Asma Sakil: It’s Never Too Late To Start Your Business
In a world where fashion serves as a powerful language, a platform to express oneself, one woman has used this medium to disrupt norms, inspire women, and build a formidable business empire. Asma Sakil, a trailblazing entrepreneur hailing from Qatar, is the epitome of resilience, creativity, and ambition. From designing her own abayas to conquering the international fashion stage, Asma’s journey is an inspiring tale of transforming a simple passion into a thriving global brand.
Today, we have the privilege of delving into her extraordinary journey. In this intimate conversation, we explore the unique challenges she faced while starting her business, the invaluable influence of her law degree, her calculated business expansions, and her remarkable collaborations with leading industry brands. From her impactful presence in renowned fashion shows to her admirable commitment to empowering women, Asma Sakil is a figure who continuously breaks boundaries, redefines norms, and inspires change.
Join us as we unmask the force that is Asma Sakil – a woman whose passion for fashion is redefining the business landscape in Qatar and beyond.
It’s Never Too Late To Start Your Business
Global Woman — Interview
In a world where fashion serves as a powerful language, a platform to express oneself, one woman has used this medium to disrupt norms, inspire women, and build a formidable business empire. Asma Sakil, a trailblazing entrepreneur hailing from Qatar, is the epitome of resilience, creativity, and ambition.
Can you share the story of how you turned your passion into a successful business in the fashion industry in Qatar?
Certainly! My journey from a passionate designer to a successful businesswoman in the fashion industry has been remarkable. It all started with my love for design and my dissatisfaction with the available options on the market. I began by refashioning abayas that I bought, eventually designing them myself. The turning point came when strangers started asking where I bought my abayas, and it sparked a realisation that my designs were resonating with people.
What were some of the unique challenges you faced when starting your business, especially in a society where the traditional role for women was seen as staying at home? How did you overcome them?
Indeed, I faced several challenges when starting my business, particularly in a society where traditional gender roles were prevalent. The conventional approach dictated that women belong at home. However, I firmly believed that women could have different roles at home and in the community. I had to overcome societal expectations and demonstrate the value and potential of my business idea. I employed perseverance and determination, and most importantly, I had the support of my husband, who became one of my biggest supporters.
How did your law degree contribute to your success in turning your passion for fashion into a thriving business?
My law degree has been instrumental in my entrepreneurial journey. It provided me with a solid foundation in business law, contracts, and negotiations. This knowledge has been invaluable in establishing partnerships, protecting my intellectual property, and navigating the legal aspects of the fashion industry. It allowed me to approach my business with a strategic mindset, ensuring that I could leverage my creativity while operating within the legal framework.
What strategies did you employ to convince your family and gain their support for your business idea, considering the prevailing cultural norms?
Convincing my family was not an easy task, considering the prevailing cultural norms and expectations. I had to showcase my passion, dedication, and the potential of my business idea. I engaged in open and honest conversations, addressing their concerns and highlighting the positive impact my business could have. By demonstrating my commitment and success, I gradually gained their support and understanding. It was a journey of mutual understanding and appreciation for the opportunities that could be created.
Can you tell us about the journey of expanding your business to various sectors like fashion, cosmetics, skincare, exhibitions, advertising, and marketing? How did you identify and pursue these new opportunities?
Expanding my business to various sectors has been an exciting and fulfilling experience. It began with the success of my abaya line, which inspired me to explore new avenues. I identified opportunities by closely observing market trends, understanding consumer demands, and conducting thorough research. This allowed me to diversify my brand into cosmetics, skincare, exhibitions, advertising, and marketing. Each expansion was a calculated step, driven by a passion for excellence and a commitment to cater to the evolving needs of my customers.
Participating in renowned fashion shows like London and Paris Fashion Weeks, Cannes Festival, and the Golden Globe Awards is a significant accomplishment. Could you share your experience and the impact it had on your brand’s visibility and growth?
Participating in prestigious fashion shows and events has been a defining moment in my career. It was an incredible opportunity to showcase my designs on a global platform and gain international recognition. The exposure from these events significantly enhanced the visibility of my brand and opened doors to new markets and collaborations. It solidified my brand’s reputation for innovation and craftsmanship, propelling its growth and establishing it as a prominent player in the fashion industry.
Building partnerships with influential brands in the fashion industry is a remarkable achievement. How did you establish these collaborations, and how have they contributed to the success of your designs and expanding your business?
Building partnerships with influential brands has been a strategic endeavour for me. I approached these collaborations with a clear vision and a commitment to deliver excellence. By showcasing the unique qualities and appeal of my designs, I was able to capture the attention of these brands. Mutual respect and shared values formed the foundation of these partnerships, allowing us to create synergies and unlock new opportunities. These collaborations have not only elevated the visibility of my designs but also provided valuable industry insights and opened doors to wider distribution networks. They have been instrumental in expanding my business and establishing a reputation for quality and innovation.
With your brands now being sold in top stores and fashion outlets in Qatar, what strategies did you employ to position your products as premium and desirable in the market?
Positioning my products as premium and desirable in the market required a comprehensive approach. I focused on meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, ensuring that every piece embodied luxury and elegance. I also prioritised the use of high-quality materials, such as pure cotton and silk, to create a sense of exclusivity. Additionally, I invested in branding and marketing efforts that conveyed the unique value proposition of my designs. By consistently delivering exceptional products and providing a superior customer experience, I was able to position my brands as coveted and aspirational within the market.
You mentioned your plans to expand your business to Morocco, France, and London. What factors influenced your decision to enter these markets, and what steps are you taking to ensure a successful expansion?
The decision to expand my business to Morocco, France, and London was driven by several factors. These markets have a rich appreciation for fashion and a discerning customer base that aligns with my brand’s aesthetic. Additionally, they offer significant opportunities for growth and collaboration with renowned industry players. To ensure a successful expansion, I am conducting extensive market research, understanding the cultural nuances, and tailoring my designs to resonate with the preferences of these markets. Collaborating with local partners and leveraging their expertise will also be crucial in establishing a strong presence and building a loyal customer base in these new territories.
Your commitment to empowering women and involvement in philanthropic activities is admirable. Could you share some of the initiatives you are involved in and how you strive to support and uplift fellow women entrepreneurs in Qatar?
Empowering women and supporting fellow female entrepreneurs is close to my heart. I actively engage in initiatives that foster entrepreneurship and provide opportunities for women to thrive in the business world. I mentor aspiring designers and businesswomen, sharing my experiences and guiding them on their own journeys. Additionally, I collaborate with organisations that promote female empowerment and contribute to philanthropic causes. By investing in the growth and success of fellow women entrepreneurs, I believe we can create a more inclusive and prosperous society for all.