They made us believe that, as women, we can do anything.
Digital consultant Deepali Dabral attributes her success to the guidance of two strong, independent women. Her mother and aunt who raised her and her two sisters after their father died.
“They made us believe that, as women, we can do anything,” says Deepali, a production and user experience consultant for global advertising agencies. “Because they were super successful in their own right, they raised us to be very independent.”
Now, as co-owner of an illustration, animation and design studio creating marketing assets for not-for-profits across Asia, Deepali helps groups supporting women and children.
At UTS, she studied a Bachelor of Public Communication majoring in advertising and the university’s internship program launched her career.
A Study Exchange to San Francisco State University in her second year gave Deepali her first taste of advertising as an intern at Allied Advertising. That was followed by a second internship with Ogilvy & Mather in Singapore, leading to her first job in their Sydney office in 2006.
During the 12-year career that followed, she worked in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney promoting brands such as McDonald's, Volkswagen, VISA, FedEx, Virgin, Toshiba and Mitsubishi.
Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is to embrace change and recognise that careers don’t have to take a conventional, linear path.
“Don’t worry if you’ve spent 10 years studying a particular thing or working in a particular industry, and then you want to start your career in something else entirely,” she says. “You can be really happy doing lots of different things as so many skills are transferrable.”
Her own career has followed an unexpected path where she can combine two worlds. As an experienced consultant she is able to work with the best creative and production people in the industry globally. With her own design business she can work with causes that are important to her. “This is how I can strike the right balance and feel fulfilled,” she says.
Some of the projects her design agency has worked on include cancer awareness in Hong Kong with the Karen Leung Foundation, as well as providing illustrations for children’s workshops for not-for-profit groups supporting disability and social empowerment for young people.
“If I could use my success, connections and ambition to do more and inspire other women to succeed, then that would be awesome,” she says.