1. How has your career path changed up until now?
I started my career at Ernst Young, which gave me a lot of opportunities to learn an array of skills, exposure to numerous clients within various industries, and a vast-reaching network. After working as an Auditor for about 10 years, I decided to jump to the other side of the table and be a part of the decision-making process within corporations. In the following +20 years of my career, I have worked as a CFO, CEO, Executive Board Member and Chairman in companies of diverse industries (Financial Institutions, Tourism and Real Estate Development, Airline, Manufacturing, Technology, Entertainment etc..). Positive culture and being challenged have always been the main drivers for my career.
2. Did you have a mentor who helped you get to where you are now? If so, what would you say is the most important thing you learned from your mentor?
My father was my first mentor who taught me to be brave, work hard and truly enjoy the work that I do. I was so lucky to come across with many inspirational people that I also learned a lot from. The most important thing I learned is effective listening.
3. What advice would you give to those pursuing their first business venture?
Be resilient and invest in talent with technical and business acumen.
4. How do you overcome risk when it comes to making business decisions?
I always start with identifying, analyzing and planning. A mitigation plan only helps if you closely monitor and take immediate action when necessary. There are also external risks that are beyond our control, for which you must have alternative plans.
5. Why did you decide to become a mentor/ investor for the Hospitality Innovation Hub Incubator?
Apart from believing in the power of support and guidance, mentoring is a natural impulse for me. I love being exposed to fresh ideas and understand how young generations see things and act differently, while sharing my experience with them.
6. What book are you currently reading?
Yellen by Jon Hilsenrath
7. What is your favorite vacation destination?
Cruising in Gokova bay in Turkey is my favorite.
8. What is your favorite movie?
Many favorites; Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Taken, Nomadland
9. Any last words you would like to share....
I think this Incubation program will be a role model to many more programs. I am very proud to be a part of it.