The day the world went into lockdown, Dame Natalie Massenet had two video conference calls. “That afternoon, I bought shares in Zoom,” she says.
It’s this ability to see into the future just that bit further or quicker than the rest of us that separates Massenet from the herd. She believes this professional insight is heavily intertwined with her personality. “I have always been an optimist,” she says. “I’m always thinking about what’s next. Some people see change as disruption; I see opportunity.” Her conversation is peppered with references to words such as change, positivity and magic, and she’s open and candid.
For as long as I can remember, I have always been thinking about magic
I’m always thinking about what’s next. Some people see change as disruption; I see opportunity.
After graduating, she moved to Tokyo with no network and no job – another defining moment: “My father raised me to not be afraid of what’s on the other side of the mountain.”
The other side of the mountain, for Massenet, eventually turned out to be a multi-billion-dollar enterprise, though she didn’t know it when she was working herself to the bone at the start. Everyone told her that Net-A-Porter would never catch on, despite the early endorsement of her friends, fashion designer Anya Hindmarch and Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon.
Award-winning broadcaster and journalist, Aasmah Mir, talks to business leaders and industry innovators about the crucial moments of their lives and careers.