5 Ways to create a strong personal brand

1. Showcase your work
While walking the talk is important, it is also equally necessary to go ahead and showcase the results you have delivered. Employees often expect management to inevitably notice the efforts they have undertaken. However, presenting your work without appearing pompous is crucial.

2. Build your network
Working in isolation or within the confines of your existing team will impede your exposure. Make sure to connect and collaborate with people across the board. Not only will this help you get noticed but also get exposed to fresher perspectives.

3. Develop your expertise
Identify an area that interests you the most and make it your area of expertise. Being the go to person in a particular field will make you a valuable asset in the organisation.

4. Have your own working style
Employees often make the mistake of imitating how their peers function. Stop following herd mentality and create a working style that is best suited to you and the team at large.

5. Go beyond your KRA
While KRAs are set to define your expected role and deliverables, being proactive and taking on more challenges will only help you increase your learning and signal your readiness to move up the ladder.


Changes in Home buying patterns

Purchasing a home is not just a financial decision but also an equally emotional decision. It is not just the drive to own a home of their own that drives buyers to purchase a house; factors like the need to live in a smaller/larger living area, desired location also play a major influence in the drive. Buyers tend to consider their primary home as a foundation for life rather than just considering it as an investment.

With rise in disposable incomes, homebuyers also got on the move. Although the challenge of buying a home is quite high as it involves huge financial commitments, owning a home, which seemed like a farfetched dream once, is not so far now. The combination of dropping interest rates, tax breaks and rapidly increasing disposable incomes have led to the rise of the EMI investor, the small, leveraged second (and third, and maybe fourth) homebuyer, something that India had not seen before. Buyers purchased houses with loans and sold them two or three years down the line because prices had risen enough to prepay the loan and still make an enormous profit.

In India, the change in home purchasing pattern started with Gen X moving out of joint family culture to having nuclear families. With Gen X families largely having only one working member, purchasing a house could never be an impulsive decision. This ensured that there was a thorough research, many tours, a lot of planning and saving done before the purchase. For the millennial families, more likely to have two working members, possibility of purchasing a house became more affordable and feasible. The down payments scrapped from savings, gifts and funds from investments, investing in a new house got a higher preference than renting out or borrowing money to renovate and repair. Most of the millennials homeowners are first-time buyers, so they look for homes with value.

The buyers prefer agents to help find the right home to purchase so they can benefit from their agent pointing out unnoticed features and faults in a property. However, the role of agents is decreasing, as developers are becoming more transparent, and other non-agent intermediaries are offering the same services without charging the commission. For homebuyers, agents are increasingly becoming more menacing and repulsive.

The millennials generation (32% of buyers) is largely driving the housing market. Although the expertise of real estate agents is not entirely been replaced with the internet, there is tremendous amount of research done online before contacting an agent. The internet does provide the comfort looking at multiple options across locations; however, the benefits from working with a real estate agent are many. The younger buyers preferred agents helping them understand the process that goes into the deal as for most of them, it is more likely to be their first purchase. They are inclined to agents referred through a friend, neighbour, or relative, while the older buyers go with agents that they have previously dealt with to buy or sell a home. The millennials also tend to purchase homes closer to their previous residences whereas the older boomers are more open to exploring across locations.

The first step towards the process of purchasing a home is looking up properties for sale online. The process involved and documentations required for a purchase is also easily and readily available online, which made it a common trend among all generations. After the purchase of their desired property, Gen X and Gen Y live in their home for approximately 10-15 years before moving on to finding another new house whereas the older boomers plan to live in their home for approximately 20 years.

The priority of preferences also changed with the times. While the old boomers are inclined to owning homes closer to family and friends and located closer to good health facilities, the Gen X placed their preferences on convenience and quality of schools and other educational institutions. The millennials however, place high preference on convenience to their jobs and affordability. The younger buyers also consider commuting costs whereas the older buyers place more importance on landscaping and cost of utilities.

Beating the heat…

Summers… Just the thought of it brings out beads of sweat off our mind. The scorching heat… The dry burning rays of sun… The prickly heat… The list just goes on and on… However, as a child, I always looked forward to summers for many reasons.

Although heat was a spoiler, summers came with a lot of fun. To begin with, summers meant longggggg vacations. No school means no daily homework! 🙂 Come summers and it was time to pack our bags and go out travelling. Whether it was travelling to new places with family or a long visit to the grandparents, it was always looked forward to.

Summers meant fun and mastii with cousins. Pampering by grandparents and mostly importantly the freedom from the reign of the parents. Summers gave you the freedom to do what you want(well almost!), eat what you want- to a certain extent you could even fuss about the food you wanted. 😉

And the best part about summer is that summer is also the season of my favorite – The king of fruits, Mangoes and the super yummy Jackfruit. Summers of my childhood have been mainly mango milk shakes and the sweet yellow bulbs of jackfruit.

My grandparents as well as my house in Mangalore had a couple of mango and jackfruit trees in our backyard. Our ears were trained to hear even the faintest sound of a mango falling from the tree and we would run to the backyard in search of that mango and the one who found it would proudly flaunt it as though it were a medal earned at the Olympics! 😀

So yes, this was what I did last summer, and the summer before that and the one before that and every summer before that! 🙂

Principles of PR…

Public Relations, begins with psychology. A part of PR is about building and maintaining Reputation. Reputation in simple terms can be described as my perception in your consciousness.

For perception to be established, start with awareness.

Ensure the client always stays alive even when the organization’s ability to grow stops.

Effectively assess ROI and ROO.

Always be perennially prepared.

Share stories contextually and occasionally.

Analytically correlate conversations to client space.

Be energized to share them always.

Art of storytelling…

We all love stories, be it listening to or narrating one. We all have that one person who always has awesome stories to tell. Din’t we all want to be one?

Now that I’m in a profession where everything is all about storytelling and keeping it engaging, it is very important to be able to come up with interesting unique and creative story idea. So, what makes a good story which interests people?

Here are 10 tips to make a story interesting:

  1. Practice writing regularly. With practice comes perfection.
  2. Keep take away’s in mind.
  3. Keep the story short.
  4. Everyone loves stories about challenges and conflicts.
  5. There should a beginning, middle and end.
  6. Have an element of human interest- Have a protagonist in mind.
  7. Be creative!
  8. Ensure good grammar, good language and punctuation.
  9. Try and incorporate stories that go with graphics and images.
  10. Keep stories authentic!

Top 5 favorite eateries in Bandra

While I can’t stop talking about the zillion eating joints in Bandra, I do have a few favorites around here.

5. Punjabi Rasoi, Linking Road– No matter which corner of the world you are in or how sophisticated you try to be, just the mention of Butter Chicken and all the Indianness will start flowing. These are my go to guys for butter chicken and roti days.


4. The J, Carter Road– The most amazing and yummilicious varieties of french fries you’ll find ever. Its worth cheating over! ❤

3. Sheron, Hill Road– This is the place to go for anything chicken!

2. Theobroma, Linking Road– “A party without cake is just a meeting”. Not just any cake, the red velvet cake here is worth dying for. The only place which introduced me to red velvet cake and left me wanting more every time. Although the service here can kind of tick you off, the first bite of the cake will erase it all off.

1. Coffee by Di Bella, 24th Road– My most favorite dessert since I’ve moved to Bombay are the Waffles at Di Bella. I can have them at any time of the day. And the friendly staff here make the whole waffle experience better even if its the 100th time you’re eating here. I can’t think of what would I do if and when I move out of Bombay or for that matter any area even in Bombay which has no Di Bella outlet!

Excuses… Our lifelines

Forced to attend a family wedding – you suddenly remember that very important forgotten assignment to complete… Deadline to submit the assignment and suddenly very mysteriously that bottle of mineral water you had, almost puts you on your deathbed… Had someplace to be but leave home only at the time you were to reach there, and the whole country’s traffic decides on taking your route…You name it, and there’s an excuse ready for it… 😉

Although some times it really is the universe and Mr. Murphy conspiring against you, most of the times they’re just plain excuses to avoid situations you don’t like or want to be in. In the words of my father, girls have a thousand excuses ready for every situation. I strongly disagree with him coz this trait is surely not gender specific. Guy and girls both are equally talented when it comes to giving excuses. :-/

So I got this idea of writing this article from a comment made by one of my instructors recently when he said I could write a blog just from all the excuses I’ve given so far.While I’m not very proud of being said that to and that was mentioned very sarcastically, I thought it would actually be interesting to write about it.

Maintaining Relations…

I never was able to figure out why my mother kept insisting on maintaining relations be it with relatives or with friends -old and new. What my mother could not make me do in 30 years, the world of PR has in just over 3 months.

The only constant and consistent point we were told in almost every session was that along with communication, the other most important aspect in Public Relations profession was building and maintaining relationship with the media. Infact if ever you were to choose between your client and the media, it would be wise to choose media over the client. ‘Coz while clients will come and go, media remains the same. And boy, aint gonna be easy!

I had a new learning in a session I attended on media relations and engagement recently. Its not few journalists from a particular beat or a sector but with the whole media house you have to build relations with! Here I was fighting with my mother about not wanting to talk or visit a relative and now I have to not only build but also maintain my relations with every media house. And mind you, it does not involve only phone calls or a few customary Whatsapp messages.

While the whole concept of building relations with the media is very new to me, I also am looking forward to it. For all you know, I might actually make some new good friends out there … 🙂

Crisis Management

There are broadly three aspects of communication during a crisis:

1. Preparedness towards the crisis.

2. Management of the crisis.

3. Recovery from the crisis.

Five ways to go about effective crisis management:

  1. Identify the crisis.
  2. Identify the approach to manage the crisis.
  3. Share the brand’s view/holding statements with the media.
  4. Coordinate meetings with media/journalists to share your brand’s opinion.
  5. Maintain transparency in your communication during the crisis.

Always keep in mind – Every crisis is an opportunity!

For effective communication during a crisis

“A crisis cannot be managed; it can only be contained”.

The extent to how well the crisis can be contained however, depends on a lot of factors. It is first necessary to know what is a crisis and how a crisis is born.

There are broadly three parts that go into communication during a crisis:

1. What is happening.

2. What is being done.

3. What are the key messages being sent.

10 things to remember during a crisis:

1. In the immediate communications after a crisis is born, it is very important to use the right key words keeping in mind the relevance to the situation.

2. In certain situations, it is better to send out press statements than media statements.

3. Localizing the content in the communication is also equally important.

4. Always remember, you don’t talk to the media; you talk through the media.

5. Focus on facts and key messages.

6. Say it all and Say it fast.

7. Do not keep exclusivity in your communication.

8. Get communication around your brand’s point of view on the crisis in the media.

9. Credibility and investing in relationships with the media will ensure of your brand’s point of view.

10. Plan the content of communication, spokesperson and the mode of communication in par with situational details and intensity of the crisis.