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Changing Tracks

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do in your life? Ever wished to break convention, monotony, and seize the day. Gayatri Sahasrabuddhe speaks to enterprising youngsters who dare to tread a different path, to let go of the old and hold on to something new and make some money while at it

WHEN it comes to choosing a career path there is no denying that there is a lot at stake. There is a lot to think about and it’s probably one of the most crucial decisions a young adult has to make. Today, there is a lot one can choose from and a hundred avenues available to delve into, but, with more choices and options the confusion has increased. At the end of the day what is most important is that you do something you truly enjoy and feel can do well. Many people find themselves in jobs they don’t like. They follow conventions, worry about money and are too afraid to take a risk and try their hand at something different or what ‘they always wanted to do’. We spoke to a few young Turks who’ve made the shift, taken the risk and are now doing what they truly believe in and love.

Abbas Slatewala (26) an Arts student always knew he wanted to start something of his own and loved travelling. He worked for three years in an IT firm dabbling in research and website development before he started India Someday, a travel consultancy catering to foreign tourists that specialises in customised personalised travel in India. Abbas didn’t quit his job till he had done all his research, run a pilot and collected enough savings to see him through a few months. Making the shift and giving his business idea a chance, was probably one of the best decisions he made. “Today, I’m pursuing my hobby and passion of travelling, through my work. I am my own boss, I can meet people when I want and I have an employee under me who I pay a salary.

That feels great.” Abbas’s venture didn’t really need much monetary investment but temporal investment instead. If the venture didn’t work he always had the option of going back to the corporate world. The only loss he’d face would be of time and salary. He advises, “It always helps to work after college. You get a chance to save money, network and get a lot of experience. Pilot your project, get a mentor, do adequate research, take it slow and most importantly go for your dreams and fight it out.”

Ruchyeta Bhatia (24) too quit her steady job as a research analyst and  later strategic planner to start ‘The Paintball Club’, that’s doing roaring business today. She’s even working on opening a pub with a few friends, exploring her other passion for all things culinary. Ruchyeta feels working in the market with someone is extremely essential before you decide to quit. “It’s important to work in the market as it gives you an opportunity of knowing whether you really want to work on your own and are prepared for it. It also gives you the chance to learn from other people.”

While Abbas and Ruchyeta had great innovative business ventures in mind, Prashant Sukumar (25) wanted to pursue his passion for music. He also really enjoyed advertising. He found a way to get the best of both worlds and today works at an advertising agency and also assists his best friend with music composing. The former satisfies him monetarily while the other creatively. He is a great example of someone pursuing two passions without having to give up one. It just goes to show that you can find your way around and make things work to your advantage. “Money does make a difference. But if others are not financially dependant on you and you have no liabilities, you should definitely give your dreams a chance. Don’t let your passion die.”

Another young Turk, Riddhi Parekh’s (23) tale is equally interesting. Riddhi studied BMM but wanted to become a graphic designer. She realised she’d have to do Commercial Arts and her graduation all over again to become one. After working in advertising for about a year she finally managed to get a job as a graphic designer only to realise that she wasn’t able to do the kind of designing she wanted to. After a heartfelt conversation with a friend she spontaneously decided to take up photography, a completely new avenue altogether, a big risk to take. But today her friends can’t imagine her without a camera. She says, “Some of the best decisions I’ve made have been ones taken ad-libbed. I’d like to advise youngsters to try everything especially if they are not sure of what they want to do. Go out and try doing things that are different and explore possibilities as much as you can.” Riddhi presently is a freelance photographer and has won a couple of international awards for her work. She even teaches photography.

The lesson is simple; it is never too late to follow your dreams. If you want it bad you can make your way around to make it happen.

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