Barnet business woman, Dimple Kumar is all smiles after hearing she has been named a finalist in the SME Hertfordshire Business Awards.
The 28–year–old optometrist and store owner in Barnet is in the running to win the Young Business Person of the Year award, which recognises business people aged 30 or under who’ve demonstrated a high level of entrepreneurship, creativity and vision for the future. Dimple says she is thrilled to be not only considered, but also be one of two finalists for the accolade.
‘I’m just over the moon to be shortlisted and recognised for my achievements to date. Becoming an optician and having my own store has been a dream of mine since I was 16 years old. That teenager never thought she would be shortlisted for an esteemedbusiness award many years later!’ says Dimple.
Armed with a strong work ethic and plenty of ambition at an early age, Dimple’s journey to become a store director started when she secured herself a Saturday job at Specsavers in Wembley while studying for her GCSEs. She believes learning her ‘trade’ early on, on the shop floor, gave her the passion and drive to achieve what she has before the age of 30.
Her employer at the time and her mentor still today, Rakesh Kapoor, who is fellow store director at Barnet, says: ‘Dimple has “The It Factor” – the perfect combination of ambition, intelligence and determination while being likeable at the same time.
‘There are some skills you cannot learn and have to possess to be a business owner and Dimple demonstrated these from a very early age. I could see her potential on day one and had an instinct she would go far.’
Rakesh’s instinct proved to be spot on. After school, Dimple continued to be a Saturday employee and decided to study optometry with the store’s support at Anglia Ruskin University. After graduating, and with an encouraging mentor at her side, she was already setting herself the next big target to become the owner of her own store. She achieved this in November 2017.
As one of four store directors at Specsavers Barnet*, Dimple has a team of 13 employees, and oversees an average of 500 customer appointments each month. In the first six months of her role at Barnet, she also increased store sales by more than 3%.
When asked what motivates her and drives her to success Dimple says: ‘My mother has always been an inspiration, telling me I can achieve whatever I put my mind to as long as I work hard and retain my integrity at all times. She managed to bring up three children and work in administration at the same time so I got my hard work ethic from her.
‘I was also very lucky to have a manager early on who spotted my potential and wanted me to fulfil my career ambition. From being that 16-year-old Saturday girl to becoming a store director, Rakesh has always been there to challenge my thinking and push me to the next stage. He instilled a sense of belief in me, that I can be a store owner regardless of my age. I now look forward to following his lead and being that mentor myself in my capacity of store director.’
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