Preeya Malik STEPs Up as a Leader in Investment and Immigration

Preeya Malik is a woman in business worth knowing. By stepping out of her comfort zone she has helped to build a thriving organization that is focused on changing their client's lives for the better.

I don’t think there is anything bad about being a female founder. In fact, being a female entrepreneur has been an extremely positive and enlightening experience so far. I think when people see a young woman moving away from traditional roles and going out on her own it actually draws attention and I’m so excited to be a part of such a movement.

 

Preeya Malik is an entrepreneur, U.S. licensed attorney, immigration rights advocate and Co-Founder of investment immigration firm STEP America. At STEP America, she helped expand the firm’s reach to Dubai, Qatar, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Singapore, as well as securing the building and development of several Hilton and Marriott Hotel properties across the U.S., a number of private charter schools, and cutting-edge government infrastructure and technology projects. As a businesswoman who built a successful company from the ground up, Preeya is also an expert on  navigating the entrepreneurial landscape in the UAE and the Middle East.

What did you eat for breakfast?

The first thing I drink every single morning is a glass of hot water with lemon. It detoxes my body. Following that – usually a green protein shake with spinach, kale, berries, coconut oil, lemon, and any other nutritious ingredients I can find in my refrigerator!

What’s your favorite sport or exercise?

I’m obsessed with the Lagree Method which utilizes a patented machine to combine strength, endurance, cardio and core training all in a single session. It’s efficient which is important because I don’t have tons of free time to work out. If I am in a country where I don’t have access to Lagree, I will run to a good soundtrack or do some yoga. At any given point in my life when I’m doing yoga regularly, I feel so much more at ease and can handle stress much better.

thumb2

What inspired you to start your business? Where did you start and where are you now?

After I graduated from law school and before I started my business, I had been working as an attorney for about five years and wasn’t finding it as fulfilling as I had hoped. In Miami, I was fortunate enough to network with a number of entrepreneurs and was able to gain inspiration by seeing them do what they loved on a daily basis while using their education and skills in new and creative ways. I thought – “I can do that too!” I heard about the EB-5 program at a real estate seminar one day, and something just clicked.

My business partner and I moved to Dubai because we thought the market would be great for what we do (investment immigration). That was three years ago and we have been scaling quickly ever since. I have zero complaints and zero regrets! Going out on our own was the best decision we ever could have made.

How large is your business?

We started Step America as 2 and grew to 7 team members out of our Dubai office. We are now 4 but take on interns from time to time. We also have an amazing partner office in the U.S.with over 20 staff and have built relationships with people who have played a large role in helping us grow to where we are today. Step America has become the leading firm for U.S. Investment Immigration in the GCC with clients from all over the region including India, Pakistan, Africa, and more.

Tell us a success story about funding your business.

Our first year of business was difficult just as it is in (I think) most startups. We were able to become extremely profitable within the first year, with no loans, no third party equity investors, and funded only through our own savings. This was unexpected and was a huge accomplishment for us. But we have also learned that success comes and goes and is dependant on how hard you work. Consistency is key to staying alive as a company. You can’t lose your fire from a little bit of early success.

What about your business matters most deeply to you? How does it engage your values?

Our clients matter the most to me. I truly take my job seriously in helping them forge a new path in life for themselves and their families. Most of our clients also come to us with the future of their children in mind. It reminds me of my own parents and their story of sacrifice as immigrants to Canada, which I will always be grateful for and hold close to my heart. I believe relationships are the most valuable thing in business, and those relationships are the heartbeat of a company.

Who is the entrepreneur you admire most right now? Why does s/he inspire you?

This is tough because I find so many entrepreneurs inspiring. I have to go with Bill Gates. He will forever be the founder of something great, but most importantly he believes success also stems from giving back. I recently met someone who had worked with him on one of his philanthropic projects. They said he was extremely down to earth and supportive. I find that inspiring considering who he is and how much he has achieved!

What’s the best and the worst thing about being a female founder?

I don’t think there is anything bad about being a female founder. In fact, being a female entrepreneur has been an extremely positive and enlightening experience so far. I think when people see a young woman moving away from traditional roles and going out on her own it actually draws attention and I’m so excited to be a part of such a movement.

What is the best advice you ever got, and from whom?

My grandmother said something a long time ago which has stuck with me ever since – “Do your best and leave the rest.” I believe in challenging myself, but I know it’s most important to be the best person you can be and do the best work you can. Everything else is beyond your control and should be left up to destiny.

What piece of advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Live with no fear, because you truly can accomplish anything you set your mind to. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Success is a direct result of your vision and how hard you are willing to work to bring your vision to life.

Connect with Preeya Malik

LinkedIN: Preeya Malik

 

Want to learn more about women’s entrepreneurship in the Middle East and Gulf Coast States?

This content was curated through our partner Naseba and the 18th Annual Global Women in Leadership Forum.

 

 

In this article