They sought asylum & now seek success!


Natasha Doraiswamy

It was a phenomenal experience to share one’s talents and expertise with a group of people who had a hunger for success despite the hardship of displacement. Having sought asylum a few years ago (some had arrived between 2012 & 2013), they were still fairly fresh off the boat to say the least. Having been invited by the asylum seekers research centre (ARSC) as guest speaker, it was my privilege to speak on the topic of ‘presentation & communication skills’.

It was fascinating to see these individuals respond with note taking & many questions that only gave me the impression that nothing will stop them from tasting success.


Some of the categories discussed over the hour & a half session were the following:

Confidence: A tool that most people ought to develop over time, with practice & only by starting with little or none at all.

Networking skills: A tool that most never learn unless they want to throw themselves in the deep end and are willing to say something even if they fear its the wrong thing.

Good communication skills: As I had explained to the attendees at the session, these skills exist with every single person on earth- language usually ends up being the barrier & cultural differences make it all the more difficult to have this skill honed. But if one takes the time to leave behind what we’re most familiar with & start afresh with all that we never knew- that’s what lays a foundation that remains unshakeable.

Presentation: A good dress sense stems from being a keen observer of other’s dress sense and being willing to experiment with the most basic set of colours & patterns. One of the biggest mistakes people make in clothing themselves for networking events is being overtly ambitious with colours & patterns with no understanding of their own body type. In business, simple is everything.

Posture: As a start up business owner, posture speaks volumes of your confidence & your life experiences. In my line of work, its easy to have bad posture and have the world notice that I have no training with presenting on television. However, this would never be the case. Good posture in simple conversation with a client can do wonders for your brain activity & your hand gestures while also sounding far more confidence than the mirror can speak of.

It was an encouraging experience to say the least and hopefully, I left some useful information imprinted in their minds which would in turn contribute in some small way to their future business building dreams.

This is the very principle that the IEC believes in- recognising, supporting & profiling the small – to- medium enterprise sector within the growing Indian diaspora. Having said that, I was happy to step outside of my comfort zone to help our fellow migrants from Iran, Iraq & Africa.