Sabinder Sandhu | Avamore Capital
Coronavirus created new challenges that required new ways of thinking across every aspect of bridging from lending to underwriting, and, especially – in those heady early days where rates and criteria were changing daily, if not hourly – a new approach to communications. Sabinder has been put forward as a BLD Diamond for stepping up to overcome the challenges of remote working and ensure industry-wide collaboration to keep messaging in-sync, and peers supported, at such a vital time.
“Like everyone, we had a strategy in place but after the outbreak of Covid, it was really like going back to square one. We had to be really mindful of what we were saying publicly and be sensitive to the fact that people could be going through really hard times both personally and professionally,” she says. Her reaction to these unchartered waters? She devised and organised the Cross Reference forums for marketers in bridging lending, virtual meetings to help deal with the unprecedented marketing challenges. Feedback from those who used the sessions revealed them as a useful, and fun, way to discuss new issues and ideas with other professionals. “All credit to Sabinder for creating an environment where a bunch of otherwise highly competitive marketers are able to come together in a spirit of collaboration – that’s no mean feat!” points out one testimonial.
BLD Diamonds are not just about looking back, but about who the torchbearers are for the future. Sabinder is one of them. Sabinder joined Avamore Capital as marketing coordinator in April 2018. At the end of our tumultuous 2020, she was promoted to head of operations and marketing. When asked what qualities she thinks a successful leader should have, she describes someone who is “a good listener, someone who motivates others and cares about the growth of their peers as well as themselves”. Good leadership is something Sabinder feels really passionate about. Outside of work she co-runs a charity that focuses on promoting leadership in young people, a community spirit of sharing experience (rather than pulling the ladder up behind you) that flows into her view of how to lead: “When people get into management positions, I think they should use their knowledge and seniority to everyone’s advantage,” she says, “I see being a leader as a privilege which means when you’re in that position, you should be generous with your time and committed to supporting the people around you.”
Sabinder brings a solid wisdom to her own career that will no doubt prove absolutely pivotal to younger peers coming through, about how to take the rough with the smooth and avoid those long internal conversations where we beat ourselves up for being imperfect and human. Asked what one thing she would tell her younger self, she says, “in a company, you always have value to add”, and recalls times when she started out when that wasn’t easy to see. “I remember it could sometimes feel scary to put your ideas out because other people were more experienced but, what I realised is that no-one can be an expert in everything.” It is this level of self-awareness and emotional intelligence companies are increasingly valuing over oppressive burnout cultures.
Not that she is a stranger to hard work. Her personal mantra is don’t ask anyone else to do anything that you’re not prepared to do yourself. She also believes if you aren’t willing to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in, then it’s unreasonable of you to expect someone else to do that same. But that all this is achievable, even as a leader during a pandemic, only via a successful work life balance based on setting personal boundaries and sticking to them. Which is a good example to set.