Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sameer Somal, Co-Founder of Girl Power Talk and CEO of Blue Ocean Global Technology, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Blue Ocean Global Technology is a digital consulting agency focused on reputation management, technology solutions, and digital transformation. It started with the vision of helping entrepreneurs and executives make smarter decisions in creating online brand value. Today, we leverage the latest technology to help our clients improve efficiency and create growth opportunities. The accelerating digital transformation and development of artificial intelligence [AI] are fascinating.
Reputation encompasses everything your business stands for, and first impressions underpin your opportunity set. Individuals and companies must ensure that their online reputation is representative of their actual reputation among their clients, partners, and stakeholders. A strong digital presence and online communication strategy are integral to forming a firm’s foundation. Businesses grow and succeed through their reputations, which is why the concept of “reputation management” propels me.
Girl Power Talk was founded on the idea that young India needed an innovative new work culture that equally harnesses people’s talents, regardless of gender. It is more than a company; we are a movement rooted in empowerment, professional ambition, and social impact. We meticulously recruit ambitious young leaders who value personal growth, professional development, and positive social change. Every candidate we invite to join our global team is unique, not for what they do but for who they are. We celebrate differences and believe in the collective power that is created when individuals are free to be their authentic selves.
Moreover, our platform is a medium for voicing our society’s opinions and concerns. We are committed to sharing everyone’s voices, especially youth, and women. Girl Power Talk is an amalgamation of cultures where profit meets purpose. Our team is determined to make the world a better place for people, regardless of their locale and social strata. Through our nurturing culture of learning and mentorship, we instill exceptional soft skills, technical knowledge, and purpose in young people.
As for customers, we serve clients from a vast expanse of industries. We are trusted by an exclusive group of strategic law, public relations, and private equity firms with whom we partner to collectively serve clients who engage our global team for specific projects. We’re cautious and selective when onboarding new relationships because our work is tailored to each client. We have developed niche expertise in crisis management, digital forensics, cyber investigation, and trusted expert witnesses in intellectual property, trademark, and internet defamation court cases.
Tell us about yourself
A quote by Dr. Benjamin Franklin truly summarizes my entrepreneurial journey: “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” I have a background in finance, having held financial intermediary and private banking roles at Morgan Staley, Merrill Lynch & Company, Bank of America, and Scotiabank. I didn’t want to be held back by technology-related constraints while launching a wealth management firm, which eventually resulted in me becoming a technology entrepreneur.
Data is the new oil. “Big data” has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue for the past several years, and for a good reason. As digital devices and touchpoints increase, so does the data we create. This information can help us understand clients and customers better, make more effective decisions, and improve our business operations. However, the full promise of big data can only be realized when guided by thoughtful human expertise. Creating an environment that fosters expertise is paramount to realizing this promise. My biggest motivator centers on the same—creating the type of environment and culture that talented professionals and youth need to thrive.
I believe today’s youth have immense potential to usher in a new age of innovation and development, one I wish I had been a part of 15–20 years ago. Telling people they are heard and valued is just the start. An inclusive leader listens to everyone’s concerns and creates a safe space where they are comfortable speaking up. I firmly believe that a leader should educate themself to be able to understand their team members’ perspectives more clearly. Be open to the differences in others’ backgrounds and adaptable when you need to be.
You encourage effort by relating it to a purpose. At the heart of our organization’s mission is impact investing, with a commitment to prioritizing gender lens and ESG factors. Such investments are intended to create a beneficial social and environmental impact in addition to financial return, essentially serving the global village.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Before I answer this question, let’s take a moment to think about the past several thousand years. Women have largely been relegated to the sidelines in global economic and business advancements. Imagine their potential impact if they were given equal opportunities in the future workforce. The objective is to promote social justice and equality while progressively acknowledging individual abilities.
We have devised a way to identify exceptional talent regardless of geography, socioeconomic status, education level, and age, breaking down barriers in the process. We provide companies access to resources and intellectual capital, including technology development, human capital, and marketing. Our overarching belief is that through education, opportunity, and the support of empathetic male allies, girls and women will surpass gender roles, aspire to new levels of achievement, and reshape our society. Through our innovative ecosystem, we are changing the world of work for the better and providing all voices equal weight in a new narrative defining the future.
I am proud of our culture and diverse family. We now have team members from 20+ countries. The Girl Power Talk mission is something I’ve envisioned for the past two decades. Providing opportunities and a culture wherein people can become the best versions of themselves can harmonize doing good and creating social impact.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
One of the hardest things is prioritization. You have a supply-demand, an imbalance of time, people who depend on you, internal team members that you value, love, and care for, and, last but not least, clients. As a result, you have many responsibilities, requiring you to implement the art of delegating work categorically. This means you are often the bottleneck impeding others from getting work done. Resolving this issue demands prioritization, giving people the opportunity to rise to challenges and positioning them to grow irrespective of age and traditional years of “experience.” This can sometimes trigger a trade-off between project evaluations.
So, the real challenges are being productive and staying true to your business. Among the most difficult tasks are balancing where you allocate your time and having the faith and conviction that you’re doing so optimally. You never feel like you’re spending enough time investing in yourself, your team, and your business, fixing problems, putting a foundation to scale, doing good, and spending time with family. You just never feel that you’re doing enough, but you ultimately grow to accept it and make choices and sacrifices to invest in your future transformation, both personally and for your business.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Recognize that, as the saying goes, “those who say they can and those who say they can’t are both usually right” and that “nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” In short, be passionate about what you’re doing and know there will be more challenges than expected along the way, but maintaining a positive outlook is key.
- People always remember how you made them feel. Whether it’s a client, a team member, or someone you’re rejecting from a job at your company, always try to end the relationship positively. I also advise giving without remembering and receiving without forgetting. Remember that respect is a two-way street: you must give it to receive it. People have remarkable memories and hold on to gratitude when someone genuinely cares for them. For instance, we’ve had individuals who we let go from our company or rejected from a position who then returned to thank us for the gracious and patient way we handled the situation. This has struck a chord with me on multiple occasions.
- Work incredibly hard, even when no one’s watching. Every great company, country, and person has the same 24 hours a day. If you want to accomplish amazing things in life, you’re going to have to make sacrifices, and you’re going to have to put the time in. Ultimately, those efforts will compound and pay off. To quote Michael J. Fox, “Discipline is just doing the same thing the right way whether anyone’s watching or not.”
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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