From a very early age, I had inculcated this thought process that was passed onto me by my parents, that anything I wanted, I had to fetch for myself. I started my first job, fresh out of the 12th grade to help fund the purchase of my favourite bike and branded sneakers. With the help of my skills & charm, I bagged the role of a bartender and even went on to sell dictionaries door-to-door, with an ambition to conquer the world.
Prior to the beginning of my bachelor's degree in early 2008, I got my first formal job as the receptionist of an Airtel store where I earned 5000 rupees a month, a big deal back then. At Water Today, a Chennai-based magazine I began my next adventure, where I was lucky to have found a great mentor, Mr. Shanmugam who took me under his wing. I was the features managing editor of the magazine and I was doing so well, that I completely skipped the 4th year of my software engineering degree. The hunger to fend for myself had taken over.
The next pitstop on my journey, was at a Lifestyle Magazine - Avant Garde Life, a turning point in my life. I quickly climbed the corporate ladder and went from being a consultant to the publishing partner of the national magazine. As a budding entrepreneur, I still wanted more from life - my ambitions had changed.
With the boom of social media, the print industry had taken a hit. Given my deep understanding of the market, I quickly moved to a brick and mortar version of the media industry, by launching India's first luxury exhibition - The Indian Luxury Expo (TILE). Within a short span of 2-3 years, the company became a pioneer in the luxury space. From doing events and providing consultation, we also handled the content, design and technology for the brands. Our associations till date, encompass 400+ brands spread over 10+ cities & over 30,000 HNI’s.
TILE's success, helped me co-found an application with a friend in 2013, called Wowsome, an augmented reality solutions company. Post my 3-year stint, there was no looking back, as I went onto become a key member of several new ventures. Madhu Avalur, of the Angaros Group who had been following my journey since he attended the Luxury Expo in Hyderabad (2012) got in touch and helped make my larger than life projects, a reality. Madhu backed me to import luxury brands directly to India, thus giving birth to The Global Luxury Group. The Group went from a few talented, passionate members to a significant 30 in no time at all.
During my journey of hosting over 40 luxury events, I was introduced to 50 local portrait artists who were still looking to get their due and were afraid of the dying legacy of the art form in India. This allowed me to build a platform, I christened Hand Painted Stories, overnight. I combined their talent and my vision to create a win-win situation. A platform like this in India, to give the artists financial and social security was missing and I intended to fulfil that gap. Hand Painted Stories takes bespoke gifting to the next level: all one has to do is select a photo of their choice and the artists hand paint each one in oil, acrylic or watercolours. Well known personalities like Hema Malini, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Rajan Pai, Raveena Tandon and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have had their memories immortalized.
To create a global recurring impact is what keeps me going. To enable this cause further, I co-founded The Earth Love (TEL), a gateway for products consciously made. TEL aims to make e-commerce more conscious at a macro level. The products and services are categorised as vegan, recyclable, organic, natural, sustainable, cruelty-free & biodegradable, promoting fair trade and helping to create social impact.
Another passion project, LMandala was initiated by me to enable International luxury brands, enter the Indian market, whilst operating a parallel network to assist Indian luxury brands attain global status. It deals with commodities spanning various sectors, representing the global luxury goods market in Perfumes, Cosmetics, Watches, Clothing, Accessories, Wines, Spirits, Food, Furniture & Travel.
Given my extensive experience in understanding the luxury industry as well as familiarity with their main bottlenecks, I was prompted to launch Since1700. Since1700 is a curated global luxury platform as well as a content driven app for luxury products and services which can only be accessed by its members. Some of its services include online purchasing, global events and a concierge service to cater to all the members’ needs.
I aim to retire in my mid-30s, whilst ensuring I have proved my metal in the industry. Some important lessons I’ve learnt along the way: follow your instincts, challenge the undone and hold everything you do with a certain conviction. I am inspired by Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and believe in the religion of Squash, the sport that has made me a better man today!
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