Head of Business Development at Huda Associates and Board Advisor at The Fold.
Denan manages the origination and execution of all deals, working with industry experts and professionals to create long term sustainable value for Huda Associates and its portfolio companies. As one of the founding members she has led and participated in a number of key deals in the UK and Middle East including: Languagelab, The Fold, Groupspaces, Fatima Abed etc.
Denan provides specific assistance to The Fold in assuring the continued success of company performance whilst sharing expertise and knowledge in key areas affecting brand expansion, revenue growth and financial improvement.
Denan has previously worked at the World Bank, Euromonitor, Aviva, Maylin and MITIE London. She holds a BSc Hons Actuarial Science from Cass Business School.
What do you look for in a new investment?
What I look for is very much dependent on a number of factors, with the most important being whether the people behind this idea/business have committed their all before coming to me to pitch. Other factors include; is there a market for this new investment, is it financially viable, the size of the potential market and finally is there a detailed execution plan with milestones set up at each stage of the business. I respect the do-er who is trying to achieve their dreams
What is the best part of your job?
It may sound quite cliché but meeting different types of people is the best part of my job. From innovators, who are so passionate about what they are doing to sector experts, who you can learn so much from. I am quite lucky that I have the opportunity to work with both these kinds of groups.
What advice would you give to aspiring Entrepreneurs out there who are looking to build their business?
Be different from the crowd, in order to do this you have to think creatively. You should possess a detailed plan of everything that you plan to do with short, medium and long term goals. An aspiring entrepreneur should be aiming to move faster in the market than anyone else, which if executed correctly should give them a competitive edge. Lastly never give up and have the openness to hear and adopt other ideas and thoughts in order to build your business.
You are also involved in opportunities and networks in China (and in London). Tell us a bit about what your involvement and some interesting dynamics we should look out for with China?
I am currently the chairman of ACfPU, a non-profit organization, founded in 2008, that serves both Chinese and Non-Chinese professionals with a strong interest in China who live in the UK and work in the finance industry. Through a combination of educational, professional and cultural events, we aim to create a supportive community that helps its members to achieve their career goals.
What do you do outside of work to unwind?
I work quite long days however I always try and find the time to go to Bikram Yoga, it allows me to unwind after work and really sets me up for the day when I go to the morning classes.
You travel quite a bit for work – what are your tips for packing for a business trip?
What you pack varies slightly depending on the climate of the country, however my main rule is to pack items that you can mix and match for both business meetings and entertaining clients.
What is your favourite Fold item?