Since the beginning of 2023, Doqaru has had a brilliant few months packed with team and client successes – professional and personally.

As we are now well into the second quarter of 2023, we thought there would be no better time than to catch up with our directors and employees. In this blog we speak to our team about their wins, updates and activities that have been keeping them busy over the past few months.

From client delivery to getting stuck into lambing season, our team definitely has varied interests!

Team Updates Yekemi Otaru

A few of my work achievements I’m proud of so far this year include Doqaru being featured as a winner in the EB100 listing directory. It was great knowing that we got approached for the award. Our hard work behind the scenes, on digital channels and networking, is paying off.

We are delivering a Sales Enablement Programme for Geoactive. I really enjoyed working with the team as they evolve and expand what they do in sales. I also delivered a ‘Sales for Leaders’ Workshop at the February Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition Leadership Retreat. Working with entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses is always rewarding – so much energy in the room!

One of the more personal projects I’m proud of is The Crochet Project. I started the Crochet group last October and we’ve had about 20 people join the group. At the moment, we are making woollen items for a recent appeal from a local charity, Abernecessities. I’ve been moved by the commitment of the volunteers in the group. So far, we’ve donated over 50 woollen items to four different charitable organisations.

Throughout 2022, I had a few personal speaking opportunities out with my work at Doqaru. I created a LinkedIn page and launched my public speaking website early this year! One of my speaking engagements was at UPFRONT AND CENTRE in Glasgow on March 11th. I delivered a workshop, ‘The Art of Personal Branding with Grace’.

And finally, I was honoured to be nominated as one of the Top 100 African Leaders and Entrepreneurs in the UK by African Business Chamber. I’m grateful to be recognised in this way.

Team Updates Sarah Downs

Like Yekemi, I’m so proud of our award wins over the last six-months, especially the EB100 listing. We celebrated in style with an invitation to Wembley Stadium to watch England vs Ukraine, courtesy of Club Wembley. The atmosphere and hospitality were brilliant.

The first few months of the year have also seen us onboarding new clients of various shapes and sizes, welcoming back existing clients, and closing out on some really successful projects. I’m looking forward to continuing this throughout the year and working with new businesses that will gain real value through working with us. With this in mind, we had our BEST EVER revenue quarter in the history of Doqaru in Q1, which really is a testament to all the hard work of our amazing team.

I’ve also been a guest on Membrain’s Podcast: The Art & Science of Sales, which I’m excited to see launched in the next couple of months. During this episode, Paul Fuller, CRO at Membrain, and I explored sales, and he went deeper into what I learnt from my previous career and how it still supports me today.

The start of the year kickstarted my new hobby and focus on strength training at the gym. It’s been a great journey so far for my physical health but also for my mental health. I no longer go to the gym because I should go but because I choose to go.

I’ve been playing the piano more often when I get some spare time in the evenings.  I find this a great way to unwind at the end of a busy day, and I’ve been delighted to see my 6-year-old son start to take an interest.

Team Updates Derek Forsyth

It’s been just over one year since I joined the creative, energetic, entertaining and talented team at Doqaru. It’s been a year of learning and enjoyment and I’m looking forward to what the next year will bring. If the busy start to 2023 is anything to go by, it looks good.

In Q1 of this year, Pam and I led a successful audit and recertified Doqaru with our ISO 9001-2015 Accreditation. It took a lot of planning, organisation and team work, so I am proud we achieved it. It’s also been great to reunite with a colleague, as Helen and I previously worked together on projects in a shipyard in Ulsan, Korea. It’s been fantastic to see her settle into the team so well.

On a personal note, I completed Doddie Aid, walking and cycling for 1177km or 730 miles, and I’m chuffed to say that I raised £470.00. I also completed a year of meditating and improved my personal outlook and wellbeing.

January saw the start of my Fiddle lessons again. Returning to face-to-face, in-person lessons is excellent, and I’m happy to learn new traditional fiddle tunes at SCAT (Scottish Culture and Tradition) Classes.

Helen Sales Enablement Projects Lead

I’m the “newbie” to the team. I started with Doqaru just six weeks ago as Sales Enablement Projects Lead. I’ve spent this time focusing on learning what my role entails, absorbing everything going on around me, understanding the dynamics of the team and at the same time, immersing myself in the company’s culture. I’ve been made to feel so welcome, feeling comfortable approaching and interacting with the team.

Personally, I celebrated a milestone birthday in January and kicked off the celebrations with a fabulous family holiday to Mexico. Rather than a birthday party, I have opted for multiple “small intimate gatherings” FOR A YEAR! The 1st quarter of 2023 has proven to be very busy so far!

Pam Cheyne Office Manager

I’ve been busy working alongside Derek over the last wee while to gain our QMS Certification, which has taken up a lot of our time. But we’re so pleased that the hard work has paid off. I’ve also been doing various webinar training sessions on expenses and benefits. I sit in on this webinar every year to ensure I’m kept up to date as so many things change year in and year out and can often be quite complicated if you don’t record information accordingly.

Personally, I’ve been enjoying the lambing season, welcoming 147 little lambs into this world. We also hope to acquire some Pygmy goats to increase the animals we care for. They make great pets, but as well as that, they don’t take much skill to handle and are fun, active bundles of joy. It’s great because it’s something our girls can be involved with. They have amazing milk production and can produce one to four kids (the name for a baby Pygmy goat) every 9-12 months.

Sarah Gardyne Marketing Team Leader

I completed 4-years with Doqaru in March. I can’t believe how quickly that has come around. It seems like just recently, I walked into the Doqaru office for the first time. I’ve been here since almost the start and it has been amazing to see the journey of Doqaru through some tough parts and some brilliant moments.

I was also pleased to FINALLY complete the Google Garage Digital Marketing Course which I had originally started when looking for jobs after university. It must be a record for how long it has taken someone to complete from start to finish…

Personally, I feel like the tail end of 2022 was hectic with getting married and everything that came along with it, so my start to 2023 has been pretty calm and relaxed compared to that. But it has allowed me to concentrate on my health, and I started working with an online coach to lose weight and get fitter at the start of the year. I have really enjoyed hitting the gym that bit harder and being more active overall!

Alex Thom Team Updates

In January, I completed my course on Strategic Digital Marketing at Robert Gordon university. I found it quite challenging to balance coursework and work, but my efforts paid off, and I passed! This month will also mark my two-year anniversary at Doqaru. How time has flown! I am so pleased with the opportunities I have been given whilst working at Doqaru, and the support for my development has been nothing but positive!

With my songwriting career still at the beginning, I had one of my first co-writes published for another artist in October last year. It was a huge accomplishment for me as I’ve been able to see the artist’s fans enjoying the song and grooving to it at festivals which feels surreal given I just wrote it in my dressing gown in my tiny flat. Not only this, but the song has now reached over ¾ of a million streams. Not bad if I say so myself! Onto the next one!

I’ve taken it upon myself to learn another language this year too. I took a small class in school to learn Mandarin once a week and I loved it but slowly lost momentum with the busyness of university and life. However, now I’ve tried to dedicate 15-30 minutes each day to learning Mandarin again. The characters are quite challenging to remember, but every little helps! It feels great to do something other than scrolling on social media, which also benefits me!


We look forward to continuing these types of celebrations throughout the year.

To catch up with all our employees, follow us on LinkedIn.

Connect with Sarah Connect with Yekemi Connect with Derek Connect with Pam Connect with Helen Connect with Sarah Connect with Alex