Kreeti Shakya is Co-founder of Kazi Studios, a creative agency. She went to College for Design in the United States and worked for seven years in the design industry there. Guided by the urge to contribute to her country, she moved back to Nepal and has since worked with a number of UN agencies and INGOs. Her skills are not limited to graphic design. She is also well versed in UI/UX design, Information Architecture and Data Visualisation. .
What’s your definition of leadership?
People who inspire, motivate and lead by example.
What is the organisational structure of Kazi studio? Is there any kind of hierarchy?
There is barely an organisational structure. Everyone is treated equally and everyone’s opinion counts. We are a small agency. Also everyone is an expert in their field. We all respect each others’ expertise and trust their judgment on certain matters.
What comes to mind when you picture a leader?
Someone who leads by example, who has a vision, makes quick decisions and not only looks after their business but also the entire employees and their families as a whole.
If you don’t work hard you can’t expect others to either. If you have a vision for your company, you should be able to share it with different people in your company and see how they can contribute in their respective ways to attain the same vision.
What is your leadership type?
I would like to say that I lead by example. I try to motivate everyone to think outside the box and collaborate with different people to produce the best product. I am also the kind of a person who likes to get ideas executed.
Is it the leader who provides solutions to all kinds of problems?
In times of conflict, a leader can lead the team to the next chapter and show the direction and path to follow.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a leader?
One of my greatest strengths as well as my weakness has been my pursuit of perfection in everything I do.
What are the attributes of a good leader?
A leader should be compassionate. S/he must be a good juggler because things change fast and unannounced in Nepal; it’s hard to retain your sanity with different things hitting you along the way. You need to learn to juggle different things yet remain focused on your goal at the same time.
Personally, I am very outspoken. Besides, I don’t want to get ahead by myself but to take my team along. I believe in moving ahead as a team so that everyone grows professionally and there is financial security for everyone.
Soft skills like empathy, emotional intelligence and communication skills are important for effective leadership. Do you think women are better at these skills?
A leader is a leader. It doesn’t matter whether it is a woman or a man. Women possess different sets of skills than men and vice-versa. I won’t quite compare the two. I fall back on Manish, my partner, for matters that don’t come into my nature. I am not a nurturing type; but that doesn’t make me a man. Manish is more nurturing. We possess qualities that complement each other.
What is the secret to Kazi Studio’s success?
We treat everyone as family and their problems are ours. There is no such thing as a sole achiever at Kazi Studio. Nobody walks around pumping their chest when they’ve accomplished something. It is more about ‘We’ than ‘I’. Everything works in collaboration with inputs and feedback from everyone. Everyone’s opinion is valid and heard. We value constructive criticism and encourage everyone to speak up and share opinions.