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“Together, we are stronger” An open-minded approach from the director of one of the busiest consultancies in town

Parents in Dubai have found a new partner to get professional advice on education and career building. Rema Menon Vellat, founder and director of Counselling Point Training and Development, heads one of the busiest consultancies offering counselling services to children in distress. Try giving her a call and her standard answer would be, “I am in a middle of a session”.

“I have a small venture with a big vision. My approach is student centric and focus is on career counselling. Since life and career choices are intrinsically intertwined, many are the times that students and their families discuss personal challenges and seek my counsel. When the situation is beyond the scope of my work, I refer them to professionals outside, for example in the case of psychiatric intervention,” she said.

“Many peers and well wishers urged me to name the centre “Helping Hands” or “Options” or any such ‘non threatening’ name as counselling was perceived to have a negative connotation. Equipped with a masters in medical and psychiatric social work and a decade of counselling experience with children in India, my contention was that if I did not believe in counselling, then how my clients would trust. I knew that my strong convictions about the impact counselling would have on young students was not misplaced.

“I secured a licence from Department of Economic Development, Dubai, in 2005 and Counselling Point was born. In 2012, I also obtained a KHDA licence. It is now close to 15 years since I have had the pleasure of working with students in the UAE, helping them actualise their dreams and setting them on the path to success,” said Rema.

Rema has been a counselling partner of Getex for over eight years now. She also participated in the international education show at Sharjah Expo and Najah in Abu Dhabi. During Getex, she also facilitates counsellor forum for school counsellors of the UAE. The upcoming Getex counsellor forum is slated for the April 18.

Maintaining a life balance

How does she maintains work-life balance?

“Technology has made it possible for me to remain connected with my advisees, their families, schools and universities 24×7. Most of my clients meet me after fixing mutually convenient appointments. I’m also invited to educational institutions to make presentations and to speak on various higher education and career related issues. I work flexible hours and am able to efficiently balance work and home,” she said.

Rema recommends her peers who are interested to take the entrepreneurial path to conduct market research, putting together a business plan and building on one’s own core competencies. “I see my contemporaries as collaborators, not competitors. “Together we are stronger” is my personal mantra. This open minded approach has helped me earn trust and the cooperation of other enterprises. Most of my clients come through word of mouth. Integrity, commitment and sincerity are some of my guiding principles,” she said.

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