Meet the smart, sassy and suave Jashoda Madhavji. Don’t let the pretty face fool you. The 32-year-old iss slowly and steadily climbing the ladder of success and is often referred to as the Ari Gold of the music/PR business. One of India’s rising celebrity publicist and image consultants, she is the founder of the boutique, Dream N Hustle Media, which focuses on brand building and publicity.
After being trained under her grandfather – Ranjit Laxmidas Madhavji, founder of the iconic Hamilton Studios, for close to four years, Jashoda forayed into brand building at the age of 20 and helmed senior positions with several prestigious agencies such as Clea PR, Weber Shandwick, MSL Group, Vaishnavi Corporate Communications and Metigon Enterprises, before venturing out on her own.
Today, she slides through Lioness as our Entrepreneur of the Day:
Lioness: How long have you been in business?
Madhavji: It has been over 14 years now as I started working really young, when I was 18 years old or so. While I was studying in high school, I was simultaneously spending my free time interning with my grandfather Ranjit Laxmidas Madhavji who is a world icon in portrait photography at his studio called Hamilton Studios. This is where I learned the essentials of being a successful entrepreneur and learned the ropes of running your own enterprise for close to three years. Post my graduation, I dabbled in education, event management, celebrity management and film production, but eventually settled for public relations and there has been no looking back since.
Lioness: Why have you chosen to dedicate yourself to this particular industry?
Madhavji: Brand building and public relations has a lot to do with communication, creativity, journalism and psychology. This is something that comes very naturally to me. It’s a part of my DNA to be a people’s person. Though I have a formal degree in politics, literature and economics and a specialized degree in dramatics, I find it very exciting to build platforms from scratch and create trendsetters out of ordinary people and ideas. Public relations is a creative art that allows you to tap into your inner potential and constantly evolve. It’s extremely exhilarating to be a catalyst of change responsible for remodelling thought leaders and campaign ideas and showcasing them to the masses.
Lioness: What makes your business unique?
Madhavji: Public relations is one of the most stressful professions in the world due to the nature of the business of managing and meeting expectations. What makes this service industry unique is the expertise that vests in professionals like me to convert brand perceptions into realities and build an army of endorsers who eventually become the heroes of the brand story. Unlike advertising, PR will give your business the best return for its marketing budget. We breathe life into words, craft a creditable plot, enact it through dramatic story telling that culminates with a happy ending. More simply put, spin doctors with a potent passion, that’s who we are.
Lioness: You could have worked for anyone and would have been successful, why become an entrepreneur?
Madhavji: In the past I have always set up lifestyle and entertainment verticals at various agencies and hence I decided it was about time I gave birth to my own baby and benchmark the industry. My modus operandi wouldn’t have blended well with a conventional corporate environment. It is quite limiting in that sense to my creativity and my imagination. I wanted to make mistakes and learn from them and imbibe a more, “Do It Yourself” approach. I have a voracious appetite to explore and status quo didn’t appeal to me. Plus I can leave behind a legacy just the way my grandfather did.
Lioness: What was your last, “why did I go into business for myself” moment?
Madhavji: Oh that never happens really. Entrepreneurship is a conscious decision I made and was prepared for all the blood, sweat and tears. I take it as a blessing in disguise to have been able to efficiently run my company with the rock solid support from appreciative clients and a fantastic team of passionate colleagues. Everyday is a brand new experience worth experiencing.
Lioness: Every female professional should have __________.
Madhavji: The ability to effortlessly multitask between her personal and professional life with a strong will of survival backed by emotional intelligence. I think it takes a whole lot of skill to do this. Apart from this most female professionals should focus less on the gender inequality syndrome and focus more on creating categories for themselves by being assertive communicators, aggressive negotiators and pioneering team leaders.
Lioness: If you could steal some business mojo from another mogul, who would it be and why?
Madhavji: Oprah Winfrey. Rising from tragic circumstances, she has uplifted the lives of millions around the world and that alone is very inspiring. Isn’t it beautiful that your life work can impact society in such a positive way? I’d love to be a warrior of light and instill a sense of hope into others someday.
Lioness: What is your business motto?
Madhavji: To never get weighed down by what competition is doing but to build an empire of blue blooded visionaries. Create extraordinary results through authenticity that defines your unique personal style. Take advice from stalwarts and surround yourself with like-minded individuals but don’t conform to anything that doesn’t reflect your values. Be true to yourself always. Respect yourself enough to walk away from anything and anyone that no longer adds to your growth. It’s all about protecting your brand equity. At a high level, the best partnerships happen when there’s an opportunity neither side needs but instead is something that both feel really makes sense to go for. I’m always looking for the right people who drive culture to align forces with and good partnerships start with building relationships and building trust.
Lioness: If you could give other entrepreneurs three tips, what would they be?
Madhavji: If you can dream it you can achieve it. Never give up on your dreams and compromise shouldn’t remotely be an option. The word impossible doesn’t exist in the dictionary of a winner. I’m a huge believer in ‘what you ask for the universe gifts’ and if you will it, it shall be given. Always do some social service along the way. Remember there were times when you needed the aid and someone helped you in good faith, so always remember to inspire and help others in their path to success even if it means letting go of your hefty consultation fees. I call it good karma and empowering others to be self starters. Challenges are opportunities in disguise. Don’t escape the problem embrace it and enhance your learning by finding solutions. If you think you can’t do it, challenge yourself and believe that there is magic inside all of us. Always be grateful, positive and humble as nothing compares to good hearted human being. Period.
Lioness: Has there been a piece of technology or software that has been a lifesaver to you?
Madhavji: I guess social media has been a blessing in disguise as it can spread the brand message so to speak to a wider landscape and build more meaningful relationships with influencers. Today public relations is a two-way conversation with a more personalized interface thanks to social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and the blogger community has helped in a great way to promote new campaigns and sustain older ones. Social media sure does fuel crisis but also warrants the right message going out at the right time to the right target audience.
Lioness: What is your goal for the next year?
Madhavji: It has always been my dream to be the Ari Gold of the PR business and I aspire to inch closer to that dream every single minute. I want to promote new deserving talent and explore crossover synergies for global artists seeking local PR assistance in India and homegrown artists looking for global opportunities.
Lioness: When someone is telling their friend about your business, what do you hope they say?
Madhavji: Strategists who are committed to benchmark excellence, breathe identities into ideas, set new market trends and put their whole hearted dedication into every client mandate irrespective of its stature.