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    Hot Seat: Priya Lakhani

    This week Hot Seat was grateful to pick the brain of Entrepreneur Priya Lakhani. Priya will be on campus to answer your questions on turning your passion in to a business as part of our PG: Connect panel on Wednesday 20 May, from 5:30pm in the Quad.

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    Taking a risk like leaving a successful career as a Barrister to start another one from scratch is very brave – where did you find that courage?

    My dad has always told me to live life with no regrets and I live by that mantra. I knew I would regret it if I didn't at least try to succeed in business. So I just decided to go for it and try my very best.

    Do you think how you look and sound made a difference to your success?

    Yes – because I think it's key to always be yourself and know your audience. You should embrace what makes you individual. At the same time, know who you are speaking to/pitching to/interviewing with.

    Who was your hero growing up? Are they still your hero now you are a success?

    Definitely my parents. Both my parents are first generation East African Indians who came to the UK to make a life for themselves. I have seen nothing but sheer hard work and determination from them as I have grown up and their priority has always been to provide the best for their kids.  They have faced multiple challenges in life and have smiled through all of them. If I can be half as good a parent and entrepreneur as they are, then I will have done well. They are still my heroes and one of my drivers in life is to keep making them proud.

    What is your favourite song lyric and why?

    "It's a beautiful day" – U2

    I love this song and often play it in the morning. Life can be quite chaotic sometimes and it's always great to put things in to perspective and just appreciate the 'now'.

    What is the last gift you gave someone?

    I bought my son a soft-toy giraffe (he loves giraffes after adopting Ellish the giraffe at London Zoo), a Lightning McQueen mini car and a scooter for his third birthday.

    What means the most to you?

    My family! And always trying to do the right thing and to be kind while doing it!

    Tell me a joke...

    Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says "Calm down. I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a gun shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says "OK, now what?

    If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
    I am a very keen cook and like to feed people, so you would probably get something along these lines:

    Rocket, Griddled Asparagus and Courgettes with Slow Roasted Tomatoes and Feta to start; Slow-cooked melting lamb shanks with olive mash potato and a sweet potato gratin; Homemade Lindt chocolate fondants with a melting centre with ice-cream; Cheeseboard with Comte, Gruyere and Vintage Cheddar.

    If you can give students one piece of advice, what would it be?

    It doesn't matter what you want to do, just work hard and persevere to be great at it.

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