Published on December 18th, 2016 | by Aakriti Kaushik0
New talent entering the PR industry remain ambiguous about career aims
PRBuddy follows the entrepreneurial journey of Mukesh Kharbanda, MD, Fuzion PR Pvt. Ltd, an agency specialising in the Regional PR space in India. He set up the firm back in 2005 with a lucid vision of tier 2 & tier 3 towns being the most potential markets for global brands. Over the years, with his sheer grit and consistency Fuzion PR has now become synonymous to Regional PR in India.
Being listed under this year’s Top 30 PR Professional under 30 in India by PR Moment, Mukesh has strived to break many stereotypes and taken his firm to the top spot in the Regional PR Industry at a young age of 28 years. With its eminent presence in the smallest regions of India, the company has built a niche for itself in the industry with a client portfolio of companies like Ford India, BMW, Idea Cellular, Viacom, Eicher Polaris to name a few…
Tell us a bit about FuzionPR
Fuzion PR Pvt. Ltd. was originally formulated as a market research and analysis firm, which was later transformed into a PR firm out of Punjab, Northern India. In 2010, we started our journey with a team of five members, which has grown to over 70 with 14 Regional Offices across India in 5 years. We believe that, with the ever-evolving non-metro regions in India, the communications space will grow manifold in the next decade, thus the demand for ‘Regional PR’ will be multifarious. We specialise in providing a strategic platform to our clients for a seamless communication in tier II, III and IV towns of our diverse nation. Our team of professionals are well-connected with ground realities and have the ability to draft desired strategies with Fuzion’s Regional India Edge. Serving as a one-stop solution for all the communication and PR requirements for corporate brands, renowned personalities and Government organisations, we aim to position the real power-house of our country, Regional India, on the global map.
What attracted you to work in PR?
I have always been passionate about work. And, Public Relations/Communications is all so spontaneous and diversified in itself that it has not only evolved me as a person but also as a leader. With the consistent change in the communication strategies adopted by brands, my belief in the potential of Regional India amplified. I always envisioned developing a new dimension in the PR industry and nothing could have been better than ‘Regional PR’. In addition to this, catering to the dynamic needs of different clients, designing the suitable strategies for respective domains and witnessing them creating a mark on the business objectives keeps me motivated. My love for PR is irrevocable. Also, being a heart(not hard) core entrepreneur, PR has the potential to grow, especially more within the next two decades and hence I am certain that this is an opportune time to grow and invest in the business.
Did you face any specific challenges in the first few years?
The challenge was not to position ourselves as yet another PR firm in the country or to expand our business and strengthen the team, but it was to make brands believe in the potential of Regional India and the need of a separate communication strategy for customers residing there. Everybody knew the metro strategies were failing miserably in the tier II and III towns, but nobody wanted to think beyond the set norms. And also there was no trustworthy platform to bring the change. Once, we could make our clients trust in our expertise and our research-oriented approach, we knew we were on the right track.
Did you study for a PR or communications degree?
I did my post graduation in PR and Advertising from School of Communications, Panjab University, Chandigarh.
What do you think is the biggest challenge in promoting talent across the PR industry in India?
The ambiguity. With a host of career options available to choose from in the communications sphere, new talent entering the PR industry is ambiguous of their aim. You have to worship any profession for a minimum of three years to make a mark in the industry and that is what is challenging in today’s scenario. Also, the imbalance between learning and earning remains a constant dilemma. Professionals, who can make right choices in the initial years of their career reap the benefits throughout life.
Do you have an apprenticeship or internship programme at FuzionPR?
We have a recruitment and training program – FLIP (Fuzion Learning integrated Programme) – under which we imbibe a batch of 6-8 freshers from Panjab University, who get to work across Fuzion offices for a period of 1.5 years and then are stationed at the head office to consult clients.
What is the one piece of advice you’d like to give to someone in their first PR role?
Don’t think too much but analyse everything possible. In the beginning of a career in PR, you might feel monotonous until the time you have learned the intricacies and are able to participate in strategic planning. You need to trust your mentors during that period, analysing all the tasks being executed for better understanding and learning. Also, PR being a very dynamic profession, one must remain in touch with what is happening around the world. Being informed helps develop a macro yet holistic view on things.