THE TALENT 2021
Glimpse|March 2021
This March, as we celebrate the spirit of women empowerment and feminine power on Women’s Day, we take a glance into the lives of women who have conquered tough times to shine bright and they are the heroes of their own stories.
Manokriti Bedi
Seema Chawla Jham

“Unlike her name, Seema is not limited by cultural, social, or gender stereotypes.

Confident and competent, she is as much at ease in a corporate boardroom as she is in her own home with her family or among friends. She enjoys a good debate as much as she loves wearing designer outfits. She stands up for social justice and gender equality, as she does for the importance of spending quality time with one's family. And she does it all with grace.”

Seema Chawla Jham takes us through her journey of finding her métier.

Tell us about you and your brand?

I fondly call myself ‘girl in the right shoes’, and this is about my journey of going from plain vanilla PR to founding and heading a full service Communications Agency- The House of Comms. The 12 years in this cut throat, fast paced industry was the real game changer. I was hooked from the get go and knew I had found my métier. There were no second thoughts and no looking back.

The House of Comms is the goto-place if you want your brand/business to be seen where it matters. The team works 24*7 pitching stories, generating ideas that work, connecting clients to what they need.

The agency has domestic and global partners supporting its vision of providing the best-fit solutions to client’s needs. The service stack includes public relations advisory, public affairs / corporate affairs, government relations, crisis management, content strategy, and digital marketing.

What drove you to start your own agency?

After being in the industry for almost a decade, I realised merely working at a job in a company owned by someone else just wasn’t cutting it any longer for me. I was grateful for the opportunity to learn from the best, and now it was time to put all the experience I had accumulated over the years to work independently, for myself. Clearly, the next logical step was to take control of the reins, and take charge. This would give me the autonomy and the freedom to implement my own ideas and grow my career. Also, by then I knew I was my own brand, like each one of us is. I decided to put my brand equity to work to build my own company and let my heart lead the way.

“The biggest myth of being an entrepreneur is that once you work for yourself, you’re completely free from anyone’s demands. But the truth is, the most successful entrepreneurs demand a lot of themselves.”

What do you like most about what you do?

As a public relations specialist I always feel a terrific sense of achievement from getting business clients the highest brand visibility for a fraction of what they would pay an advertising agency.

While making things happen (many times against huge odds) can sound very powerful, a peek into our behind-the-scenes will show the sheer hard work that goes into coming up with brilliant strategies. Working days and nights to turn plans to fruition and seeing a client campaign do what it was intended to do, is a huge payback and brings immense satisfaction.

What do you want people to remember most about you and the way you approach your work?

I believe we get remembered for our core values and ethos, and how we live by these when we are faced with challenges.

“I live consciously and most of my daily activities are intentional. I try and lead with my heart, which is extremely satisfying. Righteousness, humility, persistence, and hard work are attributes that I value most.”

How has the industry grown and transformed over the years? Has technology disrupted this industry?

I believe PR is doing much better now, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

More businesses are now realising the importance of PR and Publicists. They understand that Marketing and pay per click can only get you so far, and serves a commercial purpose. “Public relations helps uphold your brand and create a deeper connection with your stakeholders, which is key to long-term success.”

Technology has enabled more agile day-to-day work, creativity and freed up more time.

What do you think are the characteristics of a successful PR professional today, as opposed to when you got started?

We need more versatility in our work compared to a decade ago. Client expectations and needs have evolved to become more specific. “One size doesn’t fit all”, and clients today need custom made solutions.

A public relations professional needs to be an aggregator of sorts. A maverick. A go-getter, with a mental faculty to match ideas to needs, spin stories that work, initiate partnerships and alliances that effect a change in the environment. Essentially, change agents..!

Do you see any significant changes in your day-to-day life from working in the office to working remotely? Do you have any tips to share how you manage “work/life balance” while working remotely?

Work and Life are not separate from one another. We need to strive to create a life balance, a realigning of priorities in a way that one area doesn’t feel shortchanged for the other.

“One way I deal with the challenge of working remotely, is to remember that my associates are juggling personal lives along with work deadlines. So empathy works, almost always.”

If you have a time machine and you could travel back and give a piece of advice to a younger self, what would you like to say?

“Confession: Sometimes I scroll through my personal social media pages and old memories come rushing back and I realise how far I’ve come. I’m surprisingly nostalgic for the 25-year-old me, my wide-eyed anticipation, of wanting to quickly learn everything, soaking up all the business advice I could possibly get. So, my first advice is, “Dream Big. Once you know what industry you want to go into, get out there and network and then build your time around the goals that matter most to you. Before you know it, you’ll be building something of your own.”

“Take Responsibility. A strong moral code and work ethic will see you through trying times.”

“Remind yourselves, often, of who you are and what makes you happy. In the process of making it big, don’t lose yourself. The aim should be to find yourself, and then be yourself.” Forward 15 years, and I’m still that girl with a lifetime of adventure and walkabouts in between. In my BEST Shoes of course!

“I did end up big, in a city I embrace as my own, but the path here came with many detours and dead ends, but I’m here. And I’m still on the exploration road...

SHANA KAUR

Shana Kaur, more famously known as, Shana Kaur Makeovers is a brilliant artist and her artistry has created viral glam moments which is a testimony to Shana’s creativity and originality in this space.

Being in the makeup and beauty industry for almost three years, always reinventing her own creativity, always doing something new and stunning and that leaves people breathless. Here’s an insight into the journey of this gorgeous lady.

Describe your Classic Approach to Beauty.

YOU. The reason I decided to be a makeup artist is still the thing that keeps driving me today- I love faces. When I’m out and about, I’m looking at people all the time and see so much detail. To me, every face is gorgeous. Beauty is everywhere. It’s in everything. There are just different degrees of it, and for me when something is beautiful it’s because there’s a harmony between what’s inside that person as well as what’s on the outside. I believe beauty is an energy that we all possess and comes from the soul & radiates through the skin and face.

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