Faija Parween is the founder of Open Space Network.
She is also working as Womenwill Lead for Google Business Group Kathmandu, A trusted verifier for Google My Business.
She is also trying to break the stereotype about Muslim women and how they are seen in the society and how we as a woman can make a difference in the society.
Here are some eye-catching parts from Faija Parween.
SUKONNA: Tell us about you?
Faija Parween: My name is Faija Parween. Starting to work from a young age of 17, I realized that I was always drawn towards the roles that allowed me to lead and execute. I was born in a typical Nepali society where your occupation does make a difference unless you are a doctor, engineer, lawyer or a CA. And me being no exception to the society was enrolled into Chartered Accountancy and also did my internship at Bank of Kathmandu for 3 months. But only after two months into it, I figured out that I was not a cut-out for CA. I confronted my family, left CA and joined Ace Institute of Management to study Bachelor in Business Administration.
SUKONNA: Tell us about your organization?
Faija Parween: We launched Open Space Network on 25th April, 2017 marking second anniversary of the massive earthquake that took place in Nepal. Open Space Network (OSN), an entity that focuses on bridging the gap between, “product and product”, “product and people” and “People and people” .OSN encourages young entrepreneurs by creating and developing large scale events such as festivals, markets, conferences and exhibitions to exchange and interact about their products to the people.
SUKONNA: How did you start?
FaijaParween: It started when I was school and use to volunteer for events happening in school, then college, then for other companies and now I have started my own company. I have always been fond of meeting new people and hence, event management helped me live my passion and also I have always believed in bringing people together hence, starting and event organizing Company perfectly fitted in.
SUKONNA: When did you start your journey and how was it?
FaijaParween: I started working at the age of 17, after my high school. We had a good long break hence I joined Bank of Kathmandu, and since then there is no looking back.
SUKONNA: Who is the inspiration behind your decision to become an entrepreneur?What motivated & inspired you?
Faija Parween: My sole inspiration behind me turning into an entrepreneur is the soulthat lies inside me, I have been asked by people around me saying do this, don’t do this, have been asked many times to give up, many times motivated but it was solely me who had to take the decision and I did. The people around me have motivated me a lot, my friends, family and my colleagues. I always feel blessed when I see people with a grand smile in my events and they be glad that they attended my event, now that’s what motivates me to organize more events.
SUKONNA: What kind of work your organization do?
FaijaParween: Event Organizing – And make people stay connected to each other.
Namaste Nepal : We will be having different companies who has stated their company after earthquake and hence we shall give these startups a platform at Labim Mall, Pulchowk for a day to showcase what service or product they have brought in Naya Nepal.
Namaste Eid : This festival was be an opportunity for the families to come together and contribute their time to their loved ones, as Eid is all about togetherness and belongingness.
The festival provided various stalls such as food stalls from different Halal outlets, stalls for clothing and fashion outlets initiated by Muslim youths, and many other stalls that reflects the essence of the culture.
These stalls made people aware about the culture that exist in Nepal since centuries. This sensational market took place for the first time and will be the biggest celebration of Eid in Nepal. Also we organized Nepal’s first ever Hijab Fashion Show.
Namaste Mehendi: Namaste Mehendi is created for henna lovers to come together and share in the joy of henna. Meeting up with henna artists who share the same passion is a powerful thing. And when people who share passions come together to talk about and practice what they love, they can not only help but learn from one another.
60 Seconds International Film Festival: 60SIFF is a staunch believer that combining impactful concepts with gripping visuals helps to create and convey stories that need to be heard. The festival acts as a platform to share ideas, spark conversations and motivate change in policy for betterment at the local and international level. Over the years, 60SIFF has formed a community of participants and viewers from all over the world and is now one step closer to bridging the gap between cultures. I am also the Country Director for 60SIFF in Nepal. In 2017 we partnered with one of the national televisions to telecast the films so that we reach out the larger audience.
SUKONNA: Are you involved with any others organization?
Faija Parween: Currently, I am also working as the Marketing Head for Today’s Telegram, a company devoted to designer leather and non-leather lifestyle products such as bags, bean bags, Tote Laptables among many. These goods which are produced using Nepali raw materials by the Nepali designers are both for export and for local market.
I have also been working as Womenwill Lead for Google Business Group Kathmandu, A trusted verifier for Google My Business and also A Local Guide for Google Maps. The whole intention to be a part of these community is to empower individuals and companies digitally and also provide digital literacy which can make their life easier.
SUKONNA: What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Faija Parween: Financial sustainability in the company- overcoming it by bringing exclusive events where clients can invest and I give value to the attendees
SUKONNA: What is your future plan?
Faija Parween: Build up my company and take it global. I am also trying to break the stereotype about Muslim women and how they are seen in the society and how we as a woman can make a difference in the society. It might look like I have come a long way in a very short time, but it was definitely not an easy journey. I have worked extremely hard to reach here, sacrificing a lot and at the same time making lots of adjustment. I have seen people looking for instant success, but that never happens.
SUKONNA: Can you tell us about any habits you have/things you do, which set up success every day?
Faija Parween: I meet new people and learn from them. I keep myself optimistic and look at things from all the angles.I believe in living every moment of my life sometimes with struggles and sometimes this success, so that I have a balanced life.
SUKONNA: What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Faija Parween: It’s never late to start, and never give up! But remember it’s okay to let things go at times if it doesn’t work on your favor and start again.
SUKONNA: Your favorite quote is?
Faija Parween: “Innallaha Ma-as-Sabireen” which means Allah is with the one who has patience..
SUKONNA: Thanks a lot, Faija Parween for sharing your story with our readers.
Faija Parween: Thank you for giving me the opportunity!