Catherine Zahidi’s Journey with Pasifika Business Advisory

Catherine Zahidi’s Journey with Pasifika Business Advisory


February 27, 2024

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Catherine Zahidi, is the vibrant force behind Pasifika Business Advisory, as she shares her journey from being a stay-at-home mom and the proud owner of a thriving business.  

After the challenges posed by COVID prompted a shift in Catherine’s career, she embraced entrepreneurship as a way to re-enter the workforce after starting a young family. With a background in sales and marketing and armed with two master’s degrees, Catherine set out on her journey to create Pasifika Business Advisory. 

“Getting back into employment was hard for me to even juggle with having kids around. So, that is where the journey started for me in business.” 

Starting her business was not without its uncertainties. Catherine openly shares her learning curve, emphasizing the importance of ongoing education and market research. She highlights the significance of choosing the right platform, not following trends if it does not align with your core business strategy and learning on the go. 

“I did not know everything at the start, but as I grew, and the business went forward, I started learning a lot of new and different skills. I had to get resourceful something every new entrepreneur must learn to do, and fast.” 

Enter Vern Holden, Senior Advisor at HTK Group, where Catherine found a mentor and a source of inspiration. Learning not just from the results but the strategies employed. Catherine credits HTK Group for honing her entrepreneurial skills and helping her bridge the gap between her marketing experiences and the world of entrepreneurship. 

“I had sales, marketing, and customer experience, but I didn’t have that entrepreneurial experience. But by Vern being so consistent on those meetings and having to learn from Vern himself, I wasn’t just looking at the results, but also how he delivered those results. Learning the strategies, and entrepreneurial spirit that I picked up from Vern has been invaluable to me in growing my business from home.” 

Catherine’s expertise extends beyond business advice. She actively assists Pacific businesses in navigating cultural and regulatory challenges when expanding overseas. Her goal is to help clients maintain their cultural identity while adapting to global markets. Catherine sheds light on the challenges faced by Pacific businesses when expanding globally, particularly in New Zealand. While New Zealand excels in creativity, innovation, and sustainability, Pacific businesses struggle with cultural and communication differences. Catherine plays a vital role in bridging this gap, facilitating communication and cultural understanding. 

“Navigating their cultural differences, especially when they are going overseas. I think is what a lot of my clients struggle with, especially in trying to reach a global audience and staying true to themselves. The other thing is also around legal and regulations overseas when they lack that knowledge. I assist them in the market research around the area, identify who are some of the partners that they could collaborate with and facilitate those communications with them. Just connecting them with that information and networks can boost their confidence and enable them to market overseas successfully.” 

Catherine’s empathetic nature is a driving force in her business. She understands the unique challenges faced by Pacific businesses, particularly in building trust. Her ability to connect on a personal level has proven instrumental in breaking down barriers and fostering strong, trusting relationships. 

“I’m big on empathy, and being result driven, I think another characteristic I would describe myself is being resourceful. I hope clients take away the importance of strategy, and the need for practical strategies, especially for small businesses with limited resources. Market research and learning from others are key components of a successful strategy.” 

As Pasifika Business Advisory continues to make a positive impact, Catherine stands as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, highlighting the importance of staying true to one’s values, understanding cultural nuances, and embracing a strategic mindset. 

Find out more on Catherine’s growing business here.

Get expert advice from our Senior Advisor Vern Holden, here. 


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