Female Business Leader Spotlight: Ankita Rao

Tell Us Your Name And What You Do

An architect by profession, I am currently co-managing our family business with my brother – Freeline Engineering Consultants. FEC is an architecture and engineering consultancy. A proud alumnus of Savannah College of Art & Design, USA where I pursued my Undergraduate & Master’s Degree in Architecture, I was working in New York with a leading architectural firm, FXCollaborative before I returned home to join the business. On the personal front, I pride myself in being a quintessential ‘Dubai Kid” having lived here for close to 30 years.

What drives you as a female entrepreneur and business leader?

It’s simply the passion for architecture. I wanted to be an architect from a very young age. I thoroughly enjoyed my University academics as well – no matter how tough the going got! As a design office, no two days are the same and no two projects are the same. Each day we brace ourselves to brave new challenges, solve new design challenges & find new engineering solutions!

What leadership traits do you feel are required in your pursuit of excellence as a female business leader in the Middle East?

Compassion, empathy and discipline I feel are non-negotiable traits of any leader/entrepreneur which eventually translate into long lasting client relationships.

As an established female leader in Dubai, what advice would you give to female entrepreneurs in the start-up phase?

1. Sense of Empathy: There will be blacks, there will be whites and there will be greys. It is very important to keep awareness and have an empathetic approach not just towards clients and your team but also towards your own self. As a start-up, the beauty of making mistakes and leaning from them is priceless. However, mulling over it and holding resentment is a futile endeavour. 2. Importance of Fundamentals: Even as a solopreneur, the core fundamentals of the business should be in place – with the flexibility to evolve and adapt to changing times. A big part of the fundamentals includes core values, work ethos, day-to-day professional discipline & festering a positive work environment.

What are your main goals for the next 3 years?

Firstly, we are looking to undertake a lot more diverse projects wherein we can put our honed skillsets and combined expertise to use. Secondly, we are looking to expand our presence in many other countries wherein we can remotely support and provide our expertise. Thirdly, we are looking to expand our talent pool to provide a more holistic approach to design to include disciplines like interiors, furniture and landscape design – which we don’t have currently.

How can our readers find out more about you?

Website : www.freelineeng.ae

Linkedin : Freeline Engineering Consultants

Instagram : freeline.eng

Editor-In-Chief of Bizpreneur Middle East