Founder’s, CEO’s, MD’s and positions of power have an aura of mystique surrounding them. They are known for their decision-making abilities and their business acumen. But what happens when you step into their lives? We delve into the worlds of five powerful women and discover their unscripted stories
As the daughter of the iconic Yusuff Ali, Shafeena has business drive and entrepreneurial sprit flowing through her veins. And this acumen was brought to life when she came back to Abu Dhabi after studying in London to find a distinct gap in the F&B market. This led to the formation of Tablez Food Company in 2010 with the launch of her home-grown artisan café concept, Bloomsbury’s. After that, things began snowballing for her with the launch of Peppermill, Galito’s and London Dairy. Through it all, Shafeena has realised that things can swing from very easy to very hard in a matter of seconds and that there are days when all the balls you are juggling will fall to the ground, but, it is about being able to pick them all up and start over again.
Describe yourself in one word?
Favourite subject in school?
Ever failed a subject?
Yes, Arabic. Could never understand it.
Name of the teacher in school who left an impact on you?
My fondest memories are with Ms Leena Jaykumar at Indian Islahi School and I am still in touch with her.
Favourite author growing up?
Best friend in school?
First country you visited?
Singapore, on a family vacation as a child.
One book you could read over and over again?
From the Corner of his Eye
– Dean Koontz.
“The battlefield is a scene of constant chaos. The winner will be the one who controls that chaos, both his own and the enemies.”- Napoleon Bonaparte.
What did you want to grow up to be as a child?
Entrepreneur, just like my father.
Your favourite dish?
Favourite city in the world?
One place you want to visit?
What time do you wake up?
For breakfast you have?
Authentic South Indian breakfast.
Describe your husband in one word?
The one dish your mother cooked, which you could never master?
Roast green chicken curry. Loved eating it as a child and still love the way my mum prepares it.
Did you have a pet? What was the name of your first pet?
Marbles, a cute looking cat.
Last thing you bought?
Last gift you gave?
Toys, for my kids.
What is your favourite possession?
Books. I have my own little treasure of books I love.
When you say 5 minutes, how far are you really?
30 minutes. Not always though!
What’s the name of your hometown?
Trichur in Kerala.
Your pet peeve?
Slurping drinks. Can’t stand people doing it around me.
Your favourite restaurant?
Busaaba in London.
A song that you know from start to finish?
All songs by Backstreet Boys.
One habit that you will never give up?
Which concert would you drop everything for to attend?
Who is the most dialled number on your phone?
Which charity would you support?
Women’s education charities.
You are most grateful for?
My parents who are responsible for everything I am today.
One value that you have learnt from your parents?
You need roots and wings.
If you weren’t in this position, what would be your alternate career?
Events Planning or Interior Designing.
When you’re not working, you are?
With my kids.
One piece of jewellery you own, that you would pass on as an heirloom?
My wedding jewellery. It is priceless for me.
Slang you have learnt from your kids?
For real, Mom!