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How Asian Women Can Reach Their Potential

Rupinder Kaur


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hsbcinnovationbanking logo

How Asian Women Can Reach Their Potential

Rupinder Kaur



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Rupinder Kaur Asian Women Mean Business
Full transcript here

About Rupinder Kaur

The BAE HQ welcomes Rupinder Kaur, the founder of Asian Women Mean Business. It's an organization dedicated to helping Asian Women to dream bigger.

Rupinder always believed in herself but found her passion was helping other women to do the same too. She went all in and has over 100 Asian female-owned businesses in her directory and even took a group to climb Kilimanjaro.

We discuss not only tips for women to achieve their potential but also how men can do their part by supporting women in their lives rather than trying to hold them back.

Rupinder's LinkedIn

Asian Women Mean Business

Show Notes

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From the first time founders to the funds that back them, innovation needs different. HSBC Innovation Banking is proud to accelerate growth for tech and life science businesses, creating meaningful connections and opening up a world of opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors alike. Discover more at https://www.hsbcinnovationbanking.com/

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Rupinder Kaur Full Transcript

Rupinder Kaur: [00:00:00] When women transform and grow and they, they understand their potential and meet their potential, that impact is not just felt by them, it's felt by their children, it's felt by their partners, it's felt by their parents, it's felt by their families. That's what's happened to me. When I have stepped into my growth, I have seen changes in my mum and my daughter.

Rupinder Kaur: If you've not grown up in a household where you're told how great you are, or recognised, then it's probably no wonder that you're questioning yourself. Everyone has. The potential all of us do

Amardeep Parmar: welcome to the Bay HQ podcast, where we aim to inspire, connect and guide the next generation of British entrepreneurs. Today we have with us Rupinder Kaur, the founder of Asian women mean business, a community of South Asian women daring to dream bigger. 

Rupinder Kaur: How are you doing today? Hi, I'm great. Thank you for having me on.

Amardeep Parmar: So you've got a really interesting story and you're inspiring so many other people, but when you're younger yourself. Did you ever [00:01:00] think you'd get to where 

Rupinder Kaur: you are today? No, I really didn't. So I grew up in inner city Wolverhampton in the Midlands, the daughter of migrants, as many of us are. But my parents got married very young.

Rupinder Kaur: They were blue collar manual workers. And I went to the local comprehensive. There were very low aspirations, actually, for... for me and probably for many of the Children in that era, especially at that time. So when I look back now, I look at what I'm doing. I look at where I live. I look at The impact that AWMB is having, I'm always pinching myself and I think that's good because it gives you humility.

Rupinder Kaur: It gives you gratitude and I don't take any of it for granted. So every day it's just pure gratitude at the fact that I'm doing something I love and that I didn't think this was possible. 

Amardeep Parmar: How did you start believing it was possible? Because it's fairly recent, right? That you started age movement business the last few years.

Amardeep Parmar: Where did the idea come from? Like, where did this start out from? 

Rupinder Kaur: So my background is [00:02:00] in psychology and HR. I did my first degree in psychology. So my parents were, because they hadn't gone to a higher school or university, their only thing was go to university. They didn't know anything. We didn't know anything about Russell group universities.

Rupinder Kaur: We didn't know anything about what was a good uni. What wasn't all their only thing was go to university. And I think like so many Brown parents, they just wanted that photo. With the degree on the wall, but I'm so grateful that they encouraged that. So I went to university and I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I loved psychology, did psychology, discovered HR, loved HR, did my, my master's in HR and then spent 15 years in the corporate world in human resources.

Rupinder Kaur: Really incredible organizations like Coca Cola, Unilever, worked for Yum! Brands. They owned KFC and Pizza Hut. So really incredible American organizations that were so forward thinking in terms of what they were doing in terms of their people practices. But what I realized was when I was going into these board meetings, when I was going into these conferences, I was [00:03:00] never seeing women.

Rupinder Kaur: That looked like me. And I just remember it so vividly. I was 27 years old. I got promoted to a regional head of HR role. I walked into the board meeting. I looked around and everyone was that, I mean, the saying is male, pale and stale. So they were, they were white men of a certain age. No one looked like me.

Rupinder Kaur: And I just had this moment of. Where are all the incredible women that I went to uni with? Like, where are all these incredible women that I went to school with? And when I started to speak to them and look for them, so I was a head of HR. All of them were HR administrators, assistants, like they were playing so small in comparison to what they should have been doing.

Rupinder Kaur: I wasn't any more intelligent than them. I didn't have any more potential than them. But what I did have was a really great mentor. Who took me under his wing, who taught me how the corporate world works and the game that's being played and showed me how to do that. And what I firmly believe is I think once you've made it [00:04:00] through those doors, once you've made it up that ladder, you should look behind you, look around you and think actually where's everyone else that looks like me.

Rupinder Kaur: So then I started to offer coaching and mentoring. In addition to my HR role, just did it as a, on the side for free. But the results that these women were getting where they, they were growing in confidence, they were going for that promotion. They were, they were starting their side hustle. And so it just kind of like triggered a thought in me to think, actually, if I was to do this full time, like, what would that look like?

Rupinder Kaur: And if I was to leave HR, what would that look like? And so a few years ago, actually three years ago, December, 2019, I handed in my notice. I was the head of HR for a human rights charity here in London, handed in my notice and thought I'm going to, I'm just going to go all in and bet on myself and make my side hustle the main hustle.

Rupinder Kaur: Um, and that's what I've done and I've not looked back since it's been incredible. 

Amardeep Parmar: And what you said is a big part of why we're doing this as well, because I feel like [00:05:00] there's many people out there who have this idea, like there's nobody who looks like me who's done this and then they can't do it.

Amardeep Parmar: Exactly. And it's not true, obviously. It's just because if there isn't anybody who's like, who's done it before. Then you'd be the first one. And that's the way I see it. And that's what you did. When you're at these companies, you like pave the way for people coming after you. And it's so important for, like I said, for people who do do that to help other people come up as well.

Amardeep Parmar: And it's really frustrating. Sometimes you see people have done very well, but they don't want to. Lift other people up with them and when you started the coaching and mentoring originally, how did you find the people to come on board? Is it people asking for help or where did you discover your 

Rupinder Kaur: first clients?

Rupinder Kaur: Yeah. So initially I literally went back to the, the, the ladies that I was at uni rhythms and I was asking them, what are you doing? This is where I'm at. Why aren't you here? So it was coaching and mentoring them. And then as my role in head of HR, one of the things that you do is you spot talent and you spot potential and coaching and mentoring them.

Rupinder Kaur: And then word starts to spread. And so then I started to get approached because, uh, women were seeing that [00:06:00] other women were working with me and, and it was delivering results. Right? So then they started to approach me and then, then they started to ask me, how much do you charge? And I was thinking, I don't, I don't charge for this.

Rupinder Kaur: Like I'm doing it, but they were like, actually, no, you should be charging for this. This is a real service that you're providing. And that's how it that's how it's just grown since then. And a lot of it in the early days was word of mouth, which is the way I think it should be. Because I think if you're good at what you do, people talk, they want to share, they will share that.

Rupinder Kaur: It's interesting what you said about if we don't see people that look like us, there's a saying, isn't there? Can you be what you cannot see? I do think that's true. I think if you don't, if you don't see people that look like you in the boardrooms, in politics, in business, in the corporate world, It limits your own potential because you start to ask yourself, is it possible for me?

Rupinder Kaur: And as soon as you see someone that looks like you, that's it. It shatters all of that because you see that it's possible for them. And so maybe you can do it too. So I think it's [00:07:00] really, I think role models are really important. I think it's really important to be visible. And what you said about sometimes people don't want to do that.

Rupinder Kaur: I get that. And I've had that. I had that in my career. I've had that since with a WNB where there are people who are more established and you think that they would have the generosity and kindness of spirit to want to want to help to want to support. But maybe they've forgotten how hard it was. Or maybe there is that The scarcity mindset that creeps in and that does creep in a lot with South Asian people around actually, if I help them, maybe they'll get further further than me again.

Rupinder Kaur: There's that saying isn't that people want to help you unless they think you're going to get further than them, in which case they have second thoughts. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah, and I'm going to bring you back to something you mentioned a bit earlier where you said about talent spotting, right? And you said about part of your role was trying to find the diamonds in the rough in some ways.

Amardeep Parmar: And if people listening right now who maybe they didn't believe in themselves right now, what are some of the things they can maybe look inside themselves and see if they have that? to kind of encourage them to like, actually, yeah, maybe they do have the potential. 

Rupinder Kaur: I [00:08:00] think everyone has the potential. All of us do.

Rupinder Kaur: Sometimes that potential is hidden and it's hidden by conditioning. It's hidden by the beliefs that we hold. It's hidden by the, the things that we're told. If you, if, uh, if you've not grown up in a household where you're told how great you are or your potential has been recognized, or if you don't have a friendship group that sees that, then it's probably no wonder that you're questioning yourself.

Rupinder Kaur: The by the very virtue of having dreams planted in you, because I always think your dreams are a big, big indication of that. I knew even though I was growing up in inner city Wolverhampton, I went to the local, a terrible comprehensive. I didn't go to a great first university. It wasn't a Russell group university.

Rupinder Kaur: I just knew there was something about me. I just knew, I knew I was going to get out of Wolverhampton. I knew I was going to move to London. I just knew there was something inside of me. I didn't know what. Um, so how all of this has unfolded is, is I'm just bewildered by it myself sometimes, but I knew that there was [00:09:00] something and I believe everyone knows that there's something.

Rupinder Kaur: So hold on to that and surround yourself with people that believe in you, I think is the biggest thing I would, I would 

Amardeep Parmar: say. And when you're thinking about taking this full time, what were your friends and family like? Were they thinking like you? People fully behind you. 'cause obviously you left like a very impressive career, successful career to do your own thing.

Amardeep Parmar: How has that transition for 

Rupinder Kaur: you? Yeah, , that's such a good question. So I, uh, I sometimes tell this story about how, so I had to, I handed back the keys to my, you know, 80,000 pound company car. I was on a six figure salary, um, to go all in on, on this side hustle. That wasn't generating that level of income that didn't have a company car that didn't have the fuel car that didn't have the expenses card and for some people it was really difficult.

Rupinder Kaur: So for my mom, for my mom, it really triggered her insecurities and her scarcity and she just couldn't understand it. She just and they couldn't understand. She couldn't understand that. You know, we made all these sacrifices. We've educated you. You've done it. You've got this incredible career. Why are you leaving this for something [00:10:00] that's so uncertain?

Rupinder Kaur: And so Sometimes it's not always the criticism of other people, but it's the concern of those that love us that holds us back because they're worried about us because they don't see the possibilities that we see because of how they grew up. And that used to really annoy me that my mom, and until I had that moment of insight to think, you know, she came into this country when she was 19 years old.

Rupinder Kaur: She got married to my dad. They hadn't arranged marriage. She went and worked. in a sewing factory in Wolverhampton for 40 years of her life was led a very mediocre, very small, very sheltered life. Of course, this was massive for her. And of course, she couldn't understand because what I was doing took, took not only her fears, but took her so far out of her comfort zone.

Rupinder Kaur: But in the end, I really had to explain to her that, you know, we've got one life I had to, I had to give this my best shot. What was the worst that could happen? I don't get clients. It doesn't take off. I'll go back to, I'll go back to my HR career. I can do that now. So once I kind of explained that to her, she, she was cool [00:11:00] with it and she understood it.

Rupinder Kaur: And so she is really bewildered. So when she sees, you know, things that me being on TV and various things, she just, she doesn't quite get it, but she's very proud of it. And so in other words, my husband was very supportive. He gets the whole thing about we've got one life to live. We should do it. And also understood that I could go back into my HR career.

Rupinder Kaur: There was a bit of a difficulty in terms of most of my friends were in the corporate world. So I didn't have any entrepreneurial friends. I didn't have anyone that had left to do their own. thing. And anyone that I knew had very well established bricks and mortar businesses. And that's very different to what I'm doing in the online world with coaching and mentoring and courses and events.

Rupinder Kaur: So they didn't quite understand it either. So what I had to do was create that community around me. I had to go and find my coaches, my mentors, my community that could understand what I was doing, that could pour that gasoline on my dreams. And I had to be intentional about that. And that's what's helped me.

Rupinder Kaur: And that's what now I'm doing for others. So it's like a full circle, [00:12:00] full circle moment. And 

Amardeep Parmar: when you went full time, what did you change? Cause obviously you're thinking now I've got a lot more time to put into this. What were the first things you really wanted to do to get like your business started off?

Rupinder Kaur: Yeah, that's a really good question. So the first things for me was all about no longer having a team. So Havi, literally when you're doing, when you're starting off by yourself, you're doing everything by yourself. So you are the social media manager, the VA, the MD, the cleaner, all of it, right? You're doing everything.

Rupinder Kaur: And that takes a bit of adjustment because I had a team. When I was the head of HR, I had an assistant. I had a team. I could give the donkey's work to someone else. I have to do the donkey's work now. So that's a moment of. Okay, but that's what we have to do. And I love those moments because you roll your sleeves up, right?

Rupinder Kaur: And you just get stuck into it. And people totally 

Amardeep Parmar: don't realize how much donkey work there is to do at the beginning. They, because everybody only shows the camera side a lot of the time, right? Because I'm not going to necessarily sit there and post me, like, having to go through my spreadsheets and stuff like that.

Amardeep Parmar: But there's a lot of that behind the scenes that has to happen. Those foundations at the beginning are really important to set you up for [00:13:00] success. 

Rupinder Kaur: Exactly that, but and also recognizing what your strengths are and where you need help. So I'm very big picture. I'm a, I'm an action taker. I think big, I can do big.

Rupinder Kaur: I don't like detail. And that's where I needed help. So that's where I brought in someone to help me with the spreadsheets, with the detail. So my team now say to me, they're like, Rupinder, you leave a path of destruction because when I want to do something, I'll do it. And I need someone behind me literally like picking up all the pieces and putting all the things, all the infrastructure into place to do it.

Rupinder Kaur: But that's part of being an entrepreneur. It's not, it's not so good at this. Who can I find who's good at that that can support me? Because then together you're a formidable team, 

Amardeep Parmar: right? And it comes from the idea of the visionary, the integrator, I'm sure you've heard before, right? Yes. And lots of entrepreneurs are the visionaries, right?

Amardeep Parmar: They're the ones who've got the big ideas they want to get in place. But you often do need somebody, like you said, to do the integrating side. And for me, my problem was in some ways is 'cause I had a technical background, I was kind of trying to do both. And it's hard for me to let go of some integrating side when I really [00:14:00] need to in order to like get the business to grow.

Amardeep Parmar: And that's why this team, at the moment's like me and , so. He's going to be doing some more of the integrating side, but it's also some of the visionaries. So it's that blend and like getting the roles right for everybody in your team as well. How big is your team now? Like who have you 

Rupinder Kaur: got? I have a, a, an operations manager who works with me and she manages SERB, who is incredible.

Rupinder Kaur: And she's very detail orientated, very into spreadsheets, very into the little stuff. I'm into the big stuff. So we, we work really well together. I have a VA. I have a social media manager. We have a tech team. So that was the other thing. I'm not into tech. Um, but we have, we have to have a really robust system because we run a membership model.

Rupinder Kaur: We have subscriptions, we have an online directory, like our technology is big. So we have a whole tech team that supports that, Tinder does that. And so it is about pulling in together a team of people that have strengths that I don't have. I have what they don't have, which is, which is the visionary, which is a big thinker, which is, I can get out [00:15:00] there and make it happen.

Rupinder Kaur: I just need, I just need other people to carry it 

Amardeep Parmar: through for me. And as you mentioned there, you've got the direction, you've got other things going on as well, but you started from the mentoring and coaching. What were the other, what's the other products or what are the other things you offer now? As you expand, 

Rupinder Kaur: we, so Asian women mean business is the, is the umbrella business.

Rupinder Kaur: And then we have a whole suite of services that we offer. Our, our biggest is our membership model. So we have a membership called Inspire Club. It's a personal professional development club for South Asian women. And that's what, regardless of whether you are in the corporate world or you're an entrepreneur or you're a stay at home mom, because the topics I set, the curriculum, the, these are all themes that will move you forward in any of those areas.

Rupinder Kaur: So we have inspire club, we have an online directory. It's the first online directory for South Asian female founders. I really wanted to create this one stop shop where if you want to support South Asian female founders, you know where you can go. And so there's a whole infrastructure behind that.

Rupinder Kaur: There's a coaching that I do and the mentoring that I do through the mastermind. I have a coaching program. We do [00:16:00] events, we do adventure trips. We, um, this summer I took a group of women to Africa to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. There's a whole thing happening. And I'm a mom, so I'm really quite diligent about what I do and intentional about what I do because I'm very mindful that my children are only going to be children for a very short period of time and everything I do needs to work around them.

Rupinder Kaur: So I only work term time. I only work when they're at school and I really try to be when I'm a mom. I'm fully present to them as a mum because as much as I love what I do, the first thing is the fact that I am a mum to them. So I want 

Amardeep Parmar: to talk more about the adventure you do. So how did that come about?

Amardeep Parmar: Because obviously with people who do coaching and stuff like that, it's not necessarily common for them to do in person trips abroad and all these kinds of things. So what was the first one you did and how did that go? 

Rupinder Kaur: And the first one we did was Kilimanjaro. So we literally went right there. And, and how it came about was.

Rupinder Kaur: I wanted to climb Mount Kilimanjaro 20 years ago, when I finished [00:17:00] university in Nottingham, I wanted to go to Africa. So 20 years ago, brown girls in Midlands, at least in Wolverhampton did not go home to their Punjabi parents and say, I've just finished my degree. And now I want to go to Tanzania and climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Rupinder Kaur: It just didn't happen. So I knew that I couldn't, I couldn't do it then. And then I did my masters. I met my husband when I was 23. We got married when I was 25. We bought our house. We had our children. And then you forget, and this is a thing that is true for so many, so many women, so many people, but particularly South Asian women.

Rupinder Kaur: We forget our dreams. We forget who we were. And a few years ago, before I turned 40, I just had this moment of. Oh my God, I really wanted to do that and I haven't done it and I had to have this really candid conversation with my husband and he said, you know, I'm never going to want to do that. So if that's what you want to do, you need to make it happen.

Rupinder Kaur: I'm not going to want to do it. So I booked onto a trip like there's a there's groups that are set up. I just went online, found an established group, booked [00:18:00] onto them. And then along came COVID. So for two years, my trip was postponed with this group, but at the same time, I was talking about it with other women and I was telling them, I was saying, I actually have, you know, I'm going to be 14 a few years time.

Rupinder Kaur: I've booked this trip. It's been canceled. It's been postponed. And slowly, but surely other women in the community were saying. Can I come? Are you doing this to get away from us? Or can we, can we join you? And gradually I had about 10 women ask me and I thought, crikey, there's something here. So I approached a female adventure travel company and I said, look, would you be interested in putting in a travel adventure holiday for us?

Rupinder Kaur: I've never done this. And I said, we would love to. And so. This year we took the first all South Asian female group of women to Tanzania to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. And it all started because it was something that I wanted to do 20 years ago. So it was a dream that came true 20 years later, but in what way?

Rupinder Kaur: Like I couldn't, I couldn't have fathomed [00:19:00] that I would have done it with this incredible group of women. It's been such a landmark year for us in terms of just pushing boundaries, pushing representation, pushing what's possible of. Other women speaking to their husbands, their parents, their families, and saying, and not having the converse, having the conversation now that I couldn't have had 20 years ago.

Rupinder Kaur: To say, I want to do this and I want to do it for myself because there's no reason other than you want adventure while you would do something like that. It's not a week on a beach in Dubai, right? This is, it's tough. So the only reason you would do something like that is because you want to push yourself.

Rupinder Kaur: You want to test yourself. You want to see what you're made of. I'm so incredibly proud of these women that did it. They were 

Amardeep Parmar: incredible. It's so amazing. You're like, one, you did it yourself, but also that you got other people to come along with you who then were able to fulfill their dreams too. And what I want to know is, have you got any other things planned in the future?

Amardeep Parmar: Maybe not planned yet, but you'd love to do as well on a similar kind of sphere. Yeah. 

Rupinder Kaur: So we've got, so we did Kilimanjaro [00:20:00] and while I was up there, we were submitting, I just. I was like, I'm never doing this again. You need to get me off this mountain. This is ridiculous. And they kept saying the guides of the leader kept saying to us, we'll just wait till you get off the mountain.

Rupinder Kaur: Just wait till you get off the mountain. Wait till you get, but you're going to miss it. And I was like, no, I'm never doing it. It was tough. It was the toughest thing I've ever done. And so we came back and a fortnight later, I really missed, I really had missed the adventure. And so, yeah, next year we're off to Machu Picchu, we're doing Peru, we're doing the Inca Trail.

Rupinder Kaur: I just think adventure is so important. It's one of my core values. It's one of the, one of our core values at AWMB. Life is meant to be lived. It's meant to be rich and exciting and daring. There's a, we live in a big world and isn't that what lockdown taught us? Like, the world is huge. We need to be out there exploring it.

Rupinder Kaur: So yes, we're doing that next year and more. I'm, I'm always on the lookout for adventure. So I mean, I love, I do love a beach holiday. I do love sitting [00:21:00] there, but there is, there's something about these trips that teaches us so much about ourselves and the people you are. So the woman I am now, the women that these 14, they're not the same.

Rupinder Kaur: Like it's changed us. And when you've done something like that, when you've done something so big. The little things are the little things. Like I came back and thought anything's possible. Like if I can summit Mount Kilimanjaro, anything is possible. And that, that's the feeling I want every other woman to have.

Rupinder Kaur: Like I want everyone to have that feeling that they can do anything that they put their mind 

Amardeep Parmar: to. And with this like side of adventure, right? It's obviously with what you're doing with your business, what are the dreams there? What's the kind of sky high that. Maybe this is possible, what could a WNB look like in the future, say 10 years from now or five years from now, what would be the kind of 

Rupinder Kaur: dream?

Rupinder Kaur: Wow, that's such a great question. And in all honesty, the way we have grown and expanded, we, you know, we have more than 200 global members, we have more than 100 businesses listed on [00:22:00] our directory, we have our social media has skyrocketed. The, this is all stuff that I couldn't have imagined. And all of it, by the way, I firmly believe I'm a woman of faith.

Rupinder Kaur: It's, it is the grace of God. And that keeps me humble and grounded. And with our faith, with Sikhi, there is this concept of hukam. So it is about divine will as well and surrendering to that. And so sometimes I like, for example, with this, with the Kilimanjaro adventure, we had a group, we had a filmmaker join us.

Rupinder Kaur: We're speaking to Netflix about that. We're exploring where this documentary can go. I was going to Kilimanjaro with a group of strangers had booked on. What was meant to be was this incredible group of South Asian women, this 14 women that were meant to do it. We were meant to have filmmakers join us.

Rupinder Kaur: We were meant to have this documentary come out. I didn't plan that. I didn't envisage that. It just came through. So I think there is an element of planning and strategy and I would love like, I'd love to grow our membership. I'd love to grow [00:23:00] up the impact that we're having. I'm so proud of the testimonials that we have, the stories that I hear of, of women transforming.

Rupinder Kaur: And here's the thing. When women transform and grow and they, they understand their potential and meet their potential, that impact is not just felt by them, it's felt by their children, it's felt by their partners, it's felt by their parents, it's felt by their families, that's what's happened to me. When I have stepped into my growth, I have seen changes in my mum and my daughter, like the generation behind me and the generation coming through me.

Rupinder Kaur: That's what I want. So I don't have these big, bold ambitions in terms of numbers or what, but what I want to do is continue making that impact. I want to continue showing women what's possible and I want them in a very gentle way to shake up their world and shake up what they think is possible. So when we did Kilimanjaro, so many women messaged me and said, you know, Rupinder.

Rupinder Kaur: I saw that you were doing this and I went home and said to my husband, she's got two [00:24:00] kids. She's got a husband. If she can take two weeks out of her life, so can I. And maybe it's not, maybe it's not Kilimanjaro, but whatever it is that you want to do. When they see us doing that, when they say me doing that, that that's giving them permission to do it as well.

Rupinder Kaur: And it's not incredible. Like that's all I want to do. I want women to give themselves permission to live their life. And whether that's one, whether that's a hundred, whether that's a thousand, whether that's a million, we're going to say, say true to the message that we're putting out there in order to do 

Amardeep Parmar: that.

Amardeep Parmar: I think people really underestimate the power of compounding, right? Of where. If you make a positive difference in somebody's life, then that makes a difference to the people around them. Then it keeps going, right? Like if you do something good for whoever, and it's just building that confidence, right?

Amardeep Parmar: Because somebody has built a bit more confidence. They then do something which they really believe in. How many people does that then impact? And that's the power of all of this, right? It's not just. People listening today, how it affects them is also what they then do because of listening to you today, how that helps people around them.

Amardeep Parmar: And it keeps going like that in the past. If you have it, if you ever had [00:25:00] anything where you feel it's kind of a small lesson, but then over time, that small lessons made such a big 

Rupinder Kaur: difference to your life. Yeah. I mean, definitely agree with you about the ripple effect. And, uh, and I talk a lot about this in terms of South Asian women getting financial independence.

Rupinder Kaur: And I think, so when you were saying about. The lessons that I've learned is how important it is for our women to understand their finances and to have financial independence. Because as a community and as a culture, we can be very much dependent on the patriarch. So our fathers, our husbands, our brothers, our father in laws, and not have an understanding of what's happening.

Rupinder Kaur: And one of the biggest lessons that I had was. I need to know, I need to know what money is coming in, what money is going out and I need to know what I can do with that. So I teach financial independence and I tell women in our community, it's a good thing for us to make money, spend money, invest money, because when we do that.

Rupinder Kaur: The ripple effects of that is felt by, by our children, by our community. [00:26:00] So that's probably the most powerful lesson that I've had about this mindset shift around money and what it can do. And when brown women make more money, they only do good with that money. So I think that's always a really, really powerful lesson for us to understand.

Rupinder Kaur: It's not to feel guilty about it, not to feel shamed for it, not to feel that you have to hide it, but to do it and to do it with honesty and do it with integrity and, and to be proud about it as well. 

Amardeep Parmar: What's something which you're really proud about in terms of, so obviously you've done Kilimanjaro, but in terms of some of the impact you've made, have you got a good, like, one of the case studies of somebody who's been one of your members, for example, the transformation you've seen in them that you want to kind of highlight today?

Rupinder Kaur: Wow. I've seen so many. I, so One of the things that I'm really proud of is if you just go on our website, we have something we have over 100 testimonials of women that have made the impact and sometimes. And so people think when I'm going to share a story, they think it's going to be of the woman that has smashed it in her corporate [00:27:00] career or has gone on to launch her business.

Rupinder Kaur: And it's a six figure business. I'm so proud of them. Of course, I'm proud of them or have gone on to publish a book or, you know, gone on to win awards. That's always incredible. But you know what? I'm really the stories that I love. Is of that quiet housewife who has always been underestimated, who has always been cast upon, who has always been in the shadows when she comes into the AWMB community and understands her power, understands that she has a sisterhood supporting her when I see her speaking up.

Rupinder Kaur: And that might just be on our zoom calls. It might be now. gatherings, it might be her taking the mic and sharing something that for me is the moment where I just, I know what it's taken for her to get to that point. And that's when I feel the most pride because if she can do that, what I just think anything's possible for everyone else.

Rupinder Kaur: Like if you can do that for someone who has always been judged, has always been told that nothing's, nothing's possible for them, has always [00:28:00] been talked down to and they find their, their power, they stand on their feet. That is an incredible 

Amardeep Parmar: moment. And obviously it's gonna be some people listening today who feel like that, right?

Amardeep Parmar: They feel, they don't feel like they've got power. They don't feel like they've got the ability to make change. And what would you tell them if they're listening right 

Rupinder Kaur: now? We always have the ability to, to make a change. And it starts with us. It really, really does. It starts with us choosing to no longer accept the situation we're in, the relationships we're in.

Rupinder Kaur: Um, and also understanding the past doesn't dictate us. There was nothing. In my, in my past that would have dictated where I am now, nothing I went, like I said, I didn't go to a great comp. I didn't go to a great uni. I'm the eldest child of migrants and parents who, you know, who couldn't read league tables, who don't really understand the Western world.

Rupinder Kaur: I know some people, some people had incredible parents that could understand that, but there was nothing in my past that dictated what I would do. But I felt that there was something different about me. I felt that. And if I look at what I've done, I've Built community [00:29:00] of women who recognize that in themselves and then who are going on to spread that message to others.

Rupinder Kaur: So if I can do it and they can do it. If you're listening to this, you can do it too. We all have the ability within us. It's just about planting those seeds and then surrounding yourselves with the right people that believe in that too. And what would you like to see the 

Amardeep Parmar: community do more of? So it's obviously, it's not just women who've got to believe in themselves, but men have got to believe in those women too.

Amardeep Parmar: So that everybody's coming together rather than it shouldn't be a one against the other, right? So how do we, what can people as men listening right now, what 

Rupinder Kaur: can they do to? I think, yeah, that's such a great question. I, so I am unashamedly about South Asian women. And that, but that's not to say I'm against South Asian men.

Rupinder Kaur: Like I have an incredibly supportive husband, an incredible father. And what's really amazing about our community is that the women that are in our community. Their husbands are really supportive. So they get behind me. There's been many a time where they have come through for me in a way that some of the women haven't been able to.

Rupinder Kaur: [00:30:00] How incredible is that? So what I would say to anyone that's listening is, but particularly South Asian men is support your, support your mom, support your wives, support your sisters, support them to reach their full potential. The number of times I get messages from women who want to join. Inspire club who wants to come to one of my events who want to join one of the coaching programs and they say, Oh, my husband's not sure.

Rupinder Kaur: And that makes me sad. And what I actually say to them is, and this is, this is potentially a triggering question, but what I say to them is what is it that your husband is so afraid of, of you reaching your full potential? Why is he afraid of that? Because that's actually quite a, uh, damning indictment of, of potentially what he's thinking about what might happen if a woman, if his wife reaches her full potential and what decisions she might make.

Rupinder Kaur: But I would really encourage men to come forward and do that, to stand, stand shoulder to shoulder with us. So I'm not anti men, I'm not anti South Asian men. I'm hugely [00:31:00] supportive as they are of me, but we, as you said, we need to do it together, right? And so. Support our community like and come through for us.

Rupinder Kaur: And it's incredible. We, we, you know, the Kilimanjaro film, a lot of our sponsors have been men. A lot of them have been women, but a lot of the funding has come through men. I'm speaking to men now. They get it. So when they get it, they get it. I think the other thing to 

Amardeep Parmar: add as well is just like from a guy's perspective is us calling out when other guys are doing it.

Amardeep Parmar: So we feel like they're stopping their wife or their sister or their mom from doing something they believe in. It's also, we've got the responsibility to shut them out and say, like, why are you doing that for? Like, what, why are you stopping the people around you, the women around you from doing what they want to do?

Amardeep Parmar: Because sometimes that culture of acceptance can keep things going when it shouldn't be. It shouldn't be acceptable to hold people back. and stop you from hitting their 

Rupinder Kaur: potential. Yeah. That's so, so spot on. Um, so we only open doors to our membership once a year. And every, every time we do that, we do a series of Instagram lives.

Rupinder Kaur: And the one that's always most popular is my husband joins me [00:32:00] and we have other members joined by their husbands. So the husbands talk about the changes they've seen in their wives and, and how they've evolved and what's happened and the impact of being a part of AWMB. They are, that is so powerful.

Rupinder Kaur: Firstly, the number of messages we get from women who say. Oh my God, I didn't even realize that there were men like this, that there were husbands out there who are actively supporting their wives. That is a, a mic drop moment for them and it, it causes them to have a conversation with that. And it makes them like they show their husbands and say, look, we need to sit down and watch this.

Rupinder Kaur: My husband's really great. Actually, he does this thing where he, every time he'll say, look, if you're worried, if you think something's going on, come and speak to me. Like I'll, you know, sometimes it's a man to man thing. And other men say that other. Um, husbands say that as well because they have those conversations and they reach those people that we can't reach.

Rupinder Kaur: And what's been really interesting with the Kilimanjaro film is that this, this film has been funded by our community. We had a GoFundMe, we had sponsors, um, and it's been our husbands. So my husband, um, and [00:33:00] Rav, uh, another sister's husband who have gone out to their friends, who have gone out to their business contacts and said, You need to get behind this film.

Rupinder Kaur: You need to get behind these women because they are going to shake things up in terms of how South Asian women are seen and the impact they have when they've had those conversations are very different to the impact that we've had. So that's what I mean. Like we can stand shoulder to shoulder. And also it means that if they're challenged or if so, if they hear something that's a little bit off, they'll put it right.

Rupinder Kaur: And that's how we work together, right? To make change and make, make lasting change. We want that. What I want to do with AWMB is to leave a lasting legacy. I don't want this to be a pithy quote, inspirational quote that tells people I'll go and get confident and go make a change or do this. How do you do that?

Rupinder Kaur: How do I get confident? How? Right? And so that's the lasting change that we want to make with AWMB, and together we can do that. 

Amardeep Parmar: So it's been so great to talk to you today. We're gonna have to move on to a quick five questions now looking at the time. So the first one is, who are three British Asians that you want to shout out that people listening right now [00:34:00] should be following 

Rupinder Kaur: or learning from?

Rupinder Kaur: First one I would say is a Preet Jhandi, who is, she's in Antarctica at the moment. She did a solo Antarctic climb, um, last year. She's back there to do it again. She is incredible. Just again. An amazing South Asian woman showing what's possible throughout our Kilimanjaro journey. We kept thinking about Preet and I just kept thinking if she can do it by herself, we're a group that can do it.

Rupinder Kaur: We've got guides. We've got, she's incredible. Go and follow her. She's on all the, all the, all the social media channels. The other one I think of is Dr. Meenal Viz, uh, Dr. Meenal, uh, was heavily pregnant, but took the British government to court over their lack of PPE equipment during the COVID. Um, two n h s staff, she won that and she revolutionized how they were supporting the N H Ss.

Rupinder Kaur: She's a formidable, formidable, petite, south Asian woman. Uh, for one woman to have a such an [00:35:00] impact is truly incredible. And the third one, I would say, someone that you, I know you've had on here is Jasper from behind the Nira. Um, Jasper I met seven years ago, didn't know what spoken word was. I didn't even know that people had the ability to make such an impact with their words, but to really dig deep.

Rupinder Kaur: And we've had her about some of our events. You've had her on this, on this podcast, her ability to make you stop and think and dig deep is truly incredible and inspiring. 

Amardeep Parmar: Yeah. Make sure you give all

Amardeep Parmar: of those people listen right now. If they want to reach out to you for some help, what 

Rupinder Kaur: should they reach out to you about? So if you are a South Asian woman and you know that there is more that you could be doing, if you know that you, that you have a dream in your heart, come and reach out to me, come and connect with me.

Rupinder Kaur: We have got so many different resources that we, that you can use, that we can make it happen for you, that you can be part of this [00:36:00] incredible women, incredible community of women that are doing it. So I'm on Instagram, I'm on LinkedIn, I'm on Twitter. Send me a DM. It's usually me behind, behind the channel.

Rupinder Kaur: So send me a message. 

Amardeep Parmar: And then in the flip side, what's something that you need help with right now? What could somebody reach out to maybe help 

Rupinder Kaur: you with? What gorgeous question. I love that question. So we are in the final stages of our Kilimanjaro film. And we are hustling so hard to get this film done and edited.

Rupinder Kaur: There is a shortfall of funding. And so if there's anyone watching listening that thinks they can support us with the sponsorship of that, reach out and let me know, because this film is going to change the face of how South Asian women not only view themselves, but how others view us. And it's going to challenge all the stereotypes.

Rupinder Kaur: So if you want to be a part of that, I would love to hear from you. 

Amardeep Parmar: Perfect. Thank you so much for coming on. Have you got any 

Rupinder Kaur: final words? No, thank you for having me on. I love what you're doing. I think it's incredible.

Amardeep Parmar: Thank you for listening to the Bay of [00:37:00] HQ podcast today. In our mission to inspire, connect and guide the next generation of British Asian entrepreneurs, it would mean so much to us if you could subscribe to our channel, leave a review and share this with your friends.

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