Albert Einstein said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them stories. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more stories.”
Storytelling is the most accessible art, a form of communication that reaches everyone and incorporates the meaning behind various things. Storytelling helps in maths, science, business and life lessons in a much more meaningful and profound sense. Harsh Pamnani, a storyteller by profession, employs this art in his work. He is a brand expert who assists business leaders in establishing their brand identities by highlighting the brand’s strength, improving employees’ commitment and driving business growth through his inspirational stories revolving around the same.
Harsh is also the curator of iPamnani, a non-commercial visual storytelling initiative, and a TEDx speaker. He has authored several books, one of them being Booming Brands – a best-selling book series with CNBC on new age ‘Made in India’ brands; the other is Booming Digital Stars – a national bestseller about India’s leading content creators. The following is an excerpt from an interview with him in which he discusses his path to success and the people who have influenced him along the way.
Quest 1 – Booming Brands, a best-selling book series with CNBC on new-age Indian brands, and Booming Digital Stars, a National Bestseller on India’s Creator Economy. What was your motivation and interest in doing so, given that you had an MBA from XLRI and a successful career as a brand consultant?
I had met many professors, marketers, entrepreneurs, and students, who had expressed that there is enough material available on growth stories of international brands, but not much has been written about Indian brands, especially the new-age ones. The way brands were created in a developed market like America can’t be built in a developing and diverse market like India. Noticing this literature void, I felt I could write a book series that could be leveraged by people interested in understanding how new age ‘Made in India’ brands are getting created. Consequently, I wrote Booming Brands, which was released at XLRI and received appreciation from Professors at IIMs and international business schools like Wharton and IMD.
Then, I noticed another void in the market. Today, youngsters are being drawn to become YouTubers the way they were once attracted to becoming engineers, doctors, and lawyers. This emerging trend is called the Creator Economy. Many books have been written about becoming the CEO of a large corporation or creating a fast-growing start-up. But it is hard to find a book or business school course on creating and managing a single-person brand in an emerging Creator Economy. Hence I wrote Booming Digital Stars. The book covers the journeys of India’s leading content creators like Bhuvan Bam and Prajakta Koli.
Ques 2 – What is the main central idea that you wish to convey through your books and the art of storytelling?
Through my stories and books, I wish to inspire readers by sharing behind the scene struggles and comebacks of people who are now role models for millions. For example, Bhuvan Bam, one of the most popular digital stars, used to play the guitar at a Delhi-based restaurant for INR 3,000 per month and free meals. Nick (Be YouNick) was a bartender who earned INR 350 for every shift. Knowing their stories reveals all aspects of their achievement, including the difficult nights, rather than a rose-tinted view of their fame.
Ques 3 – You did an excellent job of pulling together the journeys of these 22 brands and 11 content creators as referable case studies in your 3 books, which are jam-packed with rich ideas and leanings. What was that one element that all of these brands and creators have in common that prompted you to select these stories?
There are certain similarities between start-up brands like BigBasket, Zomato, PaperBoat, and Zoomcar included in Booming Brands and personal brands like Bhuvan Bam, Be YouNick, and Ashish Chanchlani featured in Booming Digital Stars. These brands and creators ventured into new territory, developed innovative business models, and soared to fame in crowded markets. These experiences will aid anyone who aspires to accomplish something different in life and achieve greatness.
Ques 4 – What do you think makes your books stand apart in the business world among the readers?
What makes my books unique is that, unlike most business books that are plain black and white with pictures and technical jargon, I creatively explain the technical terms through stories. Also, caricatures help in making my books stand out. I keep it simple, intriguing and accessible. This, in turn, made my business books easily comprehensible for business students in colleges. I also finessed these books after taking reviews from young people while writing them.
Ques 5 – What is your advice for students who wish to explore the creative field of storytelling?
Always surround yourself with people who are better than you. If you want to become a management professional, surround yourself with people who have a good understanding of business, such as Professors, sincere children from business families, people who read many business books, entrepreneurs, etc. If you want to become a good storyteller, surround yourself with good storytellers such as book authors, web series and film writers, journalists, etc. Besides, surround yourself with achievers from different fields as an achiever in any field can teach you many life lessons. If you are curious and surround yourself with inspiring people, you will get a push to create a better version of yourself.
Ques 6 – If you were to describe what it takes to become a National Bestseller in ten words, what would they be?
Blessings of elders, affection of readers and audience understanding of a writer.
The PG team would like to thank Harsh Pamnani for his unique and insightful interview. Our users may now order their copy of Booming Brands & Booming Digital Stars by visiting – https://www.harshpamnani.com/
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