Uma Satkuman


It was my grandfather who inspired me to start my entrepreneurial journey. A surveyor who in his busy schedule would manage to find a moment to stop, sit and have a cup of tea. And as a little girl I would join him and those tea breaks rituals helped us connect - tea was what brought us together.

My name is Uma, I come from the island of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and I had always wanted to have tea at the centre of own venture when I grew up. Started with a career in HR in investment banking then as part of my exit strategy, I worked without pay at my local French boulangerie and really enjoyed the creativity and physicality of the work. ...that’s how I started my journey of running a food and drinks business. I retrained as a pastry chef at Le Cordon Bleu. 

One of the best times of my life! I then worked at restaurants, hotels and cafes to gain as much experience as I could. I did farmers markets, primarily so I could use it to carry out market research, selling tea, cakes, biscuits and patisserie. I was ready to set up my own tea house. So here I am.... facing so many challenges as an entrepreneur......I am struggling with the lack of structure in my day, I hadn’t factored in additional costs for ‘premiums’. 

I had no idea that upfront payments would have been too expensive. The irony is that in my previous career, had always encouraged employees to think of long term saving plans. I miss not having a community of people around me sharing their knowledge and expertise.

Such networks help to answer and inspire.I have re-branded the business and I have to rethink the direction that I take. I am here tonight to pass on what I have learnt so far but also to find answers to some of these hurdles and find my business connections at Hub Dot.

Catalina Silva Griffin