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Pia de Malherbe

Pia de Malherbe

Pia de Malherbe, UK Founding Director at The Newbiz Academy

  • Location: London, UK 

  • Corporate title: UK Founding Director at The Newbiz Academy 

  • Company: The Newbiz Academy 

  • Sector: Creative Services University degree: MA International Marketing at Regent’s University London, UK

How does your usual day look like?

I am a busy working mum of two fantastic kids in primary school, hence efficiency is key during my day. I try to get up early around 6am although that‘s not always happening as I am not a morning person. I start with a 20 minute workout on the Peloton or just simple weight training, followed by coffee and a celery juice ;-)

After this, I drop my children off at school before returning to my home office, or occasionally, I might head into town for a meeting. The morning routine includes more coffee while catching up on the news and LinkedIn, then progressing to email correspondence, and liaising with the teams and agencies I frequently collaborate with. There's also the chance to engage with prospective clients, customising workshops to align with their service offerings. My mornings are generally packed, followed by a swift, healthy lunch. I make a point of working from a Soho House at least twice a week to network with contacts in the agency sector and the opportunity for face-to-face interactions.

In the afternoon at around 4 pm I get ready to collect my kids from school I try to pick them up myself as often as I can. We then usually walk home and discuss the day and focus on homework.

I try to reconnect with work around 5.30/6pm once my husband gets home. From 7pm it is family time without phone or laptop. Making dinner as a family and reading books with my kids. I head to bed at 9pm either watching a series or reading a book, lights are off by 10pm usually.


What are the things you like the most about your job?

I like meeting new people and working in the creative field. Usually my days are very varied and I try to do something different every day. I like variety and a creative office environment is very important to me.


What are some of the skills you utilise the most in your day-to-day at work?

Multi-tasking - I have so many roles during the day, being efficient, organised and juggling several different projects and tasks at once is absolutely key.

What was one of your happiest days in your career and why?

Today is probably one of the happiest times in my career life - Covid has made remote and flexible work possible so I can juggle my life between three countries and also need to travel way less for work.

I also worked with some fantastic people over the years but one of the most memorable times was at Omnicom at branding firm S+G where we had a great team and had the opportunity to rebuild the offer of the agency in the UK, delivering 69% revenue growth in one year.


What was the toughest career decision you ever made?

Finding the right balance between kids and work. I left a secure job to take care of my kids and after that set up my own consulting firm.


What is something you had to learn to become better at your work?

Resilience, don’t give up, believe in yourself and keep going.

How did you get to become an Agency Growth Consultant?

I now have 20+ years experience in working for creative agencies, I have always been involved in building up new revenue streams, managing pipelines and pitching. I have seen a massive shift in the approach to agency new business and marketing and based on my experience know the sector very well. It is my experience and continuously drive that allows me to help other people be better at agency new business and marketing.


What's the career advice to your younger self?

Have fun, relax, everything will be fine and network, network, network…

Professional networking for women matters because….

Networking is so important and supporting other women. Still today women are disadvantaged even in developed societies, we need to support and lift each other up.

What makes you gracefullyBOLD?

I never give up, I keep going but always with style #gracefullyBOLD

How do you spend your weekend or downtimes?

I am a sports addict, I cycle everywhere, I run, have a newly found Peloton addiction and then weekends are family time - my kids come first. If we are not travelling we spend the weekend watching football games, playing tennis and seeing friends or visiting one of the fantastic museum that London has to offer. My latest favourite is the V&A.


How do you deal with stress and build resilience?

I started to meditate daily - this helps to focus the mind and take stress out of the day-to-day.

What would have been your alternative career path or alternative University degree?

Professional tennis player - I thought I would become the next Steffi Graf - sadly I was never even close ;-)


What are you currently learning or what’s one of the last things you learnt?

AI - ChatGPT - I am integrating this into my day to day life - AI focused CRM systems is a new obsession of mine.


Who is a (female) professional that inspired you along your career journey?

Kellie Hargraves - she has style, is very resilient and is a female leader in a very male dominated field (she works in compliance). She has inspired me with her advice and has influenced my career choices. Currently she has taken to volunteering helping underprivileged kids in London - another project that I might copy.

Kellie is fiercely independent, sits on panels with world leaders and is during all that fabulously glamorous.


What would you do if you were not afraid?

Ski a black piste. Surf in bigger waves.


What's the one thing we didn't ask you but you'd like to answer?

  • Question: What’s your favourite colour?

  • Answer: Pink, always pink.


The previous interviewee left a question for you! "If you could be CEO of any company for one day, what are the things you’d tackle?"

Patagonia - in order to learn and understand how their purpose is embedded throughout operations

British Airways to improve and turn around their whole customer experience

‘The firm’ aka the Royal Family, to humanise their brand

One word answers & quick fire round. Let's go!

  • Your superpower: Uber efficiency

  • Favourite restaurant: Yashin in London

  • Favourite beauty brand: Kajal pen

  • Favourite fashion brand: Ganni

  • Favourite perfume: Allure Chanel

  • Book recommendation:  "Tomorrow, Tomorrow and Tomorrow" by Gabrielle Zevin

  • Next holiday destination: St Gervais, France

  • Your hobby: Reading, golf, surf, tennis

  • Favourite mantra: " Von nichts kommt nichts." - From nothing comes nothing.

  • Who inspires you: My daughter Liv and my son Jax


  • Tea or Coffee: Coffee

  • Red wine or White wine: Red, but trying to drink less

  • Morning bird or Night owl: Night owl

  • Cat person or Dog person: Dog

Thank you Pia for sharing your journey & wisdom with us!

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