Upasna Dash: On Branding & Impactful Conversations

Welcome to our section on Real Women—where we bring you stories of and conversations with real women who inspire us, who have changed lives and given back to the community. Today, I’ll be speaking to Upasna Dash, who dons many hats & has won many accolades—she’s the Founder & CEO of Jajabor Brand Consultancy, Co-Founder of Indiarath & VP of Startup India Advisory Services, among other things. Watch the fun and insightful chat on branding, being obsessed with impact & how “words inspire, words destroy”.

A FEW SNIPPETS FROM THE LIVE SESSION HERE

Adarsh: Thank you for joining us today! To start off, how do you find the time & energy to manage so many multiple roles & juggle everything?
Upasna: I’m excited to be here, Adarsh! Well firstly, I have a fantastic team here at Jajabor. They make it possible for me to juggle all these things. Secondly, both Jajabor & Indiarath are fuelled by passion. We feel we’ve done something with these entities that is making an impact. Thirdly, since we are driven by impact, it doesn’t feel like work.

Adarsh: What brought you into brand communications?
Upasna: Well, I was fascinated by storytelling since childhood. I had difficulty keeping up in school & used to weave fictional stories. I realised that the power of words can change lives & cause so much impact! And if you communicate well, things become easier—you can hire the best talent, launch amazing products, etc. Back in 2012, there was so much happening, so many opportunities coming up! I realised that PR gives me joy. It marries my love for storytelling & the fact that I could work with the world’s best brands such as Coca-Cola, Google & Microsoft, learn from them & help them make an impact. I also wanted to do things my way & break the status quo, and that’s how Jajabor began.

Adarsh: Since you mentioned storytelling, I noticed that on your website, it says: “Words inspire, words destroy”. How can brand communications change the way a company operates and help them be successful?
Upasna: You know, storytelling is such an integral part of our daily lives! We don’t realise it but we grow up hearing stories, reading books & about mythologies. As humans, we’re emotional & connect with stories, and are wired to react to words. You probably don’t remember the exams you crammed for in your 12th but you’ll remember your childhood stories. That’s what makes brand communications crucial. Today, customers are more evolved & buy from brands that resonate with them. It’s all about inviting people to be a part of your vision & not just selling stuff.

Adarsh: That’s such a powerful statement! Moving on to your work with founders, you’re a founder yourself & have worked with multiple women in business. And you know, at FableStreet, we also cater to women. So, do you have any tips or inputs for those who want to start their own business?
Upasna: That’s a very relevant question! You know, as women in business, we face a lot of systematic issues in society. But through my work with so many incredible women, I’ve seen that they are resilient & fantastic multitaskers. It’s not just startups, it’s women across ecosystems who are doing incredible work & we should just support them more.

Adarsh: Any parting words for the women watching this?
Upasna: It’s a really exciting time to be a woman entrepreneur. Just go out there & learn from those with a different background than you. Don’t worry about the numbers, be obsessed with impact & driven by what you’re doing. Also, reach out to other women. Lastly, reach out to the incredible men who are ready to support you.

Watch the full session here

If you’re a founder looking to scale your business, check out Startup India or Indiarath.

All images used are the sole property of Upasna Dash and cannot be used without prior permission.

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