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Entrepreneur of the Month: Seema Sharma, Slumdog Secret Millionaire

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Seema was born in July 1967 in Lusaka, Zambia (Central Africa), to parents of Punjabi descent. Educated at the International School of Lusaka (ISL), then at Roedean School for Girls in Brighton where she completed her ‘A’ Levels, Seema qualified as a dentist from Guys Hospital in 1989, and won several awards in the 90’s for the rapid growth of her dental practice in Docklands, citing receiving a business award from Richard Branson at the age of 28 as one of her most memorable career moments. She was featured in “Women of Substance – Profiles of Asian Women in the UK” by Pushpinder Chowdhry, in 1995.  Seema is a mum and married to Sanjay Sharma a Professor of Cardiology at St. George’s University Hospital. They have two daughters and live in London.  Seema believes her success has been due to hard work, luck and an element of being in the right place at the right time. She plans to continue her journey into her heritage, and to further her charity work with underprivileged communities in India and East London.

1.     Tell us about the company you have started, or the companies you are involved in?

S: I have 2 dental practices and a dental practice management training company,

2.     What is the hardest challenge your company has faced to date?  Have you overcome it?  If so, specifically how?
S: I had not appreciated how time consuming it would be to develop the “perfect” content for my elearning platform. It is still work in progress!
3.     Which company/entrepreneur do you model you business after and why?
S: Jamie Oliver – we are both in the business of spreading the message of health, and I like his approachability, self confidence and self belief.
4.     What was the toughest decision while running the company that you ever had to make?  What was the outcome of that and why did you choose to follow that decision?
S: Letting go of the reins when I had my kids – it turned out to be the best decision because I have a great team and I learnt a lot about leadership in the process.
5.     What is the best part about being entrepreneur?  The worst?
S: The best is the adrenaline rush and excitement of a new venture, the worst is the itch to say yes to more things than you should if you want to preserve a work life balance!
6.     What uncommonly good advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?
S: Get on the bus of opportunity, use your gut as your compass and don’t be afraid of hard work.  You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
7.     What is your ultimate goal?
 S: To remain content.
8.     What are three tips would you give people starting a business?
a. Distribute leadership – surround yourself with an empowered hard working team
b. Prioritise – use the 80/20 rule to sift out what deserves your greatest attention.
c.  Have fun – a positive force field attracts success!
9. Who do you most aspire to and why?
S: My father, he was the most balanced person I know
10. Were there any negative people that tried to talk you out of your venture, and if yes how did you deal with their negativity?
S: Often. I listened carefully and then went with my own instincts.
11. Sum yourself up in three words.
S: Happy, motivated, mum
12. What advice do you have for young people that do not think University is an option?
S: There are other ways to develop skills, life will be your university.
13. What is your earliest memory?
S: My first ship journey, aged 7
What is the funniest mistake you have ever made?
S: Asked a young patient of mine if he liked to play football – found out later that he had just been signed by Charlton.
Have you ever been on TV?
S: Twice
Met any celebrities lately?
S: Pixie Lott, at a Cardiac Risk in the Young Charity event
Where was your last holiday?
S: Rhodes
Can you start a business with no GCSEs?
S: Yes, but not without initiative and a quest for knowledge.
What do you do for fun?
S: Travel, read, hang out with my family!
Learn with Dentabyte Online 
Earn with Dentabyte Management
Return with The Sharma Foundation and Heart your Smile
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