of Miami and completed a Masters in Law (LL.M.) in real estate development. From 2010 to 2013 she gained significant knowledge in commercial real estate investments and projects while working in real estate and timeshare law in Florida. She then took the biggest risk of her life and moved to Dubai, the middle east’s hub of trade, to build a new life and get a first-hand experience of the struggles that her parents had to triumph over. Soon after her flair to do something for the people pushed her to co-found (in 2013) Step America, where as Managing Director she aided in raising millions of dollars for multi-billion dollars projects from individual and institutional investors across the region including the GCC, India, Pakistan, and Africa and gathered an extensive experience in immigration particularly specializing in the United States EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. In 2017 she started Step Global, a consultancy firm comprised of a network of globally licensed lawyers and immigration specialists who provide active guidance through the entire immigration process.
“Once I learned to focus on the positive things about my path, I was able to see my path for what it is and not let it be affected by what other people think or want for me.”
Step Global: Focused on your future
Preeya Malik, CEO at Step Global talks about the good work her company does, “We represent immigration programs from only the best countries worldwide as viewed by the economic index, educational value, and diversity rankings. Our team can assist in finding the migration program and country which fits best for you and your family. The bespoke immigration packages Step Global tailors to each individual client allows us to offer exemplary customer service and pave your migration path with ease and efficiency.”
Building a company from the ground up was a tough ride though. She had to dip into the last of her reserves and spend almost a year without income while going through a lot of ups and downs until it finally became a successful venture. Another big challenge that she had to overcome was the so-called social norm that people are still latched on to regarding life and its set timelines. She was forevermore judged and often deemed to be rolling with punches, bossing around and self-seeking when she fiercely and unapologetically disposed herself to her career above other things like getting married or starting a family. “It took me a long time to realize that other people’s perceptions are not my own, that I am doing a lot of good things for a lot of good people, and that I’m allowed to work at building a career,” says Preeya. “Once I learned to focus on the positive things about my path, I was able to see my path for what it is and not let it be affected by what other people think or want for me.”
So she kept focusing on reasonable things such as how her work was making so many lives better: “Throughout my last ten years in the residency and citizenship by investment industry, I’ve seen this sphere grow from a new and uncertain concept to a real and true opportunity. This opportunity has allowed families to completely reshape their lives by gaining passports and migration to nations they never would have been able to if it were not for these investment routes,” explains Preeya.
“There is no shame in trying and failing and there is great joy in trying and succeeding”
Looking back Preeya also recalls how my times she has been discouraged and told that her dream was too big. “The things that I want to do and accomplish aren’t always within grasp of what everyone thinks is possible. The only thing I can say to deal with this is to just try. There is no shame in trying and failing and there is great joy in trying and succeeding.”
Preeya Malik, CEO, Step Global
By having a great team behind her Preeya kept proving her critics wrong. “Having regular meetings with your team and ensuring everyone (including yourself) is focused on the end goal, strategic plans will become a reality almost every time,” stresses Preeya. When it comes to staffing her company Preeya looks for individuals who carry the right motivation to succeed and are ready to learn, improve and be better at their jobs. She relies on an open-door policy where she encourages her team to express their ideas and let the learning process grow. She also likes to maintain personal relationships with everyone she works with. “The level of personal relations with clients, customers, staff, peers, and leaders has always been a subject of contention. However, it is my belief that personal relationships with those you work with and interact with is the single most important thing within your business,” says Preeya. “Treating people like people, I like to catch up with my team and partners outside of work, find out about their lives their children and spouses, and let them know that they mean more to my life than just a career tool. I want to make everyone feel appreciated, and the best way to do that is to really get to know those you work with on a personal level.”
Undoubtedly, with rightful dedication and unputdownable confidence in self, Preeya grew her company from perplexity to real and true success. In 2016, she was honored as the ‘Female entrepreneur of the year in consumer Services’ and ‘Female executive of the year- Europe, Middle-east and Africa’ by The Stevie Awards.
But these successes come with a consequence. Being fully devoted to work Preeya often struggle with slowing down and balancing rest with work. “I like keeping busy and I have worked so hard for so many years, that it becomes a habit, and taking time out becomes harder and harder to do. But it is important, and I am trying to balance my personal life with my career,” shares Preeya. She, therefore, indulges herself into activities that pin her down to relax and work on mindfulness. She is fond of meditation, practicing yoga and spending time with her family and friends outside of her work schedule. Being a keen learner and a bibliophile, she often finds her inspiration in the books. She is a huge admirer of ‘Emotional Intelligence’ by The Harvard Business Review and desires to share her lessons with the world. “I think working hard and growing technical skills are important, but in the workplace and in life, emotional intelligence is what will really allow you to reach your potential and succeed,” affirms Preeya. She also enjoyed Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ and considers her as a prime influence in terms of career, strength, courage, and family.
“Success is a direct result of what you are willing to give”
Preeya believes that the women behind her should hold fast all the opportunities that lie before them. With the onset of new technologies, career paths, education reforms and ways of life, her advice would be, “Take advantage of all this growth that has happened and use these opportunities to work hard and prove yourself to yourself.” Although she adds being a woman leader can be hard. “You are certain to face people who don’t take you seriously, but the reward is great when you do show people what you are all about. I would say to continue working hard, be confident in your skills set and talents, and understand that women have so much to offer in the workplace. If you are aware of all of these things and keep those in the forefront of your mind, you will succeed,” Preeya says. “Success is a direct result of what you are willing to give!”