(Interview in the Lifestyle Design Heroes series)
He’s sassy and quirky yet diplomatic and on-point. Parikshaat N Wadhwani or Paris as he’s fondly called by his wide peer circle is the go-to guy in Mumbai to take a brand to the upper crust. His firm manages the publicity accounts for the country’s top fashion designers and restaurants. But that’s not the only reason Parikshaat finds place on this blog. He epitomises the new generation of Indians who are challenging the 9-to-5 norm of years in an office premises for corporate stardom. Parikshaat went independent pretty early in life — he was barely 22 — and now works on the go, travels the world, parties as hard as any socialite in the city, has styled for theatre and is one of the fastest growing names in the public relations industry. Between all this, he still manages to unwind and be counted among the cool set. He brings an unconventional approach to public relations, using technology, social media and a win-win attitude to make life easier for everyone around. We tried to find out his secrets.
On his independent venture
I run a company called PW Pr and Brand Consultancy (started in October 2011). We are an agency that help to build a brand by positioning it to the public via help of media, cross branding/marketing, social media and other channels of communications. We work with leading hospitality and fashion brands such as Nishka Lulla, Nachiket Barve, Neeta Lulla, Hema Kaul to name a few. Our main job is to basically incept an idea (can be in the form of news or imagery) into people’s minds and have them look at the brand in a specific way by highlighting the key aspects of the brand.
We are a bunch of young minds who work on these brands and enjoy doing so every day. At PW Pr, apart from managing established brands, we also take pride in introducing new brands to the market and positioning them correctly; that’s our biggest high which keeps us going. So far, we have introduced five new fashion brands in Mumbai and they have successfully made into closets of around 1 lakh people.
On going independent
The day I don’t learn something new or face a new challenge would mean a waste of energies. At my first and last job in public relations, I had reached a stage where I saw no personal growth so that made my job mundane. Later, I started working with brands that I could relate to and used strategies which were age and to my surprise they worked the best of the brands. As a perception or a brand builder, it is very important for me to be able to feel the brand as an extension of my personality too. Only then will I do justice to it. In today’s time, brands don’t only need traditional PR (public relations). It’s more of a bigger picture where we need to cater to wider audience. I’ve always like to try new techniques and innovating my strategies for the new age India.
Initial challenges as an entrepreneur
Confidence was my first challenge. At the age of 22, I started building a bar in Bandra with my new age methods. I was not really sure if I would be able to do justice but as the results were only positive, it gave me a boost. Other challenges I faced were competition, power play and partially blocked mindset to new ideas. But I would like to say, we have very happily overcome the challenges with our immense passion, dedication and patience towards what we do at PW PR.
How he does it
To be honest, 4 years ago I didn’t know that I will have a fairly successful public relations agency but it has happened on its own. I enjoy what I do or else I don’t do at all.
I’m a strong believer of positive thinking. I think once you are confident and know your path, you can make almost everything possible by the way you manifest it. I have seen most of my dreams twice. First time, while I manifest them in my head and the second time, in reality. The phase in between these two dreams is when I dedicate myself to my passion for my work and things happen the way they are supposed to.
I also believe in taking slow but steady steps. Though I started young and have come quite far but I still think I have a long long long way to go.
On working with technology
On a working day, I generally have to read/reply/send around 250-300 emails, 1,000-2,000 Whatsapp messages, 4-5 snap chat stories, 2 Instagram post and 1 post on Facebook, around 60 phone calls. A few personal meetings and sometimes, Skype calls thanks of my iPhone that has made all of this possible from wherever in the world I am. I also shop for clothes, medicines and other utility from various online apps.
On public relations today
Public relations in today’s time is not traditional unlike how it was 10 years ago. With the racing technology and the human brain being exposed to 1000x times more information than before, it has also increased opportunities for visibility and communication. It’s all about the right time, right message and right channel. Today a picture that stays on my Snapchat clicked by me is viewed by 1,000 people in the span 10 minutes. Innovation and experimenting are the only two of the things which we use differently at work all the time and, of course, our personal glitter always finishes the cake.
How Parikshaat unwinds
Unwinding is the most essential part of my daily to do list. I love trying new cuisines, reading, watching movies and learning something new. As child I use to mix various random chemicals in the science lab to unwind and now I style a no-budget theatre play. I also love to cook, it makes me happy to cook for people. Singing in the bathroom to my favourite artist when no one is around is the most secretive unwinding plan. Well, I’m also on 1011 level of mobile game Candy Crush and last week, I made a sponge cake by watching a 1-minute video of it on Snapchat.
What keeps him going
When I wake up to Rio (my dog son) licking my face, when I get a simple text from a client saying ‘well done’, when a competitor says: ‘How did you manage that?’, when my mom proudly says ‘he’s my son’, when my friends call me at 4am to sneak out for a drive, when my team says ‘Shut up, Parikshaat, I can do it better’ — these are the things that keep me going.