Aparna Murali Gupta is a global influencer and an entrepreneur from Dubai and is working with the aim to change lives and bring positive change. Having spent her life in Gulf countries she was brought up in a multi-cultural atmosphere which enabled her to embrace all cultures and religions with an open heart. She is the kind of businesswoman, that women aspire to be. In her interview with Storiyaan, Aparna talks about the difficulties she faced in her journey, her love for travel, fashion, and her driving force to become an entrepreneur. Have a look at this interview to know more.
Questions and answers
Growing up in Dubai how do you think your thought process has been influenced due to multicultural exposure?
I would say that living in a Gulf country, gave me a lot of cultural exposure as I interacted with people from different countries. Growing up in Dubai has enabled me to accept different cultures more openly and has made it easier for me to interact with other people. I do not judge people by their nationality or religion rather I love to know more and embrace their culture.
As a woman in the business, what are some of the setbacks you have faced and how did you cope with them?
After thirty years, I have become used to people judging me because I am a woman. I cope with the belief that with time, I can prove my worth to them. People continue to question me and my work, and it used to affect me in the beginning but now I have faith and confidence in myself. I cannot remove the stereotypes completely but I can prove them wrong by doing my best.
What is your driving force behind becoming a global influencer?
I would not call myself an influencer as I feel I have a very long way to go and I made my page public only a few months back. I would share different journeys of my life with friends and family on Instagram and they would feel inspired by it. It encouraged me to make my page public and to try to motivate women in any way possible be it fitness, fashion, or anything else. If my page can bring a smile to someone’s face, it is enough for me.
Apart from travelling, fashion has also been in your best interest, how do you come up with a sustainable style while you are traveling?
I like to make a list of things, be it groceries or anything. So, while travelling, I have a set itinerary that also includes my daily outfits. Before travelling, I do a thorough research of the climate, fashion and trends of that particular region and decide my outfits accordingly. I try to blend in with the culture of the country I am travelling to.
How important do you think is a good dressing sense in order to amplify one's personality?
I personally believe that only when I wear something, I am comfortable in, I feel the confidence radiating off me. I never try to copy others because I have my own style. Good dressing is very important as it amplifies one’s personality and confidence.
Growing up away from India, how have you managed to stay relevant to the plight of work culture in India?
I haven’t really thought about the work culture a lot as I started working only a few years back. With the offices being shut and everybody working from home, I have not been able to understand it completely and will need more time to do so. One thing I find of disadvantage is the difference in weekends in Gulf countries and India.
As an NRI what are some of the major dissimilarities you notice in the Indian working culture when compared to the rest of the world?
In Gulf, Fridays and Saturdays are off which is one of the major dissimilarities. NRI and the Indian working culture are almost the same but the work here is a little more tedious. People try to adapt to this work culture even though it can be hard because of the working hours, hot weather, and many more things.
As a woman, how do you think women can play a key role in uplifting other women and embracing their sisterhood?
I believe that in this world, only a girl can uplift another girl. I have been body shamed for a long time and the confidence I have now was not there earlier. Girls can be mean at times but the power a compliment from another girl holds is beyond anything. Women play a key role in uplifting other women and they should always support each other.
According to you, how important is the role of a supportive partner, in order to empower each other professionally and personally?
I feel it is very important to have a supportive partner. I am very thankful to have a partner who constantly pushes me to be the best version of myself, be it professionally or personally. We believe in equal responsibilities. I also feel that support goes both ways. If my partner is supporting me, I should be his leaning shoulder as well. That is how it works.
One message you would like to give out to all the young girls reading your feature?
Be confident in your life and never stop dreaming. Don’t let other’s comments drag you down. Aim high and work for it. If you have the fire to make them come true, no matter how hard the hurdles are and how many times you fall, you will learn from your mistakes and achieve what you desire.
a. Dubai or India : Dubai
b. Favourite travel destination: Switzerland
c. Feminism to you is?: Equal opportunities for women and men
d. The key to women empowerment is?: If a woman is given an opportunity, she can do wonders.
e. Your inspiration?: My parents