Connect with us

Alumni Speak

‘The biggest challenge of starting a new venture? Fighting your own demons!’

Dubai-based entrepreneur and author shares her story



Arpita Kaul is the Co-founder and Managing Partner at Easy Assist DWC-LLC. Her venture offers customised services for individuals and businesses via administrative virtual assistants for a diverse range of ongoing and ad-hoc tasks. An alumna of Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park in New Delhi, India, in the following interview, Kaul shares tips for those new to business. Read on. Edited excerpts.  

Please walk us through your educational journey.

After my schooling at Apeejay, I moved to Pune for graduation in Business Administration. This was followed by attaining a Master’s degree at Bharati Vidyapeeth in the same city.

How and when did your interest develop towards Business Administration?

I come from a business family. My father dealt in retreading of tyres for heavy vehicles. This was years ago until my father switched to another venture. So growing up, my brother and I often visited our factory and spent time there. Seeing things in action, machines and people working was introduced to us early in life.

To add to this, the environment at home laid stress on educating oneself to be ready for the working world. So, I definitely picked up from there as money discussions, business debates were a regular feature. Eventually, choosing Commerce in my +2 and then Business Administration was a natural bent.

You started from Human Resources then went onto launch your own venture. What were the challenges? How did you overcome them?

Honestly, the biggest challenge of starting a new venture is the decision of starting it. To be able to fight the internal battle and a million thoughts that cross one’s mind, is foremost. Once these arguments are shushed and overcome, consider the battle half won.

Then, the next set of difficulties include deciding the framework of a business, how to price the services, finding resources, standard of quality, etc. For me, to pick the right talent, deliver what we set out to do paired with the desired quality was a huge task.

How did the idea for Easy Assist come about? Who are the other partners involved? Is it smooth to launch a venture in a new country?

My business partner, Alyson Irvine, is a Scottish National. We have been good friends for nearly a decade. We also worked together at a company prior to Easy Assist where she looked into the Administrative side and I was focused on the Human Resources domain.

It was the beginning of 2021 during Covid-19 when we both sat down and came up with a few business ideas. Eventually, we zeroed down on providing administrative support to others. That’s how Easy Assist came into being. We purposefully chose acronyms ‘E’ and ‘A’ which translates into an Executive Assistant in the corporate world. Soon, we formalised the idea by February and in April, we were looking for free zones to work in. With all the other processes in place, our site went live in June. Since then, there has been no looking back!   

What does your regular day look like?

At Easy Assist, we work remotely but everyone is based in Dubai. So, much part of my mornings are devoted to my kids. After which, I start my day and work till the afternoon. It includes catering to my clients and keeping the team together. Many times, I am also attending events and meetings in the city.    

Your advice to women entrepreneurs and new entrepreneurs?

To women who want to get into business, I will say that it is not that difficult. Often, we tend to limit ourselves due to a certain mindset. That is incorrect. My suggestion is: Be clear about what you want to do and just do it. Work on the elements of the business more than the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ that bother you.  

Moreover, an entrepreneur needs to develop a thick-skin. It is a journey full of downs and ups. My advice is to make your small ups so big that it compensates for the downs. And, rejections, mishaps, confusions are a part and parcel of the venture.

It may not be a rosy picture, so remember to be patient. Stay focused and keep progressing towards your goals.

UAE is increasingly becoming a preferred destination for professionals. Why so?

The landscape is central to the West and the East. It is an oasis that has people from more than 200 nationalities who work and live here. If you start working here in any office, you will find that at least 8-10 people are from different parts of the world. So, to respect and enjoy each other’s culture is something one learns quickly. Dubai is extremely futuristic! The city is ahead of its time and it is so because the government has made it very convenient for professionals and organisations to build their base here. Their policies are simply inviting.

You are an author too. Tell us more about your book.

‘Who Moved My Heels?’ captures stories of eighteen different women in business and professions. Individually, each one has shared her journey which I am sure will resonate with thousands of women. I am fortunate to be part of the book. It is certainly one of my proudest moments!

How were school years at Apeejay?

Apeejay was an extension of home. All lessons based on social skills, public-speaking and even my confidence has come from the opportunities presented to me in school. All of my teachers always encouraged and supported me. I am thankful for it! 

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

The Musical Interview with Anamika Jha