Stellant Communications is a Mumbai based PR agency by Suhasini Mehta.
Stellant Communications is a 14 year old boutique PR agency with a focus on quality, attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to our clients, says Suhasini.
We got an opportunity to talk with Suhasini about her journey and see what she has to say. I am sure her interview with us will inspire you.
Give a brief info about Stellant Communications?
Stellant Communications is a 14 year old boutique PR agency with a focus on quality, attention to detail and an unwavering commitment to our clients.
We partner with leaders and disruptors to build perception and manage reputation. At Stellant, we help build strong brands and create value. We’ve worked with mid and to large sized organisations but we what we enjoy most is partnering with start-ups. The team comes with several years of experience in Communications, Public Relations, Media Relations, Digital Marketing, Digital Business strategy and Personal Image Building.
What made you start this and what is its USP?
Our vision is to bolster brand image and amplify positive perception for entrepreneurs and organisations. We help them harness the potential of strategic communication and reputation building.
Stellant’s unique Value Proposition is PR for start-ups. We endeavour to make a meaningful difference to their businesses through our PR expertise.
Our USP lies in the fact that we work as partners or like an in-house team with a proactive, result oriented strategic approach. At Stellant every client is important and we are focused on building the brand, getting the messaging right with visibility to the right audiences. From our years of experience as well as understanding of the ecosystem, we are able to offer strategic perspective and advice.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this?
I have around 22 years of experience and founded Stellant 14 years ago. Previously I have worked with Percept Profile where I headed their Mumbai branch. I also worked with O’Reilly, leading technology book publishers as their Marketing Head for India. I’ve always worked in start-up environments – helped start Communications firm Hanmer & Partners that eventually is now MSL. Early on, I worked with Pritish Nandy where I assisted him on a variety of projects including television production, political campaigning, social initiatives.
My experience encompasses brand communications, marketing communications, public relations strategies, event management, and image management. This has helped me build relationships across industry segments and media.
I’m passionate about encouraging entrepreneurship in women and have started a local Women’s networking group. I’m an MBA in marketing management from XIM, Mumbai, a post graduate in Library and Information Science and a graduate in Microbiology. Im also a Certified Image Consultant from ICBI, an NLP practitioner and Coach. I enjoy photography and music.
Where is your company based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Stellant Communications is based out of Mumbai, although most of our clients are in Bengaluru. I love Bengaluru for its startup culture but Mumbai is home. I’m a Mumbaikar by heart and love the vibe of the city. Mumbai is the commercial capital of the country. It fosters business and commerce, promotes enterprise and drives human endeavour. It builds popular opinion, leads public perception and image. I shuttle between Mumbai and Bengaluru often.
As a founder, what are you paranoid about? What keeps you awake at night?
Ownership brings responsibility. Every single day, it is my endeavour to pursue every opportunity to maximise goodwill for my clients, to leverage our combined strengths towards creating exemplary impact among consumers, investors, stakeholders; and to sustain media interest in the business levers over a period of time, as relevant.
Who are your competition and how are you better than them?
Our competition would be mostly other PR agencies. Our differentiator is in our experience, understanding of the ecosystem and the dynamics of a start-up environment and our service, commitment and dedication to our clients.
How hard is it to have a work life balance as a founder and how do you manage it?
Work is life, for any entrepreneur. We put our personal drive and passion, a lot of our own selves into our work and our lives are often enriched by what we have done and learnt at work. The two intertwine all the time. It’s about work influencing your life and life influencing work…how or why would it be different? For me it all flows together.
If my work makes a difference to my clients, build their brands and reputation and boosts their bottomline; if the work is meaningful and contributes to the economy; if the work is relevant and contributes positively to a set of consumers and stakeholders – then work and life are one.
Then it is not about finding a balance, but about enjoying both, and allowing one to influence the other, towards success and greater crests to summit. I try and make time to enjoy my hobbies as well as social life.
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise
We are bootstrapped and not looking at raising funding.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about this industry? Why do they have that? What’s the reality?
The biggest misconception about PR is associated with Marketing or Advertising. I believe PR resonates the interesting journey of a company in different ways and helps address specific goals as well as challenges.
PR builds credibility for a brand in a way advertising cannot do. It generates word-of-mouth and enjoys the trust of its recipient – reader / viewer / web-user or anyone else. It creates authenticity, believability, a voice of authority for a business – thus pulling together the many intangibles that contribute to a brand’s reputation.
To confuse PR with advertising is a misconception that detracts from the enormous value that PR brings to the table. If businesses and organisations are able to recognize this, they would benefit far more from what PR; they would be able to leverage its potential much better.
What gets you excited about this company?
What gets me and keeps me excited is working with a cross section of clients across different sectors and addressing their needs while understanding their challenges.
Tell us how a day in your life looks like? Your schedule for a day right from the time you get up till you hit the bed at night.
I wake up early anytime between 5 and 6am (without an alarm), usually go for a morning walk or workout class. Our usual working hours are 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday with a 30 minute lunch break and we usually don’t work beyond 7pm. At work its juggling internal meetings where I cross check ongoing PR strategy/work, client calls, client meetings, new business development calls, drafting or cross checking press releases, media meetings, media calls, company accounts and compliance work, etc. I usually get home by 7pm if I don’t have a meeting, phone calls to family, practice my drumming (at least every alternate day), have dinner, watch some light tv show and hit the bed by 10/1030pm. Weekends is usually spending the evenings with friends or visiting parents, house chores, workout, photography or drumming.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
We are a close knit team of five. Ashika Nambiar started her PR journey when she joined Stellant last year. Garima Singh, comes with a solid 6 years of PR experience. Megha Jamb, with 8 years of robust PR experience, has been with Stellant for 2 years now. The team came referenced thru friends in the industry.
Vibhas Mehta, has 23 years of extensive experience in Internet, IT, Content Creation and Marketing & Sales, of which the last 12 years have been in the Internet and New Media space.
I head Stellant Communications and have over 22 years of experience in public relations and the communications industry.
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