Nishad Mahendru, IMG-01 (2007 - 2009)
Profile: CEO & Co-Founder of Pure Media Imagination
Pure Media Imagination has been the most important step in Nishad’s life. After all, it has been one dream that would not let him sleep for a long time until it got realised. Nishad claims that it has changed him as a person and a business professional. Being an entrepreneur was always at the back of his mind; but as a beginner, there was a lot that had to be dealt with. So, when the opportunity arose, Nishad grabbed it with both hands and never looked back. Now Nishad’s brainchild is India’s first and largest B2B Media agency with offices in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore. Pure Media Imagination has seen a great deal of success within a very short span of time and its clientele includes top media groups like Zee Network, Times Group, Viacom 18, Reliance Broadcasting, UTV, Star India and many more. The company has been growing more than 100% YOY, and of course a lot of the credit goes to Mr. Mahendru and co-founder Mr. Ashish Chouhan.
The achievement is more remarkable considering the fact that Mr. Mahendru graduated from FORE School of Management only in 2009. Talking of his journey as a successful entrepreneur today, he says, “We started with a vision to be the nation’s most revered trade agency as we strongly felt that there was huge opportunity in the B2B market. It has been an adventure, but above all a truly enriching experience filled with learning opportunities that I have applied to different aspects of my life.”
Not only has the company grown so quickly over a small period of time, Mr. Mahendru has also diversified into different business avenues that are making a name for themselves. Ayurvedakart.com, Cult Funk and Rhythmicity are his new ventures that have already generated a lot of buzz. “I am passionate about building new entities that are around my areas of interest,” he says. “I love creativity, innovation, music, ecommerce, sports, etc. I have built these new business ventures around these interests with the idea of connecting with people and growing together.”
Mr. Mahendru claims he was a stock market enthusiast at FORE School of Management, New Delhi and wanted to trade in the equity/derivatives market. This was the reason that he chose to do his internship at SBI Capital Markets under Portfolio Management. He wanted to gain an insight into how the big companies function. But, unfortunately, he lost a lot of his money and thereby all interest in stocks during the market crash in 2008. He got placed at Afaqs after completing his program at FORE, and it suited him fine because he didn’t want to be associated with the “monotonous” sectors of banking, finance or marketing.
But after his 1.5 year stint at Afaqs Mr. Mahendru was ready to follow his entrepreneurial dreams: “The initial days involved no money and a lot of responsibility to shoulder. With no fixed salary and the business in its very nascent stage, it was hard to keep going at times. But I do feel that times like these push you to the very pinnacle of your efforts and performance. In hindsight, it was all worth it when I see the company growing and moving in the right direction.” He admits to being one of the most notorious students amongst his batch but also vouches for the fact that the days at FORE School of Management were the best days of his life. Mr. Mahendru still maintains close ties with his B School and he now goes there as a recruiter for the summer placements. “I have so many fond memories on the campus and they will stay with me all my life”, he says. “I am fortunate enough to have the opportunity of hiring students from FORE for my company. I have also been a guest panellist for Admissions at FORE, and also a guest speaker for the Centre for Entrepreneurship Development. It’s an association I deeply value and would like to continue all my life.”
Given the bond he shares with the institute, it’s not surprising to see Mr. Mahendru offer some heartfelt advice to his juniors: “Don’t become an entrepreneur because you think it’s the cool thing to do. I read somewhere that 95% of start-ups shut down in less than two years; hence, you should wait till you crack the right idea. Eat, sleep, breathe your dream and don’t give up on it. Be dedicated towards your business, employees and focus on creating value rather than money. Importantly, don’t be afraid to re-invent yourself every year.”
FORE School of Management has been designing, developing and conducting innovative Executive Education (EE)/ Management Development Programmes (MDPs) for working executives in India for over three decades.