Small town. University politics. Gender inequality. Seems like a set up straight out from a Bollywood potboiler. And this is where our protagonist spent her formative years getting exposed to the alternate reality. Pareina Thapar, Managing Partner at India’s leading boutique PR firm VTY has been nothing short of a game changer both in her personal and professional life. Growing up in Lucknow, Pareina was exposed to the dichotomy of a small town early on in life. She credits her parents for raising her sister and her to be fiercely independent.
Pareina spent a good part of her initial career in the field of Journalism. It was while completing her university education in Lucknow that she got initiated in the field of writing as well as marketing for newspapers and magazines. But having moved to Delhi, it was her grounding at Business Today profiling entrepreneurs and doing HR stories that she got a real taste of journalism. “Post marriage and pregnancy is when I made a move to PR. It was quite organic I must say. For me telling stories is most important and that is what I did with my initial clients like Olive and Wills Lifestyle”, says Pareina. It was her experience in lifestyle and business journalism that came in handy. Post doing freelance PR projects, she joined VTY in 2003 as a Managing Partner. “At VTY we operate in the universe of good living. The idea is to add value to life to make us all happier. Clients such as Nicobar, Ekaya and Sabyasachi have been nothing short of movements”, she adds.
Pareina has been lucky to have a strong support system in her family. “As women, we are conditioned to feel guilty about the choices we make. I think the debate is overdone. Anybody who steps out to work makes choices. Even men do. Privilege shouldn’t bring you guilt”.
As a woman in the fashion industry Pareina feels that “we should change the dialogue with ourselves. It is extremely important to be confident of who you are in terms of your body and being fit and healthy at the same time. Never let anybody hamper your self-esteem. ”Her advice to budding fashion entrepreneurs is to find their signature. “If you already have a reference point then you are limiting yourself in a boundary. You can’t think out of the box. Freshness is very important part of storytelling”.
Pareina’s Quick Fix
1. The craziest thing you have ever done- Shaved my head off at the age of 40!
2. Describe yourself in three words- Paradoxical, Impatient and Serene
3. Your comfort food- Dal chawal, Egg Sandwich, Chocolate
4. Fashion idol- Diana Vreeland