Ex-Goldman Sachs banker, and now cashback entrepreneur Swati Bhargava is the latest subject of our 60 Second Interview.
Q - How long were you in the financial markets industry, and what is your current job title ?
A – I worked at Goldman Sachs for five years, first in the Investment Banking Division and then the Executive Office with the two co-CEOs of Goldman Sachs International, Michael Sherwood and Richard Gnodde. I left in 2010, and have recently started a cashback website called Pouring Pounds. I am the CEO & Co-Founder of the business.
Q - Did you have a mentor and, if so who ?
A - I haven't had a formal mentor, although I received some great guidance from senior people at Goldman Sachs, seasoned entrepreneurs at the London Entrepreneurial Exchange and Microsoft Bizspark, which Pouring Pounds is a part of.
Q - Are you by nature a pessimist or an optimist ?
A - An optimist. I am very inspired by the book The Secret, and I do believe that positive thoughts attract positive outcomes in life.
Q - Which business leader to you admire the most and why ?
A – Richard Branson. I read his autobiography, and ever since his tenacity has been an example for me. As an entrepreneur myself, I now understand some of the challenges he faced and admire his courage even more.
Q - What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career to date ?
A – Don’t be afraid to ask. At most you’ll get a 'no', but you’ll be surprised by how many times the answer is actually 'yes'. And follow your gut instinct – it knows the right answers before you actually do.
Q - What's your favourite business quotation or life motto ?
A – Life motto: There are always more things in life to be thankful for, than to be sad about. So be positive, and seize each day with great passion!
Q - What's the best business book you've ever read ?
A – Good to Great by Jim Collins. The lessons from the book on how to make a good company a great company are applicable to all industries, and are timeless. In my view it really is a must read for every business leader and entrepreneur.