The crypto and blockchain industry has long been known to be a male-dominated space. In Singapore, for example, 80% of the crypto holders are men, while only 20% of them are women, according to a report by US-based crypto exchange Gemini.
“In 2017, only 5% of women had invested in bitcoin. I found it unacceptable, because there is so much more to cryptocurrency. The underlying technology behind cryptocurrency, blockchain, is beautiful, and there is so much that it will do for the world—and women,” said Nikita Sachdev, co-founder of crypto-focused marketing firm, Luna PR.
Before founding Luna PR, Sachdev worked as a commercial model to pay off her university student loans. In 2017, she started her own modeling agency, Luna Management, with her best friend. She was then commissioned by some crypto firms to host a series of videos that explain the background and business of those companies. This was her first contact with cryptocurrency.
A few well-placed investments yielded profit for Sachdev. Then, in February 2018, Huobi, one of the largest exchanges in the world, approached Sachdev to hire her as a host. She interviewed founders whose projects were about to be listed on Huobi. “I got a lot of early exposure and understood the space more, and realized that this is what I want to do,” she said to Oasis.
Sachdev founded Luna PR in Dubai in 2020. Her team has been carving out a corner in the crypto space since then, offering full-stack marketing, public relations, advisory, and event management services. In an interview with Oasis, Sachdev shared her enthusiasm towards the crypto industry, as well as her advice for women who are getting their start in this space.
The following interview has been edited and consolidated for brevity and clarity.
Oasis (OS): How did you come to realize you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Nikita Sachdev (NS): My dad grew up in the slums and my mom lost her father when she was nine years old. They went from having non-comfortable lives to sharing a comfortable one. Both of them understood the value of money because they had to struggle to place themselves in a comfortable position. As I was growing up, they emphasized education. They were strict and made sure that my sisters and I had explored either sports, arts, or music.
My parents were open-minded when I realized that I wanted to go into business. My dad was always chasing business opportunities, so we were on the move my whole life. I was born in Hong Kong, grew up in Cyprus, and later moved to the US, Greece, Singapore, and now Dubai. Our family moved for his work, and whenever my dad had an opportunity, we packed our bags and went. So work was always a priority for my family. I grew up with that mentality.
I’ve seen my dad make it from nothing. He has been an inspiration. Today, I am also a self-made entrepreneur. I’m very proud of that.
OS: The blockchain industry has long been dominated by men. However, you managed to build a women-led team. Was this by design?
NS: The business is such a niche. It is hard to find someone that has a background in both PR and crypto. Here’s how I see it: if I’m going to train someone from scratch anyway, I might as well give someone new a chance. I am not saying that I only select women, but a lot more women come to me and say they want to learn. This is much less common in men.
OS: What are some of the challenges that you have encountered when explaining crypto to the general public?
NS: Sometimes, when we’re trying to get a crypto article out on traditional media, the journalists do not want to pick it up because it is too technical. The challenge is in making the technical terms understandable and relevant to a lay audience. But as the industry grows, journalists are becoming more interested in this space.
OS: How does Luna PR team select crypto projects to represent?
NS: We prefer teams that are not anonymous.
The second thing we look at is the fundamentals. We ask if it is a meme coin, about the purpose and mission of the project, and how it adds value to the blockchain industry.
The third thing would be trends. We now try to get projects related to GameFi and the metaverse. Those are the projects that are likely to succeed because they’re keeping up with the trends. Then, we look at the community size and interest from investors. We also look at the team and prefer them to be from more developed nations, as those countries generally have more regulations. The regulations can offer protections to us if things go haywire.
OS: What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever received?
NS: I have mentors who always push me to learn. You can never stop learning. From a personal perspective, one of my mentors always told me to think of the bigger picture behind everything. I set goals, want to break ceilings, and love to give people opportunities. That has always been my personal mission and vision.
I have another mentor who always tells me to work in something where the sky’s the limit. Find something where there is no cap on how much you can grow. Write down your goals and put them right in front of your desk all the time. I feel like that visualization power of the mind is a real deal.