Ashuveen Bhadal – Taking The City By Storm

Ashuveen Bhadal – Taking the city by storm

Ashuveen Bhadal DrinqsmartWhen you’re scheduled to meet a tech entrepreneur, there’s a certain, somewhat stereotypical image that comes to mind, of a Mark Zukerberg type in baggy jeans and a hoodie. So we were somewhat surprised and rather delighted when we met Ashuveen Bhadal, the vibrant woman with a penchant for Mulberry handbags, about to storm the download world with an innovative new app. Dressed in a sharp black shift with a killer pair of heels, the very antithesis of a tech geek, this entrepreneur and former city worker is merging two worlds in a bid to make the lives of busy professionals easier.

So how did a bright young city slicker who grew up dreaming of inventing a flying car (“I was heartbroken when I saw a prototype of it unveiled in 2006 (X Hawk). I guess I was very ambitious at a young age”) find herself on the cusp of launching an app that’s set to revolutionise how the City of London socialises?

As a busy professional in London I often found it difficult to manage my social life i.e. see where my going out circle was out, meet quickly for a drink, get venue information etc. I thought, “there has to be a way to use technology to get information about my friends to allow me to connect easily”. At the same time there were many apps that were making people’s life’s easier, so I thought the mobile may present a solution,” Ashuveen tells us.

Having found a sharp, like minded business partner in Lukas Linsbichler whilst completing an EMBA, they set to find a resolution and the result is Drinqsmart, a soon to be launched app for discovering friends and venues around you to spontaneously connect for drinks without needing an endless back and forth of planning. “Our vision is to give time back to smart professionals, to allow them to achieve a work-life balance, without sacrificing their careers,” says Ashuveen, “Our brand essence is ‘Your Time’; we really are passionate about helping smart professionals use their time better for activities they genuinely enjoy.”

Leaving a high flying career and jumping head first into a market flooded with apps takes a stomach for risk and a great amount of tenacity, filling us with a certain amount of intrigue and bursting with questions when we met with Ashuveen for coffee at The Hospital Club in London’s Covent Garden earlier this month. Having already dispelled the stereotypical aesthetic of a tech city CEO, we get to know the woman behind the app.

Ashuveen Bhadal Drinqsmart

Take us through a typical day in the life of Ashuveen Bhadal?

I wake up at 6am and endeavour to take a quick 30 min run in the morning to get me started. I start work at 07:30 and kick-start the office day with a coffee and a fruit salad (it’s so important to stay on top of nutrition). The morning is focused on PR, sales activities, whilst the afternoon is spent with the development team to get the product into business shape. In the evening I catch-up with my co-founder to discuss strategic items and try to meet with app vanguards or go out with my team to enjoy some social time. There is often not much time for anything late evening, perhaps a quick business journal read to keep me on top of the industry; I try to be as efficient as possible to get myself ready for the next day.

What lead you to give up a career in the corporate world to follow an entrepreneurial path?

My parents had their own business and from the very beginning I was driven to start something of my own. The corporate ladder was simply a means to get the expertise and shaping I need to take an idea forward, when it appeared. I started my career in programming and then paved my way into managerial, consultancy and sales roles so working from start to finish across projects fuelled my desire to do something I could create.

What are your favourite apps?

Anything that makes my life easier! My top three would be Google Maps, for helping me navigate my way around the city, Yahoo Weather, which is just a beautiful app and What’s App (it keeps me connected and is so simple and seamless). 

The app market is so large, how is Drinqsmart going to stand out?

Myself and my co-founder Lukas Linsbichler are working professionals and know how hard working in the city can be. Drinqsmart is driven very much by potential users of the app to address a real need for the time-constrained professional – “Using time better to stay connected in real-life”. We’re strongly focused on building the brand and being simply beautiful in function and appearance to ensure it stands out in it’s market.

Your app is very much entrenched in the city, what do you love most about the City of London?

It’s vibrant and always buzzing, I love that. It’s a great place to meet people and make new friends and there are always great places to discover and go out. In my mind London is the capital of the world and has great opportunities for those who want to build their careers in Tech or Finance.

How have you transitioned from your role in insurance through to a CEO?

I’m so shaped by the corporate world and it definitely gives me an edge. It has been a challenging and long process, but in essence leadership does come naturally to me. It’s about being more assertive and hard work, passion and perseverance often bring out the character required to make a business happen.

What items do you always keep in your handbag?

Benefits “You Rebel” cream foundation, Dermalogica multi-active toner, MAC makeup, Clarins coral lipstick, Soap & Glory hand cream, Paco Rabanne Lady Million, Extra chewing gum, spare pair of earrings in case I need to go out, spare pair of tights, Biba or Timney scarf and disinfectant hand gel. A notebook for jotting everything down and of course business cards. My absolute essentials!

How do you dress for the office?

Very smart, everyday! Working in the corporate world shaped me and I really believe a smart outfit keeps you focused on the day’s objective. I love Karen Millen as everything fits just perfectly, Ted Baker, Zara of course and Biba for scarves. When it comes to handbags, I adore my Mulberry and Louis Vuitton.

How do you feel about the concept of achieving a work/life balance?

I feel it is very important to stay connected to your personal self and I couldn’t live without the social element of my life; I love that quick drink after work with my friends and colleagues. I strongly believe that if you do not have balance in your life it will impact your performance. I do work hard but I try to meet personal contacts whenever I have spare time, at least 2-3 evenings a week. It’s important to play offline more often and keep real connections. That’s why I am especially passionate about Drinqsmart. 

Who are your icons?

My parents; they worked hard and created something from nothing, which inspired me from childhood and taught me the value of hard work. My co-founder, Lukas Linsbichler’s dedication and visionary mindset are equally inspiring and we compliment each other very well across Finance, Sales and Tech domains. I also admire Steve Jobs; such a brilliant mind and even today his videos on strategy and market positioning are inspirational. I like people who are a bit quirky and not too rigid and a celebrity I admire is Madonna. I have never seen anyone successfully reinvent themselves so many times and with such drive.

What has been a career high point?

The day I left the corporate world was a high point and now every new day in the life of Drinqsmart. Everyday brings a new challenges, a new opportunity and I love working at Drinqsmart.

What has been a career low point?

I moved into a new role in the corporate world and surprised everyone with how successful I was in a short space of time. After years of hard work, I felt I hit a ceiling and came to realise how male dominated the organisation was. I never realised how real that ceiling is for women in the city until I reached it and so I left the organisation to pursue my own company, backed by my MBA and never looked back.

What is the best piece of advice that you’ve received in your career so far?

Be authentic in all that you do, your natural self will always lead you in the right direction. You always excel at something that you’re passionate about and people really buy into other people so let it shine through.

What advice can you give readers who want to start their own business?

Stay focused on your vision and work very hard! I think it’s also really important that you’re driven by passion. When things get difficult you need something other than money to drive you and you almost have to forget a lot of what you already know when you set up because essentially you’re starting from the bottom. 

The app launches this June but for a sneak peek and early access to some of the app’s fantastic functions visit

Gina Brar

A self-confessed coffee addict, collector of fabulous high heels and a lover of the written word, Gina plans on taking over the world of Fashion Publishing one story at a time. When she’s not shopping for beautiful new finds or devouring the latest catwalk pictures she can usually be found curled up with her favourite novel.