Last Friday at Buckingham Palace, The Prince of Wales held an investiture giving out honours to men and women who have changed Britain for the better. Among the recipients was businesswoman and entrepreneur Kavita Oberoi, who was awarded an OBE for her services to entrepreneurship and Start-Up businesses.
Ms Oberoi’s drive and commitment to succeed has seen her help countless Start-Up businesses get their ideas off the ground and grow. Kavita has kindly agreed to be interviewed by Royal Central about her special day at Buckingham Palace and to find out more about her work.
Who was the first person you told upon hearing the news that you were going to be awarded an OBE?
My mother – she has been absolutely instrumental to my success. She gave me the empowerment to go out and get an education and work despite the taboos associated with Asian girls pursuing an education and career. My father passed away when I was 15 so all was really left in my mother’s hands. In our family the men went out to work whilst women stayed at home in the kitchen and brought up the family. I have been a bit of a trailblazer, when I broke all the barriers and went to University that became the norm.
Could you describe your day at Buckingham Palace when you collected your award?
It was an absolutely surreal day. As a brand ambassador for Rolls Royce, it started with a photo shoot in the morning with the car as a feature for their upcoming magazine.
We eventually arrived at 10am, recipients were taken into a separate area for a briefing whilst guests took their places. We were briefed on how to collect the honour, the number of steps and of course the courtesy. All ran to perfect time and it did feel a bit surreal that it was actually me receiving and honour having watched it several times on TV!
After the ceremony followed Photographs from the press photographers and the pre-arranged photographers to capture personal memories of the day. It was bitterly cold on Friday but I think the excitement of it all got us through the photos.
We then went to Scots in Mayfair for a quick-lunch as I was booked to deliver a keynote at 3pm to a group of 100+ doctors.
All in a day’s work…
Did Prince Charles say anything to you as you were receiving your award?
Prince Charles talked about how I may be able to help supporting start-ups and businesses through the Princes Trust and asked me to look into this.
You are also involved with a lot of charities, could you tell us about the work you do with them?
In a previous role I was Chair of the Global Girls Fund tasked with fundraising £10 million pounds and we achieved this in 3 years
This was part of the Girl Guides movement and in their centenary year 2010; they set up this fund to empower women globally.
I am currently Patron for the Derby Women’s Centre, BODY Charity, an organisation which helps to raise self-esteem and improve individuals’ personal body image and Burton and South Derbyshire college.
Finally, what are your plans and projects for the future? Will the public be hearing much more of you?
Every day brings something new and exciting and there’s a huge amount in the pipeline… watch this space!
Thank you to Kavita for taking the time to speak to me and share her insights with Royal Central.
Photo Credits: Kavita Oberoi OBE