“My mom is a coder, and when she first introduced me to coding, I was hooked,” explains Zara. “The concept of getting anything done with a few simple algorithms just seemed epic – and it still does! I mean, it always feels awful when you get a bug in your code, but it’s doubly fantastic when you solve it!” Like her father, Zara also gives speeches. In May, she was one of the keynote speakers at SKIFT in Singapore, a conference for people in the travel industry. People are taking notice of this pint-sized entrepreneur. Zara loves talking about coding almost as much as travelling. She is the founder of GREAT (Girls Resilient, Enterprising and Amazing at Tech), a student tech club for girls who love to code in Singapore. She’s also the Singaporean Ambassador of Superheroes, a leadership programme for girls headquartered in Estonia. Whew – this is one busy girl! So, what’s next for Octa? “Well, she’ll soon be in Mandarin,” says Zara, “and also on Facebook Messenger. We’re also hoping to have more partnerships with airlines, attractions and hotels!”

her experiences living in four countries: the US, the UK, Germany and Singapore. And you know what? The videos are pretty entertaining and informative. The kid’s got presence. Proud parents It’s no surprise New York-born Zara is a super achiever and a passionate coder. She comes from good stock. Her father Parag is an international best-selling author and former advisor to President Obama, and her mother Ayesha is the founder and CEO of ADDO AI, a successful artificial intelligence company.

To check out Zara’s travel insights, log onto octa.ai.

157 OCTOBER2019

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