Many of us do not see the darker side of growing up because we have the love and support of our parents. They provide us with emotional support, proper care, quality education and what not. But some of us are not that lucky in life. Such people have to pave their way through the darkness to reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
Jashoda Madhavji, now a celebrity publicist and image consultant, had a similar fate when she was a child.
Raised by aunt, grandad
Abandoned by her mother when she was only two-year-old, Jashoda and her younger sibling Vaishnavi were raised by her aunt, and their grandfather. While her grandfather is the proprietor of Hamilton Studios, a world renowned portraiture studio, her aunt is a spiritual healer who presently handles Hamilton Studios.
When she was 18 and in high school, Jashoda spent her free time interning with her grandfather in his studio. She continued there for three years and learnt the essentials of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Post her graduation, she dabbled with education, event management, celebrity management, and film production; eventually settling with public relations (PR) and there has been no looking back since for her.
Initially, she tried interning for an event management company but it soon fell apart; and Jashoda had to look for other alternatives. Eventually, she met someone who introduced her to the business of image consulting and brand building. Being a quick learner, she adapted to different verticals right from fashion weeks to business concerts, retail brands to sports leagues.
Working with some the leading PR agencies of India, she realized that large-format companies catered attentively to clients with deep pockets but lacked interest in those clients who couldn’t afford their expensive retainers. This was the gap that Jashoda wanted to fill. She realized that there is no dearth of talent across the globe. Talented people lagged behind only because they lack funds.
Jashoda took this as a challenge and left his grandfather’s legacy for chasing a new benchmark in the PR industry. Backed on a voracious appetite to explore, she ditched conventional ways and followed her Do-It-Yourself approach. She took failures as an opportunity to learn more. Looking at her ‘bizarre’ working style, someone once told her that she would never become a successful entrepreneur.
“I love building a brand out of nothing and somewhere I love to challenge myself to think beyond the ordinary,” says Jashoda in an interview with KenFolios.
When she launched her company Dream N Hustle Media, she didn’t have a string of clients before her, but she kept struggling. She kept working hard, clocked at least 100 hours a week, made cold calls to the most random companies and today, her clientele involves celebrities like Justin Bieber, Ed Sheeran, Wiz Khalifa, Jason Derulo, Bryan Adams, Akon, Pitbull, LMFAO, Armin van Buuren, Tiesto, David Guetta, Avicii, Sean Paul, Superwoman, Hardwell, Afrojack and many more.
“If I had to mull over my parents leaving me to not being able to afford luxuries while growing up, or having opportunists friends, I’d never be where I am today. It is the hard times that made me the successful person I am today.”
Speaking of her fondest memory, she recalls the Akon India Tour. “The one thing I truly loved about Akon was the fact that he respected the press and the fans.” she says. Despite being jetlagged, he straightaway attended the press conference without freshening up and dedicated an entire evening for press interviews.
“He refused to do anything without taking my consent since I was spearheading the PR for the tour, which is when I realized how the publicist and manager are key drivers for any global artist who don’t make key decisions without taking their team into confidence.” says Jashoda.
She recalls that in one of the cities, the barricade fell apart and all the fans rushed backstage. Akon, being fan-centric, was not bewildered at all. But since Jashoda was the only girl in the entourage, he made sure that he lent his security so that she made her way out to the car safely.
Jashoda feels that it is very important to be around like-minded individuals and never compromise one’s unique values and style. That is what stands out from the crowd and creates a name for itself. She makes sure that her staff never slacks and is always fresh and innovative. She encourages them to do the simple things in life that rejuvenate within them the passion and hunger to strive for bigger and better results.
Talking of her future plans, she aims to be the undisputed market leader in India when it comes to managing the public profiles of international celebrities in India. He is looking forward to collaborating with international boutique PR agencies with a music and entertainment discipline to explore cross promotional synergies.
Lastly, when we asked for her message to aspiring entrepreneurs, she affirms “Don’t let nobody hold you back and don’t hold yourself back. Don’t wait for somebody to congratulate, always remember that if you’re most hated person you are doing something worthwhile. When you are great, learn to be grateful as humility travels miles and at the same time, respect yourself enough to walk away when someone doesn’t respect you enough.”