What is your passion away from PR?

If you can’t get away from the roasting summer heat, here are a few cool things to cheer you up. Turns out that PR professionals in India are a very interesting group of people. Away from PR they are nursing all kinds of passions – from radio jockeys to painters, to fashion designers to motorcycle biking enthusiasts. As well as drummers, theatre directors, cooks and food eating contestants!

Let’s dive straight in and find out what these people do in their time away from PR – and yes that does exist!

Nikhila Kesavan, 33, 10 years in PR, Chennai

When Nikhila is not at work, she can be found acting and directing theatre in English. She is a committee member of The Madras Players, the oldest English Theatre group in India. Nikhila’s other directorial ventures include her stage adaptations of Shandana Minhas’, Tunnel Vision and Jhumpa Lahiri’s, A Temporary Matter. Most recently, she adapted and directed Serious Men, Manu Joseph’s award-winning novel.

Nikhila offers a tip she’s taken from her hobby to her workplace: “As a director and as an actor, I am always looking for a story that will move me, a story that I could then bring alive on stage to share with others. I believe the ability to tell a good story well is a great strength for any PR professional too.”

Nikhila in a scene from David Auburn's 'Proof'

The Bikers!

Argho Ajay Mukherji, 4 years in PR, Mumbai
Founder of Iron Wheels Bullet Club and blogger for Times of India's travel portal Happy Trips

Argho Ajay Mukherji says that the best part of riding is, you tend to inculcate certain aspects of it in your day to day operations in PR. Thanks to riding Argho is, “thoroughly updated about the automobile sector and that helps me because I look after the PR mandate of two auto giants in India”.

The hobby also means, “It is easier to initiate discussions with auto journalists, as well ensuring you are always mentally prepared to handle a crisis.”

“We are all Bikes, "Customised a bit differently”!

Abhishek Shivam, 26 years old, New Delhi, 3 years in PR
High Altitude Biker, Royal Enfield Fan

Abhishek loves his Royal Enfield bike as much as he loves PR. He says, “If you love your Royal Enfield, it will love you back. When I ride it, with every passing day, it gives me a sense of accomplishment and I am proud to own it. A similar taste is what my profession gives me.”

The Foodies!

Vignesh Nair, 24 years old, 4 years in PR
Passionate cook, Mumbai

Vignesh gives his tip on how to beat the stress in PR: “In my opinion a PR/communications role is very stressful, if not physical, definitely mental! There are many stress busters that one can use to get over a negative story or a client stinker but cooking and baking is definitely the one to try!”

Vignesh is a committed cook, from baking to savoury dishes, he does it all

Karan Bhujbal, 27, Account Manager, 5 years in PR
Mad Foodie, New Delhi

Karan loves food and says, “This means I blog on food, I tweet about it, manage a food community, click food pictures, visit new restaurants and try new cuisines."

On a more serious note, Karan explains how being a food nut helps him at work: “Cultivating a passion, following it, pursuing it and meeting people who are equally passionate really helps me get a pulse of how communities think. This is the understanding I bring to the table when consulting clients on building communities that have a shared purpose."

Spotted: In a burger eating competition where Karan had to eat a 2.5kgs burger. He also recently participated in a Pizza Hut, pizza eating competition.

The Artists

Archaa Chopra, 25 years old, 3 years’ experience in PR
Painter, New Delhi

Archaa explains what this painting portrays for PR: “The field is not always green but your perspective can make it so.”

The Radio Jockey

Sandeep Tayal, 26, Senior Executive, 6 years in PR
Radio Jockey, New Delhi

How Sandeep’s radio skills have helped him in PR: “There are number of commonalities between RJ-ing and being a PR professional. In both cases, we’re storytellers without a face; we work behind the scenes. Which means our pitches and conversations need to be the most appealing and engaging. This has obviously helped me in my relationship with my stakeholders at work too."

“Both PR professionals and RJ’s are storytellers without a face.”

The Drummer

Arnab Bhattacharya, 26 years old, over two years in PR, New Delhi

Arnab is professionally trained in tabla since the age of 4. He has been trained by eminent gurus in Banaras and Delhi Gharana and has done Visharad in Tabla from Gandharva.

Boasting rights – Arnab formed a band called ‘AVNI’ eight years ago and has been featured in the movie “mere brother ki Dulhan" in the song called "Dhunki" with Katrina Kaif and Imran Khan.

What links PR and music? “There is no end to music, you are not bound by anything, there are no borders – I think that is what brings out the best in an artist. I think the same approach should be adopted in PR so that we have much more creativity and it could offer a different way of working. The traditional ways including press conferences and press releases need to be done away with and much more creativeness and new approaches need to be built.”

The Fashionista!

Mriga Arora, 24 years old, 2 years in PR
Fashion designer, New Delhi

What fashion skills can be adopted in PR? “Following fashion closely helps provide an overview into design, color and pattern trends. This automatically helps in the visuals I choose for the Instagram page I manage. Also, since content is increasingly going more visual, it’s an added advantage too.”

Samyukta Sawhney, 26 years, over a year in PR
TV anchor
, New Delhi

One tip learnt from her hobby Samyukta would like to offer PR colleagues is:As a TV anchor, there was always a need to stay fit physically and mentally. Thus, the industry taught me to be disciplined when it came to fitness. That's something I always try and stick to. Fitness is not just about losing the extra pounds but I guess it's a way of life. And I also believe that there should be one thing from where you derive happy hormones. For me, it's running."

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