I took a break from my career when I had a baby – for me, it was the natural thing to do, and a choice I was fortunate to be able to make, because of the support and resources I had.
Kaira Ventures is named after my daughter. It comes from the Greek word “kairos”, which refers to “the opportune moment”. I founded the company earlier this year to embark on the next chapter of my career, as I take a step away from The Working Capitol to pursue another passion of mine.
As a founder, you’re forced to wear many hats, and launching The Working Capitol required me to adopt various roles. One I became particularly fond of was in building our culture – defining our values, designing our organisational systems, and coaching our team. With Kaira Ventures, I hope to help other founders design their organisations into purpose-led businesses, and build authentic cultures where their people can thrive.
HAIR Ash Loi MAKEUP Angel Gwee
Dress, jacket, & necklace, Mango. Heels, Call It Spring by Aldo. Bracelet & ring, Saranta’s own
The Working Capitol was named as one of the top co-working spaces in Asia by Forbes in 2016, and continues to hold its ground amid fierce competition. Flexibility, adaptability, and playing to our strengths have been key to our success. Our ability to provide bespoke spaces and services, plus our design-led aesthetics, has proven to be a winning recipe. Working with shophouses and on the adaptive reuse of conservation properties is at the core of what we do.
Last year, we put all of our focus on helping our member companies survive, stabilise and thrive. We decided to prioritise this early on. That meant pre-emptively passing on rental relief to our members, even before we saw any from our landlords. By Q4 of 2020, we were at 100 per cent occupancy – a big accomplishment, given the current climate. We are now launching a new site on Keong Saik Road.
Surround yourself with people who are supportive and believe in you.
Starting your own business will always come with its own set of challenges. When it comes to securing funding or entering into any partnership, it is crucial to first have clarity on your purpose and values, as a leader and a business, to ensure that you build an ecosystem of partners who are aligned with your vision.
As a female founder, I have not had to overcome gender biases. I’ve been very fortunate to be surrounded by men and women who treat each other with respect, are supportive, and want to see each other succeed. But the biases are out there, and I believe that for us to overcome them, women need to support one another. I would love to see more investment go into female entrepreneurship.
For women thinking about founding their own start-ups: Be clear on your vision and the impact you want to have, surround yourself with people who are supportive and believe in you, and enjoy the process.
— In partnership with Estée Lauder —
Tell us how you power on, from your self-care tips to your motivations. We’ll pick 10 readers with the most inspiring and empowering IG posts to win a 50ml bottle of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum and Advanced Night Repair Eye Supercharged Complex, worth $280. Make sure that your IG profile is public, follow @HerWorldSingapore and @EsteeLauder_SG, and include the following hashtags in your post: #HerWorldHerStory #HowWePowerOn #EsteeLauderSG. Contest ends March 28, 2021. Posts may also be featured on Estée Lauder’s Instagram.
PHOTOGRAPHY Veronica Tay & Vee Chin
ART DIRECTION Ray Ticsay & Adeline Eng
STYLING Lauren Alexa