The Backstage Of Building Your Brand, From Tehran to Tokyo to New York City

Edited by Jon Harari.

“Managing your Reputation In the Digital Age” sounds like a very difficult task and an important subject to learn nowadays. Jon Harari teaches us how to do it in his own way, by learning from people’s experiences.

Kiana Danial, multilingual Foreign Exchange Market (“Forex”) analyst, author, TV personality and entrepreneur, was a remarkable guest speaker who, not only talked about how she does it, but how she got to know it.  Growing up in Tehran, living in Tokyo, and moving to New York City, Kiana Danial is living her childhood dreams.

Her brand persona is Invest Diva, a very chic, prestigious and classy woman with sense of humor. Invest Diva has been mostly result of her own effort, knowledge, dreams and tons of hours dedicated to shape what she has today.


She shared her background as an international living in different countries, facing different cultures and adapting to different environments.  Being a class full of international students, we did not have any trouble to connect with her immediately.

Born and raised in Iran, Kiana Danial was awarded a scholarship from the Japanese government to study Electrical Engineering in Japan, where she faced a new challenge of being the only girl and only foreigner in her class.  This is precisely when she knew that she wanted to dedicate her life to empowering minorities, especially women in male dominated industries, such as Finance and Technology.


During her time in Japan, she became recognized as an outspoken “foreign” woman, and became a lecturer on political/ social issues in universities around Japan.  She was later assigned a seat on a Japanese National TV (NHK) talk show as a commentator on international and domestic issues, on which she appeared regularly for two years.  These activities gained her widespread recognition with a number of key awards.

When she moved to New York City, she soon discovered that there was a significant lack of education in the field of Forex trading as well as a significant lack of women in the industry, which was something she was eager to change.

Kiana Danial started writing an education blog, which was discovered by McGraw-Hill Business, who in turn offered her a book publishing deal in August 2012.  Her book, “Invest Diva’s Guide to Making Money in Forex” was published in June 2013, and has been featured on CNN, TIME Magazine, Forbes, ABC News, Market Watch, FX Street, Nasdaq, and the NYSE.


As she was speaking I couldn’t help feeling moved by her story. As an international woman pursuing her dreams in a foreign country, trained as an engineer but being more passionate about people, it seemed like she was telling my story.

Thanks Kiana Danial for such an amazing class. I really enjoyed hearing the backstage insights of building and managing your own brand. The fact of working hard to be successful and knock on so many doors to finally have one open, all make sense when you get to the point where she is now: a successful happy business woman who has managed to brand herself the way she is and the way she wants to be seen.

Written by Maria Alessandra De Leon, a student in Jon Harari’s class.  Maria is an Industrial Engineer passionate about Market Research, Brand Management and Integrated Marketing. Colombian born and NYC based, currently studying her final semester in Marketing at Baruch College.