The Gulf, particularly Dubai, in the last decade, has emerged as a magnate attracting thousands of entrepreneurs who saw the timely opportunities provided by a growing economy. Dubai, dubbed as the next Fashion Capital of the World, serves as the headquarters of Diva Group of Companies, the foremost name in talent booking providing top-class international models, hostesses, promotional staff and entertainers.
In an interview with Insights Success, Nicole Rodrigues, Founder, Diva Group of Companies, narrates the story of how a one-woman-show revolutionized the modeling industry in the UAE.
- Kindly brief us about you and your journey since the beginning of your career.
Nicole Rodrigues is beauty with brains personified and epitomizes the bold spirit of tenacious citizens that are redefining the UAE and have pushed boundaries to ensure a multicultural and diverse society blossoms. Born in Mumbai, India, she is a Bachelor in Science (Mathematics) and also holds a Degree in Owners President Management from Harvard Business School and is a creative director for bespoke events and productions, choreographer, branding expert and former model. She started her professional career as a model, took a hiatus for marriage and maternity, and finally realized her dream of putting her entrepreneurial skills to action by founding the Diva Group of Companies. With her companies she has been setting values and redefining industry’s best practices in a patriarchal market. Imparting wisdom and drawing on her personal experiences, she holds a unique position to serve as a role model for the young, aspiring models and actors who place their dreams in her capable hands. A self-confessed serial entrepreneur, Nicole’s foresight and instincts have helped her diversify and establish synergized businesses which complement and provide the opportunity of bringing vital services in-house, and also create a whole new revenue stream that organically build on the success and growth of the Diva Group.
As a mother, Nicole’s two beloved children are her core and remain the sole purpose and drive behind everything she does. With future plans promising to diversify and enhance her business portfolio even further, Nicole is unwavering in her vision and commitment to providing a superior product and service.
- Give us a word that describes you the best.
LOVE (let the violence end)
- How do you keep yourself motivated? Please tell us about your idols, and inspiration.
Everyone around me is my constant motivators- from a car cleaner to a CEO everyone has something to teach us. We just need to be open, attentive and be willing to learn and understand.
4. Share with us the highest point, most memorable and remarkable moment of your life (both personally and professionally).-
Personally when my daughter was born I learnt responsibility to another human and the need to be able to care, nourish, enrich and empower. These are the traits I have used in developing my business and the people in my business. People are power and the opportunity to help, nourish, empower other humans through the talent agency became my journey.
Professionally when I met HH Sheikh Mohammed and was recognized for the service and work that I had done in helping the region develop people and creating opportunities was the greatest moment. I highly respect and admire HH and meeting him was not only inspirational but also very motivational.
5. Tell us something about you that the world doesn’t know yet.
I’m so focused on people I love that I tend to forget myself.
6. Tell us about your passions, aims and goals.
Passion is developing and enriching people – I love to learn and share my learning. Aim is to reach as many people as possible and add value to their lives.
Goal is to constantly learn and develop.
7. What made you choose the Gulf (GCC) for your venture?
The Gulf being fast growing and evolving is great for entrepreneurship and with great leadership in Dubai under HH’s patronage with good Security/ tax haven it was a natural choice. The city is always evolving, growing and fast developing. I love Dubai and its multi-cultural people where east meets west in perfect harmony.
8. Kindly describe in brief about your company and its services/products.
We would like to position ourselves as your One Stop Shop and is the Middle East’s leading Modeling Agency. We provide high-quality services including model training, events management and exclusive productions to all forms of agencies and companies, including all forms of marketing communications. Diva Modelling and Events has transformed the professional promotional industry across the Middle East.
Services: • Print Production • Promoters / Hostesses • Video / Still Production • Film Production • Exhibition Staff • Planning / Budgeting • Model Management • Sound / Stage Setup • Production • Fashion Shows • Studio Rentals • Location Permits • Session Stylist • Set Decoration • Government Permits • Stylist • Exhibition Stands • Location Scouting • Entertainers • Catering • Light and Equipment Rentals • Portfolio Services • Logistics • Pre-production • Crewing and Casting • Scheduling • Post-production
9. State us your major achievements and your company’s achievements under your leadership.
- Forbes 2014 – Top Indian Leaders in the Arab World
- Top SME 100 Award– 2015
- CEO Awards- Nicole Rodrigues 2014
- Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards 2015- Outstanding Category
- Rise- Emirates ENBD Award
- Colours UMA show Award 2015
- Women Helping Women 2014
- Fashion TV Paris 2013
- Best in Dubai 2012-
- Great Women Awards 2013
- ADCB SME – Star of business 2011- Industry achievement- people’s choice
- Tag heuer- Celebrity 2013
- Forbes-100 Most Powerful List 2013
- Arabian Business-100 Most Powerful List 2013
- Gulf News- 50 Most influential Indians
- International Finance Corporation- World Bank
- DREI real estate Award 2013
- Pacesetters 2 – Outstanding Vision, leader and achievement. 10. How do you motivate your employees and maintain a healthy working environment in the office? Share with us the work culture at your office.
Diva is a family – we all treat each other as a family member. We use a lot of applaud and kindness to each other long side of the teachings which can be hard. We all believe in driving the young talent in the region to have more opportunities to grow. We all love what we do and enjoy ourselves and don’t work a day in our lives. We applaud our champions and quickly exit the complainers.
11. Share with us the lowest phase of your life or the toughest deal to crack.
There has been no low- there has only been lessons. Every experience has a lesson to teach you. With pain comes the awareness of what we did wrong to deal with the consequence. Life is beautiful and the right attitude, strength of person who is willing to be responsible and accountable will always keep a smile on your face. Stay high on your emotional scale no matter what hardships come your way as success is always that last little step most people give up on
12. What would you advise to the budding entrepreneurs?
Pray/ meditate and stay clear of false beliefs and bad influences. Don’t waste time, use your own mind, analyze, think and put everything you have to offer towards your goals. Never resent, revenge, regret or reject. Love life, pray /mediate be grateful, accept, surrender, eat healthy, sleep well exercise and be happy Fill our lives with love, joy and the feelings of childlike wonder. Being the human (roles, responsibilities, family work) and the being (prayer, meditate, self-love, enlightenment and awakening). Be the complete Human Being to the highest and best version of self.
13. What are the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout and would like to share?
Love what you do – who you are with – accept and enrich. Focus on the strengths of people and ease their weaknesses – stay committed and trust.