How to Leave the Corporate World and Go It Alone | A Q&A with Claire Harper

2 May 2017

Founder of IndiaCoco, entrepreneur Claire Harper shares the challenges and risks of leaving the corporate world to go it alone, and what the future of the high street might look like.

What was the most challenging aspect of setting up on your own after the relative safety of being employed?

So why leave behind the safety of a successful corporate career for the risks of starting a business from scratch. There was two catalysts behind my decision to go solo - the first was a five-year milestone as Marketing Director of Mamas & Papas and the second was the birth of my second daughter, India (who along with her sister Coco provided the inspiration for the name of the business) Five years in a job is always a bit of a turning point for me. I get slightly itchy feet. I have always been very driven and I am always looking for the next opportunity. One of the biggest challenges is that starting a business is not for the fainthearted. Know from the start what you are getting into and don't forget to breathe. You have fun along the way. Its incredibly exciting starting a growing a business but you need some downtime too.

Who are your role models -- in business and in life?

My Dad, Hilary Clinton and Richard Branson are both incredibly inspirational

What piece of technology could you not live without?

My iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air

Do you think that people will ever switch fully to online shopping or will actual shops always have a place?

For IndiaCoco the high street represents a huge opportunity for the growth of our brand. There are some great deals out there and landlords do have to take a more flexible approach to attracting new brands than ever before. We plan to roll out across the UK in community-based locations, as we are now a multi-channel retail proposition. We are also underway with some exciting web developments around mobile applications, embracing new technology and making it even easier for customers to order with us across all world. We are very excited to be growing a strong brand. Our customers will always come first and we will continue to work extremely hard to really go that extra mile. Two years in, our adventure is only just beginning and we are off to a great start – this is just the beginning for IndiaCoco – every day brings new reasons to feel inspired and excited about our future.

What do you do to ensure your presentation has a lasting impact?

I always like to share my story in a very open and honest way. I talk from the heart with passion, integrity and experience and my objective is to always inspire, engage and offer support and advice based on my own professional and personal journey. I love what I do and i am very passionate about the customer, so have confidence, believe in you and go for it!

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