We are confronted to achieve a turnover of 5 crores in the next financial year, says Gaurav Gautam
In a career spanning across more than a decade, Gaurav Gautam has donned many faces over the years. He founded PRAG LLP. (Public Relations and Advocacy Group) in the year 2017, and possesses a decade of experience in handling varieties of clients from different organizations – from political campaigning to advocacy, from policy formulations to liasioning, from case publicity to press conferences and from crisis management to trade show representation and product unveiling. Speaking of his stint, Gaurav Gautam has trained many officials from Bihar Administrative Service (BAS) and headmasters from almost all districts of Bihar as an IVRS expert. He is also credited with holding the biggest ever BSDM skill development event in Patna, which witnessed attendance from even H.E. the Governor and the chief minister.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview where Gaurav speaks about his journey with HelloPost Team:
1. Tell us something about yourself and your company –
Being a born communicator, problem-solving ability and innovative thinking is some of my calibers that contribute to my personality. Having a great passion for communication and media and, I established Public Relations & Advocacy Group (PRAG), a premium PR firm. Though I and my team are not mainly from this background, but through our dedication, we excelled in this field. I have experience in handling varieties of clients from different organizations – from political campaigning to advocacy, from policy formulations to Advanced Digital Marketing, from case publicity to press conferences and from crisis management to trade show representation and product unveiling. I am credited with holding the biggest ever Bihar skill development mission’s skill development event in Patna, which witnessed attendance from even H.E. Governor and the chief minister Nitish Kumar. Before that I tied up with Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP), a regional political party to organize first of its kind round table discussions and events on the gender and caste representation in the Judiciary. The string of events played host to Supreme court judges, cabinet ministers, and constitutional experts, all assembled on the same stage. In past, I am also responsible for organizing India’s only Annual National Editors meet to mobilize support for UNICEF and its programs by bringing together MLAs and MPs along with many well-known journalists.
Whether, in leading India’s largest mass movement campaign ‘Nirbhaya’ or to help Indian Railways to build and sustain a positive image through the strategic use of Social Media, we proved PRAG as one of the most progressive PR entity in the country. Public Relations & AdvocacyGroup (PRAG) with an average age of 28, is a startup with a lot of innovations in its DNA. We enjoy the privilege of a tailor-made team where a mere academic degree is no bar. I and my team are connected in a way that it feels like every member has a stake in the company apart from monthly salary. We have an employee-driven culture and our employees are our assets.
2. What made you start PRAG?
As Bollywood suffers from Nepotism, I feel that our PR industry also suffers from abbotism without innovation. They are indulged in PR without a social connection and innovation. As you might have heard the phrase, PR is the jack of all trades, PR gives you the opportunity to serve and explore various fields and so I groomed my passion into my profession. Luckily, I found Ankesh and Amrit and started our dream venture PRAG. I want to rationalize public relations and try to do innovation into it. I feel each and every person does PR but nobody commits. These days, media personals prefer to sit with owners of big PR firms and avoid young professionals to reach them. This is something we are about to change very soon.
3. As an entrepreneur, what is it that motivates and drives you?
I see there is a lack of opportunities for youngsters who live in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. From my work and achievements, I want them to understand that language is not a barrier, if you’re determined and dedicated then nothing can stop you to achieve anything in this world.
Apart from this, the Modi government has played an important role in this Reputation management sector. Be it, political leader, industrialist, or common man, everyone wants to be visible on social media, conventional and electronic media. Due to Modi Government’s approachable ethics, it is now no wonder that a small firm like us is serving some of the government’s top-notch public projects.
4. What were the initial challenges that you have faced in your journey?
As you know, there are not many startups active in the PR industry and thus we had to struggle, nepotism and big firm’s lobbying made our struggle tough but we never gave up. Our continued efforts are making way easier and top-notch services are acting as a catalyst for PRAG’s growth. Talking about the current challenge that the whole world is facing and times of mass layoff, we are still paying full salaries to our employees in this high economic crisis due to COVID-19, whereas leading players in Industry are putting layoffs. Also, nobody supported our idea of menstruation leave but proved it to be a widely appreciated issue that needed to be resolved and we did the same.
5. What has been your biggest achievement in this journey?
We are the first PR firm that provides menstrual benefits to our female employees. We are an employee-driven company and thus, you can count it as my biggest achievement. Also, bringing the issue of Bihar’s environment to make public talk about it, is another milestone that we covered gracefully. We are the only agency in India which executed a Campaign against existing collegium system in India for a regional political party, also we are the only agency in India which is covered by Al-Jazeera for successfully executing the political campaign in Bihar. Also, coming from small cities without fluent English and needed support to stand, still working with some top-notch clients is our remarkable success.
6. What are your future plans?
I am looking forward to expanding our company in major metropolitan and two tier-2 cities, also involve the use of AI and the latest technology in PR. We are confronted to achieve a turnover of 5 crores in the next financial year. From my point of view, innovation is the need of the hour for the public relations sector, If we want to compete with International level organizations, we have to innovate, explore and imbibe new technology in the sector.
7. Who is your role model?
Elon musk, as he dares to explore, innovate, and take risks. And I relate myself to his perspective of life and a simple idea of never giving up.
8. Anything else that you would like to add?
PR is a profession of ethics and so it has an open door for everyone who wants to come in and serve the community in his/her best capacity. Also, there is an urgent need to build an authentic bridge between PR and Journalism.