WHO'S YOUR? is the curated black book of the best in their business.



CEO of Harcourts Victoria
Sadhana Smiles is Chief Executive Officer of Harcourts Victoria and the recently crowned Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year 2013. Being a female CEO is something in itself, but being a full time mother, the founder of a not-for-profit in Fiji, an author, a mentor, a media influencer and the Telstra Victorian Business Woman for 2013 all at once is not to be taken lightly. Sadhana’s ability to rise to the challenge and achieve great results both personally and professionally can be attributed to her renowned wit, inspiring personality, acute ability to capitalise on a commercial opportunity and innate sense for identify issues affecting business performance – all of which have earned her the admiration of many leaders in the Real Estate and business arenas.

Sadhana Smiles

Home is?
Surrey Hills, VIC

What do you do?
Mother and CEO of leading Real Estate network, Harcourts Victoria.

What people don’t know about your job…
Despite what meets the eye, being in real estate requires you to be more than a property expert.  It requires you to be a negotiator, a psychologist, a futurist, a tradesperson, a market analyst, a mediator and a lawyer…all in the one day!

You’re a mother and a CEO, what do you have to do to get out the door each day?
As a mother, the first steps towards getting the troops out the door are packing the lunches, preparing breakfasts, taking out the bins, hanging out the washing and having all the afterschool pick ups arranged. As a CEO trying to get out the door, I have a whole different list for that challenge!

What’s your mantra?
Death is the only thing you can’t fix!

What do you do for down time?
Down time is an extremely precious commodity, therefore I like to do things that are not only thoroughly enjoyable but let me unwind.  Therefore, as so many of us like to do, I eat and drink!

Most overused phrase?
Too rude to say…maybe a trait from working in a male dominated industry!

Who’s your mentor?
I have many and they’re a mix of real estate and non-real estate.

You travel regularly both for work and pleasure. Could you please tell us….
Best hotel? (At your favourite destination) : The Westin (all over the world, there beds are amazing!)
Best airline? Virgin Blue
Best transfer service (Other than taxi’s): Combined Cars, Owner is Craig Tresise, 0413 674 890

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How does it feel to be named Telstra Victorian Business Woman for 2013?
It’s so hard to put into words how I felt. I really didn’t think I had a cat in hell’s chance of winning. There were some really amazing and accomplished finalists and all of them when I heard their story blew me away with what they’d done with their professional lives. When they announced my name I was shocked and stunned – but also absolutely ecstatic at the same time! As was my family who were last seen dancing around the table.

I see it as a victory for anyone, from any background with nothing more than the energy to dream, a burn in their belly for success,  coupled with a healthy dose of self-belief, grit and determination.  I’d love the legacy of my winning to be that anyone and everyone believes that each of us can achieve something and each of us can have our achievements acknowledged.

My journey to today began in Fiji where I was born. I challenged the status quo in Fiji at the time in regards to women. I grew up surrounded by the  most warm, loving and very caring family.

I came to Australia from Fiji at the age of 16, went to boarding school, didn’t get the marks to go to university so started as a receptionist in a real estate agency. I knew back then that despite being a young Indian Fijian girl I had to aim high, had to believe in myself and had to believe in my dreams

  • Earlier in the year you launched an innovative new marketing campaign for Harcourts Victoria. So tell us, Who’s Your agency?
  • One of the most common questions I receive from people in the industry is who to go to for Harcourts Victoria’s printing and websites. Seth from New Litho Printing is the best in the business.