Space Matrix are long-time partners with WOD, and we’re excited to share this weeks Feature Friday interview with Nishar Fatema, Director, International Client Solutions at the company.
WOD: Take us through your journey into the workplace sector from the beginning – how did you get involved?
NF: “My passion for design and mainly interior design, started when I was seven years old. At the back of my school drawing book, I sketched the layouts of my dream house as a child. That passion carried forward, and I got selected at one of the prestigious architecture schools in India – CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India. Later I was awarded the scholarship to study abroad in Stuttgart, Germany, for Interior Architecture.
The love for travel was gifted to me by my father. I started traveling when I was 19 and promised myself that my number of countries, I travelled should always be more than my age. Today I have travelled to 51 countries with an unmatched experience in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa, and North America. Travel has taught me how to stay humble and respect all cultures.
My passion for design and love for travel made me join the multinational workplace design firm – Space Matrix. I started my career with them as a designer from our Bangalore studio, then moved to Singapore working more into workplace strategy, and now I manage the North American continent for Space Matrix as a Director of International Client Solutions based out of New York.”
WOD: And could you tell us more about your current role as Director of Space Matrix?
NF: “As a Director of International Client Solutions and head of North America, my responsibility is to manage three main verticals – Managing Space Matrix’s key accounts, building new relationships and developing them to a strengthened partnership with strategic advice, and frontline the efforts of our newly build partnership with a large design firm in the US to provide more of a global solution for our customers. A deep understanding of workplace design & build is my crucial asset, and the deeper focus on customer journeys and creative problem solving, which gets me up each day.
Our US team is nimble, and we are in growth mode- this means it is necessary to wear multiple hats; part of my responsibility is to hire the right talent and mentor them in a very uniquely positioned role where we are building relationships in the North American market for the projects in Asia-Pacific.
I am also a newly elected CoreNet Global Young Leaders Board member and regularly engage in industry-focused public speaking and panel discussions. I ensure taking the time to write articles focused on workplace engagement, experience, and working in the APAC market.”
WOD: That sounds like a lot of balls to juggle! What does a typical working day look like for you, if there is such a thing?
NH: “Vigorous and vibrant! Being part of a global organization, having to work in various time zones is a given. My day starts very early by connecting with the sun setting time zones like Australia, Singapore, China, and the Philippines, followed by India. Part of the services we offer to our clients is a 24-hour work cycle (taking advantage of the time zones), and for the same, I try to collaborate with our Asia team first thing in the morning.
That is followed by a breakfast and a quick family walk with my husband and our highly energetic dog – Masti. After running some quick chores, I come back to my desk to collaborate with my US team and multiple zoom calls, especially since the Covid19 breakdown. In an ideal world, I usually travel in different cities in the US to meet with our clients and provide strategic advice based on designing and executing their office space in Asia and helping them identify the right team as well as model to accomplish their business goals. I feel most satisfied when my client’s sense that they are in trusted hands to find a new home for their employees.”