CHENNAI : Having started his career as a media professional, P Indran established Nexus Public Relations in 2009, at a time when the public relations industry was just beginning to flourish. Fighting adversity over the years, Indran has played a role in setting seven world records, assisting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fund during 2014 Kashmir floods, and working with eminent personalities including Shah Rukh Khan for his movie, Chennai Express. In a conversation with CE, he talks about his decade-old journey in PR, and himself.
How did your PR journey begin?
Having worked in the media, I would meet PR professionals frequently. I liked the idea of being connected to people and having conversations with different audiences. In 2009, I got my first offer to manage public relations for a show and since then, I have been glued to it. It has been a decade and I have no regrets.
What kind of problems did you face initially?
Because PR was beginning to flourish in 2009, competition was as high as any other industry. A few peers tried halting my projects by speaking to the clients and one of the common reasons they would give the clients to halt the work was that I do not know English. I only studied till class 10. Being a newbie, I could not understand how I was losing opportunities just because I did not know a language. Yet, I somehow continued with my work, bagging small projects here and there.
How did you overcome these hurdles?
After this incident, which happened in my first year in the industry, I started learning the language and now I can communicate in English, though there are still a few grammatical errors. Today, I am a successful PR, but I still do feel it would have been better if I had studied a little more. I encourage everyone in my team to go for higher studies.
What was your most challenging project?
It was in 2014 when India set a world record for the largest human flag, formed by over 50,000 volunteers, beating the previous record held by Pakistan. The project was called My Flag My India, and unlike other events which need only about a week’s time, I had to work on this for a year. From collecting celebrity bytes to inviting people, I ran from pillar to post every day for about 365 days. On the day of the record, I broke down when I saw two lakh people on the YMCA ground. There was a sense of accomplishment when I saw the aerial shot of of the formation.
How is a typical day in your life?
I wake up at 5 am, buy all the newspapers and read them. I then head to my office, hold discussions, and go to the field. At night, I plan the next day. This has been the last ten years of my life. Yet, I feel no tiredness because PR is something that touches the lives of the people directly, so there is happiness every day if you do your work correctly.
How are you at home and at work?
At home, I am a completely different person. While my workdays are full of newspapers, messages and meetings, I spend my free days at home, watch movies, go out or just have meaningful conversations with my family. This one day gives me energy for the entire week.
How do you unwind?
I love good food, and eating helps relieve stress. I love non-vegetarian dishes. I like spending an hour every day at the gym to help combat stress.
What are your future plans?
I want to spread word about the scope of PR among youth. This is a lucrative field, yet many are unaware of the opportunities. I want to encourage more people to come into this field.