Nishika De Rosairo
Founder and CEO - Experiential Insight.
Born in Zambia, raised in Sri Lanka and then moving to New Zealand in her early teens, the contradiction between eastern and western forms of living, and collectivist and individual social norms had Nishika de Rosairo confused about who she was and where she belonged; not to mention the mish mash of an accent acquired along the way.
“I had been used to attending international and private schools filled with ambitious students. The cool student was the all-rounder student – exceling in grades, sports, and socially. At Avondale College I quickly became aware of the infamous ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome.’ Suddenly I had to be either cool or a nerd, so I decided to settle for the middle ground which threw me off track for a few years.”
Turning to motivational books and audio tapes written and recorded by powerful and successful figures including Anthony Robbins, Richard Branson and Robert Kiyosaki, Nishika says helped to shape her confidence and outlook on life.
“They were very influential in shaping the person I have become. I still turn to their principles and practices in 90% of the decisions I make in life.”
Gaining a B.Com with honours in change and innovation, and subsequently completing an MBA at the University of Washington, Nishika has gone on to build a successful career working for Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies including: Apple, Deloitte Consulting, Salesforce, Cisco, Chevron and Levi.
“The University of Auckland has certainly been instrumental to my success. I literally would not be living and working in the U.S. if it were not for one of the most significant influencers and mentors in my life – Dr Darl Kolb. I took Darl’s management paper in my third year and little did I know that being part of this class and getting to know Darl would offer me an opportunity to change the course of my life.
He encouraged me to participate in a case competition in Seattle which in turn lead to a scholarship to study in the U.S. I felt so invigorated at that point in my life. It really helped propel me forward.”
After time at Deloitte working as a consultant followed by roles at several major corporates already mentioned, Nishika decided to take a risk and follow a dream she had set for herself when she was 15 – to establish her own business.
“I have always been a dancer and interested in creative pursuits and from a young age it’s been my dream to have my own fashion brand so the timing seemed right to embark on a whole new phase of my career.”
And so dE ROSAIRO, made in New York and San Francisco and sold predominantly online, was born.
“It’s a boutique brand initially inspired around reimagining the hoodie for the modern woman. Why should Mark Zuckerberg and other male executives have exclusivity!”
Another long-time interest has been in leadership development; which lead Nishika to think about how executive coaching could be made available to non-executives.
“Traditionally executive coaching has been the sole domain of C-Suite execs, but I wanted to create a platform, much like an Uber but for executive coaching, that would allow university students and non-executives in corporations, to benefit from the same sorts of techniques. This lead to the formation of my latest venture, Experiential Insight.”
So for someone who lives life at a fast pace and has a sense of urgency about everything she does, what has been the biggest learning so far?
“What I’ve realised is that who I am today is not who I will be tomorrow. I am on an accelerated journey to grow and create impact through all of my efforts and endeavours. Honestly, I have no idea where and who I will be five years from now, let alone ten years from now!”