With over 300 staff to oversee, designing six different collections, five times a year, Pat finds it both impossibly hectic but absolutely exhilarating at the same time. “Everything has to be done on schedule, to the highest standard, and to the finest detail.” The fashion industry sets a punishing pace but the field holds no more surprises for her. “I’m always prepared. Anything can happen during production and we have to act almost instantly as the fashion industry waits for no one. It’s a challenge that we face all the time.”
Turning a vision into reality needs serious commitment but crucially, as Pat attests, you need to have undivided support from those around you and they were all there for her: a great partner, Yong, with his unquestioning belief, and a whole array of friends kept her focused on her journey, in particular, friends Nancy Yeoh, and the late Yasmin Ahmad who produced the first Britishlndia advertisements which went on to win a clutch of industry awards. “All these incredible, wonderful people, too many to name, kept me going. Their belief in me was both energising and uplifting. It sustained me.”
About being a leader, the quality that’s most essential according to Pat, is to be commonsensical, that is, to have sound and practical judgment, based on a simple perception of situations and facts. The ability to communicate is equally important. “Leaders need to sell ideas in the most persuasive and inspiring manner, and they need to motivate and cultivate. Spotting and nurturing talent too is very important.”
It is plain to see that Pat believes passionately that businesses have a duty to make a stand against any injustice and violation of rights.