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Women In Business Q&A: Volente Morais

By Volente Morais, Executive Manager at Koogan Plastics

1.     As a woman in business, how do you balance work and life?

Lots of Communication and calendars. Communicating with my family and staff when I have certain pressures and deliverables about what I need from them and scheduling appointments with a family and work calendar helps me see any clashes that I can manage ahead of time and adjust where possible.

2.     What is your favourite part of the job?

The success of the company – when staff succeed, reach a target or personal goal. This gives me great joy. When staff achieves their goals, the company wins too. This is golden symmetry for me.

3.     What challenges have you experienced being a woman in your industry?

There are no women in the industry! This is the most identifiable challenge. Perhaps we don’t take  ourselves seriously enough or we are taking ourselves too seriously! Not sure which one is more detrimental. I believe that women are always challenged with the nuances that come with being a part of a male-dominated industry… having said that, if women keep focusing on the fact that this is a male-dominated industry then we will continue to be part of a male-dominated industry and not just part of the industry.

4.     What does a typical day at Koogan Plastics look like for you?

Meetings, work, meetings, crisis and then more meetings. A day is really just a piece of the puzzle that needs to be achieved for the month or quarter. So although most of my day may be managing staff and meetings, the purpose of each day is to better navigate the period we are in, etching closer to achieving our business goals.

5.     What skills do you possess that you consider important to be great at what you do?

Firstly, patience is critical as impulse control enables your success. Responding to all my urges or emotions would make me ineffective in steering any big ship when a cool head helps me to make accurate decisions. Secondly, listening is extremely important because it helps you really hear people and in the same way respond appropriately instead of responding to what you think they have said to you.

6.     What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

·         Invest early

·         Save as much as you can.

·         Conserve your resources – being able to apply your own capital to your business is the first and best option when starting a business. The second is using someone elses resources, but nothing is for free.

7.     What advice would you give women entering this field? Anything you wish you had known when you started.

Never remain stagnant, always keep learning. This industry and many others require a learning spirit. I knew very little about manufacturing or plastic injection moulding but my attitude towards the environment and the need to learn and understand how this environment thrives is what gives me energy to keep starting each day with a spirit of learning.

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