Rest if you must but do not you quit!


Former table tennis pro and founder, CEO and creative director of Dubai-based landscaping company Milestone, Sejal Nagjee on having the spirit of a champion within her

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Published: Fri 8 Jun 2018, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 12 Jan 2023, 2:42 PM

The number one item on your wish list.

A holiday to Georgia this summer!

What would you say is the most challenging part of your role as a landscapist and interior designer?

I meet people from diverse cultures, different nationalities and interestingly varied professions. Their needs are different and their dreams very focussed and ambitious. They have travelled the world and are specific about their needs. We need to fulfill their dreams and provide luxury resort-like designs and build projects within tight budgets. It's challenging but fulfilling too, and we manage to achieve that balance always.

What is the biggest learning point or experience in your life?

I played table tennis for India for 17 years, winning 138 medals. When I retired from professional table tennis, I moved to the field of design, which was something I have always been passionate about. This happened due to intense coaching by my husband and coach Rajesh Nagjee. I developed different skills, participated in new seminars, studied different subjects and, today, I lead a 70-people-strong design and build team.

When I retired, he once told me, "Once a champion, always a champion!" This sentence echoes in my mind all the time and I pursued the same excellence I achieved in table tennis in other fields. I continued to practise, develop skills, and strategise every day. Today, we are a successful business because the mindset to be a champion is within me.

It is possible to transfer the mindset, skills and what you have in one field to any other field. In all my interviews with the staff I employ, I look for that "champion" who will rise to the challenge.

One new skill you'd love to learn and why?

I would like to refresh my abilities in painting. It is a very relaxing hobby. I want to start a new company that will make murals and 3D art from different mediums for the outdoors.

What would you say is the best moment in your career so far?

The best moment in my career is right now. I don't want to live in the regret of the past or spend time being anxious of the future. I am really enjoying this moment!

What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?

Keep going! Rest if you must but don't you quit!

If you could move to any place in the world, what place would that be?

Mumbai. I just love my hometown, my friends and my family there!

- Staff Reporter

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