From Parathas to Partnerships

Inspiration has always come dressed in simple clothing, ideally deprived of life’s little luxuries, and with a tendency to make you feel terrible about every complaint you have ever made.

It started out as just another Thursday. We were two young professionals, rushing to make it to our client meeting on time, anxious about deadlines and deliverables, and not very thrilled about any of this. Hungry but late, we grabbed a colleague’s lunchbox to eat on the way, and rushed downstairs to our waiting cab.

We quickly sat in the back of the red hatchback, discussing a press release. Duty called, but hunger called louder, and we switched attention to the Gobi Parathas. “There’s tissues in the back, please don’t drop food in my car…” remarked the driver, to these two inconsiderate children. We, of course, overlooked that to notice, he had just spoken to us in a strong American accent. Questions in the form of firecrackers set off in our heads! What on earth? How?

Eager to know the back story of the “driver with an accent”, we continued to chat with him. What we learnt of this gentleman absolutely blew our minds. Our man was a mixologist on a cruise liner based in the US, who spent his time off in his home-town, driving around, dropping folks from place A to B, simply for his love to meet new people, play his music, and drive around to his heart’s content.

We dove deep into the conversation, so much so that we nearly decided to skip the client meeting! But all good things come to an end, and just like that, we had reached our destination. As we sat down for the meeting, we acquainted our client about the events of our drive. Co-incidentally, she was looking to associate with a cab service and pro-actively suggested to meet him. Half an hour after the ride ended, in he walked, sat down to discuss business, and voila! We had an association!

From Parathas to Partnerships, who could have thought, right?

The drive that day was a beautiful symbiosis of people who cherish everything that takes life from monotonous to full HD. That evening was a reminder that there’s no telling what sparks off magic. We talked about movies, music, great cocktails, and passion.

That day, inspiration was waiting for us in a red hatchback with a kickass speaker system. We were fortunate to have met a man who spoke to us in a manner that we were not accustomed to. But really, inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere, in any form, through any person, irrespective of their social or economic position in the society. All we need to do is communicate with each other. Stories lead to insights that can most definitely be leveraged into building amazing syndications.

A lot of people told us later that our interacting so much with him was a risky move, that we should not have indulged him, and that he could have been potentially harmful to us. However, a lot of people also came back with stories of their cab rides, auto rides, even conversations at paan-tapris. The fact that these stories were retold to us showed how much they had impacted the storyteller in some way. They laughed about them, rolled their eyes, and shared them onwards, making us realise how subtly our surroundings influence us.

When you’re in the business of brand-communications, storytelling or whatever you may call it, they teach you one key thing: Keep your eyes and ears open for inspiration. See, the problem is, in this field, real-time is everything, making the best of an opportunity is a sure-fire way to success, and an opportunity can pass you by in the blink of an eye.

As communication professionals, it is our special skill to track unexpected inspiration for brand, client, and more such demands, but somewhere, we tend to forget how to get inspired, ourselves. In the race to win against every other professional, we end up acting like fishermen: We drop our nets waiting impatiently, and the minute we fill them, we pull in the catch, and take it straight to market.
Nobody has the time to sample, taste, and savour.

So, when will you take out your box of Parathas?


Debasmita Chakrabartty, Senior Associate, Ideosphere Consulting
Debasmita Chakrabartty is a firebrand of beliefs and energy. Her unique capacity to instantly connect with anyone she meets, and to find something to be passionate about in every domain is inspirational. Over her year’s stint at Ideosphere, she has built a strong repertoire of impressive achievements in areas from education to retail to healthcare.

Aashna Iyer, Region Head – Mumbai, Ideosphere Consulting
Aashna Iyer is currently the Region Head – Mumbai, Ideosphere Consulting. She has channelled her passion for poetry and storytelling into her work, despite all efforts to create a writer out of her. Over five years with Ideosphere Consulting, she has continuously proven that a story can be found everywhere, regardless of whether it is in technology, or diagnostics.

The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Reputation Today.

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1 Comment on "From Parathas to Partnerships"

  1. Good article. Keep writing…stories of different people who come across your way

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