Nehha is a true believer of the maxim that if you do not stand for something, you fall for everything. She is a known personality for displaying the ancient but ever new and ever fresh face of Indian culture to its own people and to the world. She has performed widely in India as well as all across the globe. She is an empanelled artiste of the Indian council for cultural relations. Nehha speaks and writes on culture frequently. She was voted as ‘the top ten people to meet’ at the famous TED Conference in California 2013. She is a TEDx Curator and has also been a Speaker at a few TEDx conferences.
After completing her Masters and a Bachelors in Political Science and International Relations, she also worked with Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Minister and Member of Parliament from 2009-2012. She is also the youngest Rotarian in Delhi. All this enigma and experience brought her to a crossroad where she thought of starting her own venture. Sarvam Foundation was launched with the notion of encouraging performing arts.
Please provide a brief overview of your product/ service.
Sarvam foundation is a niche performing arts organization that curates and conceptualizes path-breaking collaborations/festivals/events/seminars etc. Our underprivileged girls’ project is a one-of-its kind endeavor to promote the arts at the grassroots. Sarvam curates evenings for private individuals/organizations in out-of-the- box ways. It’s a perfect hub for anything related to performing arts, especially classical.
What inspired you to build the above product/ service?
A lack of interesting performing arts festivals/collaborations in the Classical Arts & no grassroots mobilization of Classical Arts.
What is your life mantra?
Stand for something, lest you fall for everything.
What was the most challenging part of your journey till now?
Getting people to take the arts seriously. The developed world, even developing Western & Eastern nations take their arts so seriously. We are the richest in soft power through our many arts, crafts & performing arts- but we do not seem to care much about them.
How did you overcome those challenges?
By showcasing a good product and maintaining trust.
Share some details about the investments that you have been able to fetch for the business till now.
A couple of Corporate have tied up with some of the events as partners-sponsors. Some PSU’s have also been partners. The Government we are in talks with now for furthering our slum projects.
How do you protect yourself from the problem of Brain Drain?
Keep your interns/employees motivated. Pay scales in a small organization, especially the ones bootstrapping it, are small. Hence, the motivation level through work has to be high. Let them have tons of authority so they feel a part of the organization- not just employees with less remuneration. At the end of the day, people want respect and a self-worth.
According to you, what are the three qualities an individual must have to achieve success?
Self-confidence, humility & honesty
Which online tools/ services/ apps do you use the most and would like to recommend as well?
Facebook, instagram, Dropbox, icloud, facetime, newyorker, fortune, economist
Share any one habit which you think makes you more productive.
Going with your gut feeling, the habit of listening to your instinct
Share any one habit which you wish to change in yourself.
Procrastinate lesser. My artistic tendencies of working only when inspiration strike sometimes colour my entrepreneurial responsibilities.
Answer in less than 50 words
• One tip to success:
Believe in yourself and your idea
• One mistake you believe every individual must avoid:
Avoid overconfidence – avoid sporting an inflated ego
• One most important lesson that you have learnt until now:
Never mock your dreams- never let people’s discouragement dissuade you.
What are your plans for next 3 years?
- Make Sarvam foundation a company with its own events curation wing.
- Expand our underprivileged children project to 700 children learning some classical arts form they are performing internationally now. To scale that too internationally more times a year.
- As a bharatanatyam danseuse, I perform in all major festivals in India and abroad.
If you get a chance to start your career again what would you do differently this time?
CHEF- I love love love to cook. Am involved in the family business of WHOLE FOODS INDIA, but would do this full time.
What are your top three getaway destinations?
Uttaranchal, Srilanka & a library.
Share a quote that inspires you the most.
“Let The Beauty Of What You Love To Be What You Do- It Will Not Lead You Astray”. – Rumi