Bitten by wanderlust, Tarunjeet Rattan dreamed of travelling and exploring new cities and Public Relations let her do just that. Encouraged by her parents to prioritize knowledge above everything else, she interacted with people in various industries and explored new media verticals till she decided to make a career for herself in Public Relations.
Excerpts from an interview about her journey. Let’s hear it from her.
A traveller and functioning in a PR firm, how are these two connected in your life?
I am a traveller who dreamed of chalking off more and more cities (against the telephone codes in a new diary) on my list every year by being there at least once. Having already been there via all the stories (I am a bookworm) I had already devoured, I was bitten by the wanderlust bug early on in life. So when I reach a particular city, the streets and names have a familiar feel and I amble about them with ease. I made it a point to use my education to see as many cities as possible. So after Kharagpur, where I grew up, I moved to Chandigarh, Pune and Mumbai for education and work and then put down roots in Bangalore. The prospect of moving to a new city was always exciting for me and I looked forward to the new experiences it brought with it. Since I was good at networking and quite self-driven, a career in Public Relations was a natural choice.
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However, it didn’t happen as per a plan. In retrospect, everything that I did and learned in life has led me up to this awesome point in my life. Initially, while I was still trying to figure out my life, I landed a great job in PR. I remember at my first interview (which I aced!), they opened up the floor to me for questions. Shivering in the Delhi October cold, the only thing the wide-eyed me was keen to know was, “Will you make me travel?”
Well! They put me on a plane to Bangalore in the first week of my job and I was city hopping for a year from one exciting destination to another (and I was happily ticking off my city list). After getting over the initial roadblocks in PR, I took to it like a duck to water. I met some great mentors and made some really good friends along the way who groomed, nurtured and motivated me to move to the next level. After that, there was no looking back.
Was being in Nucleus always your dream project?
I had always wanted to start something on my own. A PR niche consultancy was at the top of the list. But I did try out some other things as well …just to be sure that this is what I wanted to do. So, after dabbling in journalism, marketing and events for some time, I returned to my first love – Public Relations! So to start off, my ever supporting husband, who already ran his own practice, asked me what I needed, I told him I only needed a desk in your office with a laptop, internet connection and a scanner. Well! Today 8 years later, my PR team has completely taken over his office and he has one desk in it! Not that he minds. His constant support, encouragement and business know how has been my guide in many a sticky situation. Both of us were first generation entrepreneurs from our families. Apart from the fact that our families could not fathom how and why we would leave the security of a job, they supported us as best as they could with advice and constant encouragement and support.
My bosses and friends in PR helped me with my first set of clients. After that there was no looking back. More clients, bigger teams and more network offices were next! What set my company apart was the fact that I kept myself grounded in reality and I insist on doing the same with my team and clients. Constant upgradation of knowledge, keen industry insights and great teamwork moved us ahead. Along with this, we insist on updating our clients on the changes in the industry and how they can best leverage it to stay ahead of the conversation.
Every woman in the workplace faces some common starting issues, what are the difficulties you faced?
If you like – there are loads! If you want – there are none! It is a matter of perspective. I faced the same kind of difficulties as any one – man or woman in the workplace would…irrespective of the industry. Yes, I did face the common issues faced by every woman in the country – safety and security. But to say that struggle was somehow more special because I was an entrepreneur is wrong. My mentors and friends taught me how to handle each situation. Today, with my team I ensure they know how to handle themselves in such situations and are also aware of our policy towards this. It empowers them to do the right thing. We have a zero tolerance policy towards harassment – either by colleagues, media or clients.
Who was more supportive on your way till here when you first thought of implementing your idea?
My husband Amrish Malvankar. He was already a successful entrepreneur. While I read, met and was inspired by many entrepreneurs …I got to understand what it takes to be one up close only through him. If it was not for his constant support and encouragement, my journey in this field would have been shortlived.
What do you think the particular strengths women can bring in the workplace?
Persistence, resilience, resourcefulness and creativity! Women are born with these.
Any ‘proud of’ moment so far…?
There are lots that I am proud of and more than anything I am proud of the person that this journey has helped me become. I have come a long way from being a one woman army to a team player.
What is your success mantra?
It’s never too late to learn something new and you can do that from anyone – irrespective of the age, social status or industry the teacher is from!
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Networking – meeting new people, new mindsets and new ideas!
How would you like people to remember you and your company?
As a company that helps companies become brands for life! If you want to make a change in the communication of your company from the inside out, then the only professionals who can make that happen is Nucleus!
Today India is growing with a million numbers of women entrepreneurs, how do you feel on this matter?
I strongly feel that this is one of our most underutilized work forces ! The amount of potential women have to offer is immense. It is great that this segment is finally gaining the limelight.
How do you maintain you work-life balance?
My family and friends keep me grounded and ensure that my head is not in the clouds. They often have to remind me I am not in office and not giving a presentation and it’s all right to switch off from my official role and be my natural self!
What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
Be sure about your idea before delving into it. Once there, don’t look back.
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