Welcome to the first installation of Women in Business, our blog series for Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network (WIN) showcasing women in leadership roles and sharing their advice and encouragement to other women on how to make it in business.
We were inspired by the firm’s WIN chapter in Dallas, who launched a successful Women in Leadership series. For our first interview, we had the pleasure of speaking with Priti Sharma, CEO & President of Q-See, a surveillance system company based in Anaheim, CA. It provides smart security that is sleek, user-friendly, and innovative. Priti and her husband founded Q-See in 2003.
Interviewed by Anya Ostry & Hafsa Ahmed from Cushman & Wakefield
What was your dream job growing up?
Growing up, I always told my parents I wanted to be my own boss, I wanted to have my own company. I’ve aspired to start something of my own since a young age and make my own decisions. I couldn’t envision myself in a particular profession. I was very independent, even as I moved to the United States at the age of 16, I wanted to grow and turn my dream into reality. When I met my husband, who shared the same mentality as me, we both worked together with our family to reach the goal of having our own company.
What kind of culture did you want to create for your company?
I want to see a family environment within my company, where my employees feel like they are each a highly valuable part of the company. It’s important for me to build a culture where employees work hard and sincerely put in their efforts for the success of their company. I need them to feel like we’re all working as a family and company’s success equates to their own success.
Does the need to drive revenue growth ever conflict with other decisions?
At times it does, for instance when staying competitive. In order for us to stay competitive in the market, we at times need to shift our efforts on new products and technology. We want to continue growing and that means, constantly expanding our product line and product usability. When a competitor releases a new product in the market, we switch our focus onto competing with what’s new.
What is your long-term goal with this business?
I want us to be the best, be number one. I want our products to be the first choice for consumers. We’re currently available all across the market, with Amazon, Costco, etc, and this should help us continue to grow.
Switching gears, a big part of this blog is to help empower women. What is the most significant barrier to female leadership and how do you overcome that? And what advice would you give a woman who wants to advance to an executive level?
I think the focus should be on building your skill set. High level of skill will help anyone succeed in what they do and break the barrier to success. It’s also important to set the goal of where you want to be and apply yourself in the most efficient way. With the right knowledge and experience, women can nowadays easily reach an executive level. It all comes down to learning and staying focused on your goal.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for the next generation of women?
I believe it’s getting easier for women in business. They are no longer taken less seriously, or considered less competent for any job compared to men. With so many women pursuing bigger opportunities in business, it has become less difficult for other women to start something of their own. It’s important to continue developing your skills and take on new opportunities, that helps with staying highly valuable in business.
What are you most excited about for your future?
I’m excited for the company to keep growing competitively. We’re looking forward to working on our products to make them even better. Along with working with my family, I want to see our team grow within the company. I believe progressing in what you do is the biggest factor.
Anya Ostry is a Director at Cushman & Wakefield, specializing in Global Transaction Advisory, and serves as the chapter lead for the firm’s Women’s Integrated Network in Orange County. Anya is also a board member of CoreNet Global’s Southern California Chapter and CSU Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business & Economics Executive Council and member of Allen Matkins’ Women’s Leadership Roundtable.
Hafsa Ahmed serves as a marketing coordinator and provides administrative and marketing support to Anya Ostry’s Global Transaction Advisory team in Orange County. She’s an active member of the Women’s Integrated Network, working alongside Anya to plan events and activities for the members.
Click HERE to learn more about Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network