Asim Amitav Harichandan: Job is difficult

Spokesman Consulting has a big signboard, overshadowing the office itself in Nayapalli area of Bhubaneswar. “Your brand should be as big as your dreams”, feels Asim Amitav Harichandan. Asim is the promoter of Spokesman Consulting, an event management company which grew to become a PR agency and dreams of becoming a full-fledged Branding & Advertising firm one day. “I had never thought of getting a job through some examination. All I wanted was to become an accomplished cricketer… to play those exquisite cover drives”, says Asim. After graduating, some of his friends joined local coaching centers for cracking competitive examinations for public-sector banking, railway board and other similar organisations. A few preferred higher studies and MBA as career option; not Asim. “Instead I chose to move to Bhubaneswar with an aim to play for some of the bigger clubs where you get a chance to play with the reputed players, get noticed and improve your chances for playing for the state Ranji Team”, Asim explains. However, pressure from society and family for a stable job coming in, his cover drives and square cuts soon lost power and timing. “Dejected, I joined a small PR & Advertising course in Bhubaneswar hoping to become a leading name of advertising in the country.” Asim did some odd jobs related to corporate event management after completing the course. He was responsible for both sourcing new clients and organizing their events. Finally, the Eureka moment arrived when his manager declared that some of the employees will lose their job as part of cost-cutting and even the lucky ones to be ready for a pay cut as not enough business was coming in. “Where was the stability? I thought, If I could source the clients, serve them, why couldn’t I start my own agency.” Came February 2014, and Spokesman Consulting was born, transforming Asim into an entrepreneur. “Early days were never easy. I struggled for clients to employees to suppliers and funds were always a constraint. I was always inspired by Rahul Dravid, who played the first hour of a test match with utmost caution and concentration. The initial phase is always difficult. Once you get set on the pitch, you can play your shots and score at ease. “ Spokesman Consulting, which started as a corporate event management company then started providing PR services too. It now employs 10 people. “I cannot claim that we have grown to become a big name, actually we are still growing. I can only claim to be successful, when we establish Spokesman Consulting as a full-fledged branding & advertisement agency.” Asim says with a weighty voice and broad eyes. “But, this is more stable, rewarding and soothing. Here I know where my money is and when will it flow in. If you serve well, you get repeat orders and word-of-mouth publicity leading to new clients. So, the uncertainty about getting business is actually a myth.” Most of his friends are settled in their jobs and family. Asim also is now married and has a small kid. His drawing room still has trophies won by him a as cricketer. Asim hopes his son will became a cricketer one day and fulfil his dream by playing for India. “There was a time, I got worried about getting a job. My first salary was somewhere around Rs. 5000/-”, he recalls. Asim knows his choice of entrepreneurship is a roller coaster ride, life is like that. Asim is now more confident to tide over such difficulties and emerge victorious at the end. “I cannot think of doing a job again. It’s difficult”, chuckles Asim.