We are proud to introduce Fritha, Secret Projects founder and CEO, as part of our 'From the Heart of' series.
Through this collection of stories, we want to take you to the centre of Secret Projects, right to our heart to discover what drives us as we journey towards our vision of a world where all women have the confidence and resources to make choices, thrive and contribute to the strengthening of their communities. What keeps us going? What joy and love do we encounter on the way to women's empowerment?
Get to know Fritha a little more by reading the interview below about her work with Secret Projects and a little about his home life below:
Question: In a nutshell, what does your role at Secret Projects consist of?
Fritha: I am the CEO and Head of New Business and Sales. My role as CEO is a much smaller part of my role, as we are a small business at the moment. My main focus is making sure the business runs legally, effectively, has the impact we set out to and our staff, Shareholders and Customers are happy.
Question: Is there a typical day for you in your role? What does it look like?
Fritha: Secret Projects is nearly a 24 hour a day business because India is almost 6 hours ahead of the UK. So Secret Projects opens at 5am my time (I am based in the UK) and shuts at 6pm. I am dyslexic so that makes me an early riser because I find I am most able to read and write early in the morning. So my day starts at 5am when my phone starts pinging with the many essential WhatsApp groups used by our global team. I drink tea, respond to the WhatsApp messages and write lists of what I need to do that day. Each day has a theme to it; for example, Wednesday is called 'Opportunity Tracker' day and I dedicate the day to networking with people and opening up new business opportunities. I check my emails with a bowl of cereal, walk my beloved dog Digger around the park and then I start. My days are all different but they all involve lots of talking via Microsoft Teams, emailing, working on e-commerce sites and thinking creativity about how to make things happen. I love working and as soon as I start I don’t look up and sometimes it feels as if the end of the working day comes about too early!
Question: What did you do before Secret Projects?
Fritha: I was a charity fundraiser specialising in Major Donors and Community Fundraising. I started Secret Projects when I was the CEO of a UK charity raising funds for education and community projects in India called Adventure Ashram. I also ran my own charity fundraising consultancy and worked a lot for the Dry January Campaign run by Alcohol Change UK.
Question: What do you find most fulfilling about working with Secret Projects?
Fritha: Paying our Makers. We pay our Makers on the 15th of each month via bank transfer. I love that da!. I also find sales fulfilling because every sale leads to us being able to have a new transaction with one of our Makers.
Question: How does your role at Secret Projects empower you?
I am not ok with the social injustices embedded into our world’s social, economic and governmental structures. I want every day of my adult life to be pushing to disrupt those structures and help prove that an equal world is a better world. Secret Projects offers me a role from which to be disruptive…
People empower me. And I have met so many people through Secret Projects. Each one of them empowers in a different way.
Secret Projects pushes me all the time beyond by comfort zone. I am comfortable out there because I am dyslexic and thrive when things are at their most challenging, it is what I am used too.
Question: Tell us a little about your life away from work.
Fritha: I am madly in love with a man called Olaf. We met only 3 and half years ago and now we are civil partners. We are foster carers, we are building our own home in West Sussex (UK) and we are also having a baby in the Spring of 2021. I love walking my dog Digger, growing food at our allotment and sewing and making things. I also love hanging out with my family and friends, camping, going to the beach and selling at car boot sales! I love India too, but I won’t go into that because it is linked to work!!!
Here are a few question just for fun!
Question: Dancing or walking?
Fritha: Dancing on a walk!
Question: Going out for the evening or staying at home?
Fritha: Impossible question… If I stay at home I will be asleep by 7pm…which is delicious and if I go out, I stay awake which is delicious too.
Question: If you could call up anyone in the world and have a 1hour conversation, who would you call?
Fritha: I would call my hero, the King of Social Business, Professor Yunus. He owns a Secret Pillow. I would ask him to coach me for 1 hour…
Photo: Fritha with a Secret Sari Dress. Photographer: Sebastian Xander