October 10, 2014

FamousFridays | Neerja Patel

This months Vogue India had me feeling proud with all its inspiring content on women empowerment. A reminder that a women can put on her high heels, walk on any career path she chooses for herself and sparkle with success all the way along. 

One such woman I know is here on my FF page today! Spilling the beans about her ambitious career, women empowerment, being a mom and how she manages it all.

Neerja Patel- Founder and CEO at Neerja Public Relations

With a PR company of her own catering to the South Asian market in America and a long list of happy clients, Neerja sure has a lot of success to her credit. 

 Lets find out what she has to share:

Photo Credit: Raj Belani

Between a demanding career and being a mom how do you manage to strike the work-life balance?

N:I have a fabulous support system personally and professionally. The benefit of owning your own company is the flexibility to create your own schedule. While that works out for the most part, there are definitely times when things conflict. During those times, I lean on external childcare, family, and assign Daddy duties. I’m a fairly organized person, so usually these things aren’t sprung on at the last minute.  I also balance my work accordingly to my kid’s schedule. I tend to take less clients/projects in the summertime when the kids are home and we can spend time together and travel versus gearing up a heavier work load in the fall/winter seasons when they are both at school.

Your thoughts on women empowerment!

N:I’m all for it! Who wouldn’t be!? Women have always been hard working and go-getters, but those efforts were all driven towards making a better family life. Women now-a-days, have the opportunity to use those skills in bettering the world.  There is no reason we shouldn’t have gender equality, and help enable women to earn equal wages, be presented with the same options, and be given the same choices in health and wealth. I’m currently working with a client, Wishwas Organization, that helps immigrant women do just this. They teach them to come together and develop confidence, faith and trust in each other and their futures and make them financially independent.

Neerja PR has a come a long way in establishing a foothold in the South Asian market. Your success mantra? 

N:Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I always lay out everything with a client before signing them on. I’m careful to not promise the sun, moon and stars if I see challenges in the project. This way, I can win them over by under-promising and over delivering. Because if you do the opposite, you have a big chance of letting them down and that is a big disappointment for everyone, including myself. My success is a direct reflection on the success of my client. If I can sell out an event, it’s as good for me as it is for them. Not because I have any financial investment in the event, but because I know I made the client happy and that always makes for a great long-term relationship.

Difference between the Neerja today and the Neerja eight years back!

N: HA! Well let’s start with the grey hair that I’m starting to see! 8 years ago, I had just moved to NYC and was working in finance at Ann Taylor Loft’s corporate office in Times Square. I grew up in Minnesota and had always dreamed of being in Manhattan. So living in Herald Square and working in Times Square I felt I was finally doing just that. I always loved the South Asian community and there wasn’t much of it where I grew up, so I quickly sought out ways to get involved. I would attend Indian fashion show, cultural programs, and volunteer at events whenever I could. I hated my job at Ann Taylor Loft and was deciding to quit and move back home. During that period, I met my husband, and 8 years later, here I am, married, with 2 kids and a house in the suburbs of New York. So from being single in the city to being a Wife, Mom and CEO, I’d say there is a big difference in the Neerja from 8 years back and I love every bit of the change. 

No comments:

Post a Comment