The Everyday Leader
Darshani Haria: Commercial Director,

Darshani Haria: Commercial Director,

Preparing For A Dynamic Career, Leadership Styles Learned On The Job, and Finding a Business Worth Promoting

Darshani Haria is an accomplished and experienced commercial director at, an emergency response service provider in Kenya. Darshani is a leader with a passion for growth and innovation. She has a proven track record of success in various leadership positions and has been recognized for her ability to inspire and motivate teams. In a recent interview on The Everyday Leader podcast, Darshani shared her leadership journey and how each role she has held has helped her better understand herself.

Preparing for a Dynamic Career

Darshani began her career in investment banking, where she learned the importance of numbers and the need to understand the financial implications of every decision. However, she soon realized that her passion lay elsewhere. She saw companies like Uber and Jumia moving into the Kenyan market and knew that he wanted to get involved in what she saw as the future of business and a dynamic opportunity.

In order for her to move in this direction, Darshani decided to pursue a master's degree and became increasingly interested in entrepreneurship and innovation, which opened up new opportunities for her. She began working in high-growth technology startups, where she found her passion for dynamic roles that involve problem-solving. She learned how to think creatively and developed a keen eye for detail. This stage of her career has involved roles in business development, where she has honed her skills in analyzing market trends and identifying new business opportunities.

A Leadership Style Learned On The Job

Darshani's leadership philosophy is centered around three key principles: understanding oneself, creating an enabling environment for employees, and making data-driven decisions. She believes that understanding oneself is the foundation for effective leadership. By understanding her own strengths and weaknesses, Darshani is able to leverage her skills to achieve better results. She also recognizes the importance of creating an enabling environment for employees. This means providing them with the resources, support, and freedom they need to succeed. Finally, Darshani believes that data-driven decision-making is essential for success in any leadership role. By relying on solid evidence, she is able to make informed decisions that lead to positive outcomes.

While Darshani may be risk-averse, she prioritizes taking calculated risks that are supported by data. She believes that calculated risks are important to achieve growth and success. Darshani also recognizes the importance of developing critical thinking skills. She encourages her team members to think critically and problem-solve by coaching them and not just providing solutions. Darshani believes that critical thinking is an essential skill in any role, and it helps individuals develop a more strategic mindset.

Finding a Business Worth Promoting

Darshani most recently joined as a Commercial Director. When asked about, Darshani explained that the company is the largest network of first responders in Kenya. Its 24/7 dispatch hotline offers rapid and reliable assistance during critical situations, medical emergencies, accidents, and security incidents. The company relies on a membership model and has seen success in selling directly to individuals and businesses, as well as working with insurance companies and brokers.

Darshani appreciated that’s founders understand the importance of creating an environment where employees feel included and valued. She has seen the significance of providing support to team members when needed. In her experience, a supportive work environment leads to greater job satisfaction and better performance. The culture at permits hybrid work and for staff to take care of the “life admin” as needed and to take “unlimited time off”, which while not taken literally, is an important signal of trust across the company.

Darshani's insights provide valuable lessons on how to lead with empathy, promote employee well-being, and develop critical thinking skills. These are essential qualities for any leader to possess in today's fast-paced and ever-changing work environment. By prioritizing employee well-being, developing critical thinking skills, and fostering self-awareness, leaders can create a positive work environment that empowers their team members to succeed. Darshani's leadership journey is an inspiration to anyone who wants to pursue a career in leadership or entrepreneurship.

The Everyday Leader
Conversations with leaders from across Africa’s companies, organizations, and governments about their experience managing teams and projects throughout their careers.