- Harriet Main
CYW Candidate Profile - Kanika Sachdeva
"I believe Conservative Young Women is a great platform to interact with like-minded women in politics... CYW offered help and support needed to win this election."
Kanika Sachdeva is 35 and was born and brought up in India and moved to the UK in 2013. She currently lives in Reigate with her husband and 9-month old daughter. Like any other 1st generation immigrant, her core objective was to excel in her career and make her restaurant a success in the City. Kanika has always been a Conservative but never thought of joining the party, let alone standing in elections. However she is glad that she decided to stand. Since her election as a Borough Councillor in May 2019, she feels more connected to the community than ever. Kanika enjoys yoga, reading and exploring new places.
Why did you get involved in Conservative Young Women?
Being a young woman from an ethnic minority group, I believe CYW is a great platform to interact with like-minded women in politics. Here I can express my views and opinion on the issues that matter to the most without being judged.
How have Conservative Young Women supported you in standing?
In this new normal where door-to-door canvass still raises few (a lot of) eyebrows, CYW came to my rescue and offered help and support needed to win this election.
What kind of jobs have you had in the past?
I graduated in English Literature and have a Masters degree in Business Administration. While in college, I use to teach Martial Arts to young people. In my current role as a Business Development Manager of an accounting firm, I find opportunities and provide tailor-made accounting solutions to Businesses while maintaining long term professional relationship with clients. I had learned the truth about success when I opened my Business venture- a Quick Service Restaurant in the City, where the bottom line was everything.
How do you think we can encourage more young women into politics?
Young people have ideas that can bring revolution, but most of the time, either those ideas get lost in the race of career and higher studies, or there is no one to guide them. There are support and training available with the party for those who show interest in politics (by actively participating in youth debates, youth councils, attending party events etc.) We need to engage and encourage those young people, especially women, by signposting and guiding them in CYW and CWO's direction. I found my way through CWO in politics.
What experience do you think you could bring?
My first job was as a martial art instructor for young people (my youngest pupil was 18 months old). After my Masters, I joined the corporate world and worked with multinational companies, where I learnt how to be strategic in providing solutions and learnt the rest of the traits the hard way when I started my QSR venture in the City. At one point in time, I had a team of 25 people from 13 different nationalities. So, I would say I will bring myself to the table with all this experience I have gained over the years.
Why did you decide to get involved in Politics?
It all happened by chance; I had moved to the area and wanted to meet new people when I saw an FB post "an invitation from our MP- Crispin Blunt for a BBQ afternoon at his house". I have always been a Conservative, so I thought it's an excellent opportunity to get acquainted with the local MP. It blew my mind when I met local leader, councillors and members, who talk so passionately about our community. It didn't take long for me to explore the opportunity to get involved in politics at the local level. After that, there was no going back.
Why did you decide to stand to be a local Councillor?
Because I care, I care about our present, our future, our children’s future, our community, our young people, our elderly, our local businesses. I decided to become a Councillor to represent all of them at the Council and become their voice by raising their concerns and hold officers to account to ensure that resident’s interests are considered.
What would you like to achieve as a Councillor?
I am focused on what best improves the well-being of our local communities. I intend to use my passion and determination to represent residents' views and aspirations on the Council to ensure that our community receives its fair share of funding for local amenities and projects.
As adults, I always feel that we ignore or don't pay much attention to young people's opinion. They are our future and play a fundamental role in shaping our communities. I also intend that our young people are heard through regular engagement with the Council, myself and political debates in schools.
How do you think you could achieve these goals?
The Community's well-being can only be achieved by getting involve with them physically or virtually. It will give me an insight about the local matters. On the other hand, as an elected representative (if I get elected) at the Council, I will participate and contribute towards the development of policies and strategies and scrutinise council decisions which I am currently doing since my election in 2019.
How are you going to communicate with your constituents?
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a sudden shift in lifestyle. In these unprecedented times, it is impossible to go out and knock on the doors and discuss matters with residents. On the bright side, we all have created a virtual world to help & support and get connected with each other. I will organise virtual as well as face to face surgeries (once lockdown restrictions permit us). I will use my Social media channels to engage with my constituents and post information about the local matters to keep them updated.
Who’s your role model/ political hero?
My father is my role model. I grew up watching him doing Social service, going to lengths to help the ones in need without thinking about the returns. I am glad you asked this question because it made me thought about why I am here.
I also admire the work of PM Narendra Modi of India. He has achieved so much since his election in 2014 and put India on a world map with other superpowers. He reached out to the youth of India to promote and help them with various schemes, e.g. Skill India Mission, Make in India, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Digital India Mission, Start-up India, Fit India Movement and many more.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Watching my little one (who is growing up so quickly) is my full-time job at the moment. And whatever spare time I get, I go out for walks with her, try to do my Councillor duties by reporting potholes, resident’s concerns etc. and prepare for my Council meetings to represent my constituents effectively. I wish I could say long drives or meeting people in our community but hopefully soon.
What is your current favourite Netflix show?
I am a big Netflix fan. That’s probably one of the platforms which kept us sane during the lockdown. My favourite Netflix shows list is quite long. However, my current favourites are Cocomelon, Masha & the Bear, Kung fu Panda or any show which has rhymes (no judgements please)
Conservative Young Women are dedicated to encouraging and supporting young women in the Conservative Party. We are on a mission to get more women into public office at every level and we provide support to anyone who wants to stand.