A Peek at Ruzwana Bashir

What does it take to get a head start in business? Idea? Buzz? Timing? Popularity? Backers? Money? What? Well, you need a combination of many factors; but this time, it also includes beauty.

Ruzwana Bashir, a British-born Pakistani, is no billionaire nor her idea of a business is totally unique – as in online travel. But many would agree that because of her stunning looks, she was even able to get support from the likes of Google’s Eric Schmidt, Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, and TPG Capital founder David Bonderman.


Peek Founder Ruzwana Bashir

So, can just any attractive woman make it? Certainly helps but without a vision, continuous preparation and strong determination, beauty can only take you so far.

This was something Bashir exhibited back when she was still at the University of Oxford, and where an important event then touted her to be the “next Maggie”.

March 2004, Bashir was elected president of the Oxford Union, a debating society in the U.K. that has gained the reputation of being a valuable training ground for many would-be politicians the world over.

During this time, there were accusations, talks of irregularities, and a tribunal that the protagonists had to confront in wake of the election scandal; meanwhile Bashir’s supporters lament that the opposition was greatly a case of skin color and religion. These then led to the changing of electoral rules by the Union to avoid similar problems.

As always, discrimination is never good. Though on the upside, standing her ground at the ugly face of discrimination was probably the best preparation she had into becoming the Leader that she is now – more savvier yet subtly tougher.

So, has Expedia found another formidable competition in Peek.com? Maybe, as even the New York Times has said that it’s “one site that you’d want to visit again and again”.

She just needs to recognize that it takes more than web design and activity links to really dominate.

What’s your take?