Sarika Mehta - A leader with a purpose
All socio-ecological problems are created by humans and humans alone. Hence, I can’t imagine who else is going to solve them. It’s humans for humans. Fueled by this reality, I added a sustainability-driven arm to my existing consulting firm.
I am currently concentrating my energies on weaving social context into brand stories through ‘The SpringBoard Collective- The socially conscious consulting arm which specializes in creating alliances between businesses and not for profits, thus creating social capital. Our core tenet and purpose are singularly represented by ‘Nurturing what’s good’.
Taking my father’s advice, I went ahead and pursued MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai. Today I think differently but back then I was not extremely excited at the prospect of pursuing my MBA and had not followed up on the selection calls. I remember a friend frantically calling me to tell me that I was in the top 10 and had got through. I should have been thrilled but my mind was all fogged up.
I’ve always believed that ‘we are a product of our choices,’ and this was one such choice that transformed my life. I am so thankful to my parents for the encouragement and the gentle nudge. 2 years of management studies taught me how to structure my thoughts and how to implement with a purpose.
Startups were relatively new at that point and despite receiving a lot of ‘Why do you want to quit a corporate job for this? ‘, I took that leap of faith and dived into the world of consulting and fashion.
Equipped with the experience across corporates and the zeal to start my own venture I chose to curate, conceptualize, organize and market b2c exhibitions that cater to lifestyle – Fashion and Beauty. However, over a period of time, these efforts saw greater success and translated into a separate business vertical. The exhibitions went on to showcase the likes of Ritu Kumar, Shania NC, Ferrero Rocher, Geetanjali Lifestyles, Masaba Gupta, Rohit Verma, Neeta Lulla, VLCC along with a plethora of startups.
We all climb the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs at our own pace. So having made a place for me in the industry, I started to gravitate to leading with the purpose of solving social problems and added our sustainability-driven arm-The SpringBoard Collective. I chose to begin by heading brand partnerships and alliances for the 2013 National Award-winning Cuddles Foundation.
The foundation is committed to addressing a very solvable problem – Malnutrition amongst cancer-afflicted underprivileged children. The realization that childhood cancer is largely curable and there is a need for scientifically backed nutrition encouraged me to officially help The Cuddles Foundation across 33 government hospitals in the country.
Having been associated with them for 3 years now I can definitely say that none of the commercial achievements I made in my 16-year long career match the sense of gratification I experience when children go back home recovered, after winning the battle against childhood cancer!
Through The SpringBoard Collective, I also took up the opportunity to fundraising and brand partnerships for the G5A Center of Contemporary Culture in Mumbai. I believe that with systematic and impactful communications we can sensitize the corporate culture of giving and encourage it to address the needs of the arts.
Through SpringBoard we also nurture the green strategy arm called ‘Sustain to Live’ which supports and consults planet friendly businesses. Henceforth my professional bandwidth will be split equally between my proprietary brands of exhibitions and the SpringBoard Collective, which as mentioned earlier aims to work towards creating alliances between businesses and not for profits thus-
-Weaving a social context to brand stories.
-Keeping them socially relevant.
-Play the role of catalysts for building social capital.
-Giving a voice and amplifying the needs of the underserved in our society.
-Catalyst for planet friendly businesses.
The way forward is only exciting. “When I celebrate and talk about success, I do so with due respect to all the setbacks and failures that made this journey possible.”