30 seconds with Pardeip Sahota (CB&S GTO, Deutsche Bank) who has been involved in the Deutsche Bank Awards for Creative Enterprise as a judge and mentor since 2007.
DBACE: Why did you volunteer?
Pardeip: I enjoy the arts and this project gives me a connection. A colleague suggested that I give mentoring a try. It’s an interesting experience. A person can have fantastic creative talents but they may not be so good at the business side of things, like thinking commercially or putting processes in place. As a mentor, you can help develop those skills.
What do you do as a judge?
Judging is less of a time commitment than mentoring. It involves listening to finalists pitch their ideas and deciding which one is the best fit with the award’s criteria and the most likely to succeed. Everyone who presents gets constructive feedback on their presentation, plus any suggestions for other avenues they could explore to develop their idea or get funding. It’s like Dragon’s Den on TV, only kinder.
What keeps you coming back year after year?
Being part of the journey. It’s a great feeling when you see award winners achieve success because it takes real drive to get a project or business off the ground. The money, training, mentoring, exposure and networks all help, but there’s another aspect to the awards that I think is just as important. At a crucial time in their lives, these awards give young people the sense that someone believes in them. That helps them to keep going through all the challenges and setbacks that every start-up experiences.