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Roya Sayadi in conversation

CEO and Founder of Sayadi Law SL, Barcelona

Roya Sayadi has lived a life full of variety and success in a number of different professional roles, not to mention a number of different countries too. Currently based in Barcelona, the jewel of Spain’s Catalunya region, Roya is now the proud CEO of her own intellectual property law firm, Sayadi Law. As Roya herself explains, it’s been quite a journey.

“I have been lucky to see a lot of the world since I was born in Tehran, Iran. As a six-year-old, I moved to Sweden with my family. This is where I went to school and grew up, and where my parents ran an Italian restaurant. I was ambitious and my parents were ambitious for me too. The plan was for me to enter law and sure enough, when I was 20, I started to study to become a lawyer.”

Roya Sayadi, CEO & Founder of Sayadi Law SL

But that was just the beginning of the story. On the day she was due to fly to London to begin her studies, she had a change of heart.

“I decided I didn’t want to do it!” explains Roya, laughing. “I wanted to study Spanish instead. My mother was devastated, but my father’s opinion was that I should follow whatever I wanted to do. So, I went to Barcelona – and never looked back!”

Between then and now, Roya developed a keen sense for business and entrepreneurship. She’s worked – and, importantly, she’s flourished – in a number of different sectors and feels she has been inspired by each one of them. They’ve all left their mark on her and are a key part of why her business is a success today.

“After graduating in Barcelona I worked for the Dutch airline KLM, working and living in Amsterdam. Eventually, I was assigned to a new role in London, helping to set up a new arm of the company. Essentially, I managed a team of 70 people for a new technical tool that Air France KLM had developed, while supporting the entire department in regards to KLM procedures and systems. It was a hugely technical role, but it was a success, and suddenly I began to get an idea of what I was capable of.”

An opportunity to switch countries to Germany while continuing to work remotely for Air France KLM would follow as Roya spent time living in Munich, before she returned to Sweden. This time, the challenge was to be one of the biggest of both her personal and professional life yet. Her father fell ill, and to compound this further her brother had broken his back. Not only was this difficult on a personal level, but it presented a potentially damaging problem for the family business – the restaurant.

It was time for Roya to diversify and take on a new challenge – again!

“I care about honesty and integrity in everything I do, and if you apply those principles and follow through with them, then the potential is there to succeed anywhere.”

Roya Sayadi

“So I took over the family business,” she recalls, “and that is where I learned so much once again. Running a busy Italian restaurant is hard work; it’s where you learn stress and how to cope when you’re up against it. It’s where you’re in charge of hiring, of training, of defining workplace and staff protocol, of sourcing suppliers and – of course – you’re responsible for the satisfaction of your customers.”

Roya and her parents Nahid and Ali in Rome, Italy
(Photo: client’s own)

So was running a restaurant completely different from her previous roles in the airline and retail industries? Or did Roya find common ingredients that linked her time in the kitchens to her previous places of work?

“As a businesswoman, I love entrepreneurship. I’m passionate about it. I love to build things and to get the best out of them – to optimise them. I care about honesty and integrity in everything I do, and if you apply those principles and follow through with them, then the potential is there to succeed anywhere.

You have to find balance, the balance between courage and kindness for instance.

If you have enough of both, if you believe in fairness and justice and apply it in the workplace – and in life too – then there’s every chance that you will come out on top. I also believe a bit of hard work helps too, though!”

Following her stint at the family restaurant in Sweden, Roya was head-hunted and snapped up by the retail group Åhléns AB, based in Stockholm. She was given a tough remit. “Essentially, I was hired to open a fully functioning new bistro from scratch, covering 200 sq.m. At the time, I was still running the family restaurant too. After eight months, I had stabilised it and we were able to sell it on. But in the meantime, with Åhléns, I was brought in to get the bistro up and running, all in the space of 12 days. I was told that it was impossible, that I would never do it. It was believed I’d need 2 months at least. But I got my head down and stuck at it. I did everything; I hired and trained personnel, handled the inventory, opened the bistro and completely changed the appearance of the department. We opened on time and fully ready, meeting the 12 day deadline. When the bistro became a success, the space was sold on to Joe & The Juice. It was hard work and it was tiring but we did it! I gained huge respect.”

By now, Roya wasn’t short of job offers and was being courted for several high level positions, both home and abroad. Yet was it a case of itchy feet that decided her next move abroad?

Not this time.

It was her heart, which she had left beating in Barcelona years previously. The lure of Las Ramblas and the twinkling beauty of the Balearic Sea had left an indelible impression upon her, and she had always known she would one day return to live there. Global office-space giants Regus were the suitors who offered Roya the opportunity to return to Catalonia, and soon she was back in the city she still calls home today. She worked her way up to Senior Account Manager there before making another career move, this time into the world of trademarks and intellectual property law with Otmore Limited.

Barcelona, the city Roya now calls home.
(Photo: Tomas Sereda/iStock)

“I’ve worked in so many different companies and countries,” reflects Roya. “I’ve seen similarities and parallels in all of them, and I’ve learned what it takes to make a company a success. Otmore worked in a very modern way compared to the other 99% of law firms out there, and it was really effective. Learning from them, and from my previous careers, I believe I’ve found the best ways to get the clients the service they want. The best way to listen to them, the best way for a company to run internally. I’ve learned solid leadership skills to ensure that I get the most out of my staff, that I can give them all the tools, advice and opportunities to grow, and to make them really want to work here and succeed at Sayadi Law.”

So now that Sayadi Law is up and running, what’s going to make it stand out from the crowd?
“Sayadi Law is a place of trust, where clients know and feel that we will register, enforce and defend their brands and intellectual property in a bullet-proof fashion. They know that Sayadi Law is all about prestige service and modern thinking, that every facet of the legal aspects will be made crystal clear for them, and that they can feel comfortable in allowing us to represent their brands. Our clients are always in control, the ownership over their assets is total and every step of the strategic process is explained along the way. We aim to look after them and work with them for the long-term, creating long-lasting and effective relationships based on trust and respect and at an affordable price.

“As I said before, I love diversity and am a very diverse person. That’s why I love working in intellectual property law. I get to work with people from all over the world that are creating all kinds of amazing businesses. I love that I get to work with them from either the early stages of their journey, or by coming in later to optimize their trademark portfolio and provide solid protection for assets they already have.

“I genuinely care about my clients and seeing that they are looked after. I love the fact that my days aren’t the same and that each challenge brings a new opportunity to think out of the box and work creatively with and for my clients.”

Roya’s journey is an inspiring one, and Sayadi Law is the exciting result of everything she has learned and experienced along the way. You’d be forgiven for thinking that any tiny amount of free-time she has would be spent resting, but that’s not how Roya operates.

“I like to keep myself busy even when I’m not busy!” she laughs. “I did salsa classes and played tennis back in Sweden, and nowadays I love to go running, and travelling when I get the chance. Travelling is my absolute passion. I also want to learn to paddle surf, and I like to relax by doing yoga or going hiking. You’ll also find me listening to podcasts or watching and participating in informative webinars. Any time that is left is spent walking my dog!”

So, it’s not just Roya’s career that’s filled with diversity, it’s her private life too! These are exciting times, not only for Roya and her law firm, but for the clients of Sayadi Law also.

Roya Sayadi was talking to Ross Lowe.
Photography by Svetlana Dubovenko, unless stated.

Visit Sayadi Law to speak to Roya about all aspects of intellectual property law, including trademarks, patents, domains, legal services and monitoring.
The written content on the Sayadi Law website was created by Ross Lowe – The English Copywriter. If you’d like to talk to me about native English content for your business marketing, then please get in touch today.

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