'Good grooming enhances personal brand value'
Talking work and life with Konkana Bakshi, Founder & Principal Image & Etiquette Consultant, Savoir Faire Academie
How do you typically start your workday?
I normally start my work by 11am - it's pretty late, but I don't rush myself in the morning. I like to start slow, after meditating and spending some time with my dad and dogs. I work from 11am to 9pm and consult for about five clients per day.
What is your favourite thing about your job?
The thorough transformation I witness in my clients after the entire finishing programme. Nothing gives me more satisfaction than looking at my clients' before-and-after pictures and their thank-you notes about how it impacted their lives.
In your workday, what is the one thing you cannot do without?
I simply cannot do without my iPhone and my executive assistant, Maria. I attend to several calls and have many meetings - each different from the other. My schedule is pre-decided weeks in advance, so the two are indispensable.
What advice would you give your younger self, if you could?
Never leave an opportunity that comes your way. Explore and experience everything. Be less choosy. Life is a continuous quest to gain a better understanding for our existence. Also, don't stop investing in yourself. Travel more, and enhance yourself in every way you can.
Who's your role model as the perfect professional, and why?
My primary role models will always be the ones who mentored me: Sabira Merchant and Maureen Wadiya. I also look up to former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and business magnate Anand Mahindra for their insights on professionalism and their entrepreneurial journeys.
What is one important skill you think every professional should have?
A personal brand. One that is credible, approachable, likeable and trustworthy.
Your favourite indulgence when you need a break from work.
Travel, travel and more travel. It really boosts my creativity. I also like listening to Western classical music and investing in art.
Any insights or tips you can share on how to make the most of a workday?
I think fitness and wellbeing should be taken seriously if we want to be more productive during the workday. Also, looking good and paying attention to the way we dress for work really enhances our mood and desire to strive better. A crisp suit or a nice dress, freshly blow-dried hair and minimal makeup. Good grooming is a credibility enhancer. It also increases your personal brand value.
How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?
With my dogs, my music and my travel!
Do you have any advice for youngsters who are just getting into the professional arena?
Invest in yourself. Education never goes waste. And be social. There is nothing to gain from being socially awkward or introverted in today's fast-paced society. Relationship-building is the key to success.
- Staff Reporter