Sahar · Career Insights

Sahar is the Global Head of Real Estate at well-known “Abnormal Beauty Company”, Deciem. Deciem’s portfolio of products includes affordable skincare, makeup, supplements, and haircare – with their breakout star brand being, The Ordinary. Find out more about Sahar’s journey below:

How did your journey to becoming the Global Head of Real Estate begin? 
I began my Master’s in Real Estate Management following my Bachelor degree in Political Science. At the time, I was making a choice between Law and Surveying. I had a place in Law school but decided to withdraw and undertake the surveying route instead.

What did you end up studying at university?
The main qualification required for a career in surveying is the Real Estate degree that is accredited by the RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors). I undertook this as a postgraduate study but students can take the undergraduate option too.

What are some common misconceptions about your industry?
In general, I’ve found that people assume you are a building surveyor when you mention ‘surveying’. There is a misconception as to the broader industry and the wide variety of disciplines and service lines within the surveying practice. As an example, my role has been very unique as it is focused on real estate for the business of retail.

Do you consider your industry or be diverse? Or is there room for improvement?
There is much room for improvement. For instance, the industry is 87 per cent male. There is also a pay-gap at entry level and at senior levels in the industry. Further, only circa 2 per cent of the industry is of BAME background. This lack of representation and pay-gap could be addressed with more inclusivity and transparency within organisations. Raising awareness of the profession is important too.

What would you do in your typical days work?
This list is not exhaustive! I could be doing any or a combination of the following: Undertake site inspections, meet with landlords, review P&L for all locations and the business targets, complete spreadsheet and presentation update reports, liaise with solicitors and finance team to complete transactions, manage any issues arising from an operations side for all locations, liaise with HR on new locations and staff requirements.

Are there any particular skills you think people should have to succeed in your profession?
I would say the top 3 are: strong interpersonal and communication skills, strong IT, numeracy and data knowledge, and the ability to multitask.

Do you think enough young people consider your industry as oppose to others such as finance and law?
Finance and law are still more popular. Most young people are not aware of the merits of a surveying career and also the industry is only recently becoming more inclusive.

What’s your number one piece of advice you’d give someone wanting to work in the industry?
Obtain as much work experience as you possibly can through internships, voluntary work or summer jobs. Of course, it’s great for the CV but it will also give you a taste of some of the service lines and the ones you’d like to pursue.

What are the best and worst parts of your job?
Visiting new locations on-site visits is always fun! I love being the go-to friend that knows the hotspots in the UK and in cities around the world.

What is your favourite city and why?
May I answer that once I’ve visited Tokyo? I love the buzz of the city but I also crave clean air and natural environments.

To find out more about Sahar’s role, she is open to connections: