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Member in the Spotlight
An interview with Farzana Baduel, Founder and CEO of Curzon PR
Tell us about your company.
Curzon PR is a globally focused public relations and marketing communications consultancy specialising in strategy. We work primarily with corporates and government agencies in emerging markets, such as the Middle East and South Asia. We have worked with over 20 governments, including Canada, China, Japan, Spain, Bahrain, Russia and Israel, on trade, FDI promotion and cultural diplomacy projects to build their soft power on the world stage. Our corporate communications work specialises in market access and transnational business. A recent growth area has been leadership profiling for CEOs, which is interesting as leaders are becoming aware of the impact of their reputation. We are a culturally diverse team, which is important as we work across cultures and countries building unifying narratives which engage different audiences. Our diversity is our USP. We are celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year.
What has been your biggest success so far?
Mastering the art of public relations and working across the world with presidents, prime ministers, CEOs and royal families has been my greatest achievement so far. I entered the industry 10 years ago with no prior relevant experience or education and set up the firm – it has been a difficult road of successes and failures but I persevered and I now look forward to future growth. My biggest achievement in my career has been the opportunity to teach a subject I am passionate about to the next generation. I am the Resident Public Relations Expert at The Foundry, the entrepreneurship centre at the University of Oxford launched by Tim Cook, where I mentor entrepreneurs and deliver masterclasses in public relations.
What projects excite you right now?
We are working with the Basque government on Trade and FDI promotion communication strategy and have a number of exciting city branding initiatives in the pipeline – the best part is regular lunch meetings with clients at foodie paradise San Sebastián.
How has being a member of The Clubhouse contributed to the success of your business?
The Clubhouse gave me the nudge to move from a traditional working office model to working agile. I can never go back to working in an office with a structured 9am-5pm day. Since we moved into agile working with remote teams, our productivity and team satisfaction are both higher than ever. I wish I had done it sooner!
Where can members find you?
In The Clubhouse, St James’s. I like the Clublounge area where you can sink into the sofa and brainstorm with colleagues over a cup of tea. Curzonpr.com
Quick Fire Round:
Favourite place to go in London?
Chelsea Physic Garden
Who inspires you and why?
Margaret Thatcher for her conviction and self-belief.
Best bit of advice you’ve been given?
Be kind to others and expect nothing in return.
If you were on a desert island, what would you bring?
The holy trinity of mobile, charger and data.
Which super power would you like to have?
I would like to be able to read people’s minds. It will save me time and energy trying to decipher people’s true drivers.
What is the worst business ‘faux-pas’ you’ve committed?
Wearing loud Wolford tights at a conservative Middle Eastern conference. I was a keynote speaker. Awkward.