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Tanja Bogumil is a masters in management graduate of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and managing director of Kisura, a personalised online shopping platform for women in Germany, which she co-founded with a fellow HHL graduate.
Ms Bogumil first worked for KPMG in audit before becoming interested in the entrepreneurial route. She moved to Mister Spex, an online retailer for glasses, working in online marketing and business development. She then created her first company, Modemeister, a personal shopping service for men, which ran for one year.
In her spare time, Ms Bogumil enjoys learning about fashion and travelling in India.
1. What inspires you?
People, places, music and food. Sometimes I listen to a song and suddenly an idea comes to my mind. Whatever I do, wherever I am, I always keep my eyes and ears open and gather impressions from my surroundings.
2. Who are your business heroes?
Outstanding entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, who disrupted entire industries with his vision. Or Victoria Beckham, who made it from soccer player’s wife and girl-band singer to the first league of fashion design and style. Her drive and spirit is admirable.
3. What is the best piece of advice given to you by a teacher?
“Always do your homework and know what you are talking about – but never lose sight of the big picture.” This is something I always keep in mind, especially when it comes to pitching and negotiating.
4. What is your biggest lesson learnt?
Passion is the key to success – in everything.
5. What is the worst job you have ever had?
My first job as a teenager was picking tulip bulbs in the Netherlands when they were in season. It was a dirty and hard work but I loved the feeling of independence and earning the returns.
6. What advice would you give to women in business?
The same advice I would give to anyone: don’t be afraid of making mistakes, you will make them in any case – and the earlier the better. The biggest mistake is not trying it.
7. What is your favourite business book?
Actually, there are three and all of them have been and still are important to me. The best book for inspiration when you want to become an entrepreneur is Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneu. A must read if you plan to deal with venture capital is Venture Deals by Brad Feld, Dick Costolo and Jason Mendelson, and the best book for running a business is The Start-up Owner’s Manual by Steve Blank and Bob Dorf.
8. What is the last book you read?
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. The book is full of wordplay and comedy. The message I personally took from it was to take life easy and slow down from time to time.
9. Are there any specific workshops or seminars that have helped you in your career?
At HHL Leipzig I opted for the strategy and entrepreneurship major. I learnt a lot – both on a professional and a personal level. In daily business, I regularly face problems for which there is no ready solution. The only thing that helps is thinking outside the box and jumping in at the deep end.
10. What are your future plans?
Regarding my professional plans, I am focusing solely on Kisura. On a personal level, I would love to learn open water diving – during the summer, I started diving and experienced an incredible feeling of absence of gravity and absolute silence.