Motivational Monday: Entrepreneur in business and fashion
Our latest Motivational Monday is with alumna Malvika Kapoor, CEO of a Nigerian-based food manufacturing and distribution company. She also runs, designs and produces for her small fashion line.
Malvika left South Hampstead in 2005 with A Levels in D.T., Economics, English and Biology. She went on to study Urban Planning, Design and Technology at UCL followed by a BSC in Town and Country Planning at UCL and New York University.
After graduating, Malvika wanted to give back to the community in a sustainable way and worked in a number of different fields. “I tried many charity and corporate social responsibility (CSR) roles but none felt like I was making a difference,” she said.
In 2013, Malvika joined her father in Nigeria to help him with his company, Vital Products, and learn from him as he approached 60. “I fell in love with the business and took it in my stride to grow, restructure and develop it, with a particular focus on building partnerships with the local community. I realised that building a profitable business creates jobs and livelihoods for people which is just as important as any social enterprise,” she said.
“Vital Products is in a developing country with high levels of poverty,” continues Malvika. “To be true to my main goals, I set up a small charity within the company called Nigeria’s Children’s Breakfast Club which donates free milk to children from low income families who attend our partner school, built and operated by Bridge Academies International.”
Malvika says that her success in business is due to her education. “South Hampstead taught me to be resilient, empathetic, logical, to assess risks, to try and try again and not to be scared to speak my mind when I truly believe in something. I would never have survived the emotional or financial challenges of working in Nigeria without these life lessons learnt at school.”
Malvika believes that South Hampstead continues to shape her in her thirties – her closest friends and her sister are all South Hampstead alumnae. “I am surrounded by a group of confident, over-achieving, smart, beautiful and encouraging women, all educated in the same way. We continue to motivate each other in our life journeys. This is honestly the greatest gift I could have asked for and I continue to be thankful to South Hampstead for giving me this sisterhood.”