It was around January 1996, the era of tech meltdown.
I missed a train from Mumbai to my home-town Pune, also known as the education capital of India. Potential jobs had dried up during those challenging years of the dotcom bust, and it was definitely an uphill task if you are a fresh MBA (minus the work experience). So, later that night on this last train of the day to Pune, I met a gentleman.
Through this chance meeting, I got introduced to an agency in Mumbai and I entered the world of PR. You can call it a fortunate stroke of serendipity.
It was the 26th of May 1996 when I stepped into this interesting ecosystem of PR. I vividly remember that day. It’s been 24 years since then, and I have profiled, consulted, and trained 200+ CEO’s in the world of communications, but it feels like yesterday.
The first brand that I worked on was Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable brands even today. I was also an integral part of the team that managed prestigious events such as – Michael Jackson’s History tour of India and Miss World.
I was also fortunate enough to have scripted high profile visits of dignitaries, such as Ivana Trump, Craig Barrett, former Chairman of Intel, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, who performed the first human-to-human heart transplant, in addition to Premiers and ministers from across the United States, Australia, Morocco, South Korea, and South Africa.
I came to Dubai in 2002 and have launched close to 50 plus real estate projects for DAMAC Propertiesacross GCC countries in addition to Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt and have also consulted clients such as Samsung, Microsoft, Wipro, and Cisco in my previous capacities.
Then came the subprime crisis, so when the world was shutting up shop during the summer of 2008, I launched White Water PR. I currently, oversee and manage company operations and strategy, including strategic planning, business development, and media relations. My aim has always been to surpass organizational and client revenue goals by implementing effective business, marketing, and communications strategies.
As an agency, we have managed over 170 plus brands for clients in varied industries, including technology, consumer, healthcare, finance, real estate, automobile, amusement centers, artificial intelligence, logistics, blockchain, consumer goods, fashion, and CSR campaigns. In addition to several reputed regional and international brands, we have consulted some real prestigious brands such as Johnson Controls, a US$38 billion brand established in 1885, and UK’s Chestertons, a 208-year-old real estate brokerage firm established in 1805.
I am also proud to mention that we were chosen to be part of the global award-winning fundraising campaign for refugees. This creative ‘Jeans for Refugees’ campaign raised close to AED1.4M (USD380K) and captured the hearts of people around the world. This was a pro-bono initiative that we had undertaken, and we are still associated with the campaign. Close to 100 Hollywood celebrities were associated with this campaign including the Academy Award winner, Joaquin Phoenix, Kate Moss, Emma Watson, Vivienne Westwood, Daniel Radcliffe, Bella Hadid, Sir Elton John, Sharon Stone, Pink, Naomi Campbell, Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, David Copperfield, and Victoria Beckham among others.
I surely wouldn’t have been in the world of PR today had I not boarded that last train in January 1996.
Life is all about taking chances and risks. Keep learning.
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