Always one to follow her heart and a firm believer in the maxim where there is a will there is a way, engineer, model and actor Taapsee Pannu has now taken up the challenge of entrepreneurship.
Taapsee has joined hands with her friend Farah Parvaresh and her sister, Shagun Pannu to start The Wedding Factory. As wedding planners they want to provide a refreshing experience that matches international standards and is within a budget too.
Taapsees’s idea of a perfect wedding is one where the guests soak in the ambience and take back a certain memory of how they felt and not just how great the food tasted. “We believe every wedding should have a unique story to present,” she says.
HerStory spoke with Taapsee about her journey so far and her recent foray into the world of entrepreneurship.
Going with the flow
Born and brought up in Delhi, she made her debut in the movie industry in 2010.
Taapsee describes herself as a hyper active kid, who was into all kinds of outdoor sports but used to love coming back to books and writing exams and eventually scoring well. Given her penchant for activities, she was mostly out of class preparing for some competition or the other. A frontbencher by choice when she made it to class, she shared a love-hate relationship with her teachers, thanks to her high grades despite low attendance in class.
I was into dancing and public speaking majorly but things changed as I moved into engineering. I gave modeling a shot just so I could earn some extra bucks to shop a little more or to watch more movies.
Her six months in modeling gave her the confidence that she could be independent and handle her life the way she wants when required. It also brought the realization that she was not meant to do a regular 9 to 5 job so she ditched her Infosys placement and decided to give MBA a shot.
But destiny had different plans in store for her. She got a few good offers from filmmakers in the South and there has been no looking back since. She has 17 movies to her credit in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.
“I have stopped planning my life because nothing ever turned out the way I planned but I have no complaints as destiny has always had a better plan for me. I just go with the flow.”
The Wedding Factory
Starting The Wedding Factory too was a part of the decision to go with the flow. Adept at multi-tasking, she decided to pursue it as it was totally independent of her acting career and working with people she knows makes it simple.
What attracted her to this sector is the belief that there can never be any recession when it comes to weddings. It is a sector that provides not only a creative space but involves smart and strategic thinking and execution.
The business mantra they plan to follow is to, “work backwards from the client’s budget because we don’t believe in over burdening the client with our demands.” This, they feel, will help the word get around and get them more clients.
Talking about her two partners she says, “Farah has been working in this industry for quite a few years. I have known her for the past 8 years and she is one of the most creative and amazing people I know. My sister, Shagun has experience in event management. So they were the perfect choice.”
Farah Parvaresh was born and brought up in a multicultural household and is a scriptwriter by profession while Shagun Pannu is an English Honors graduate from Delhi University and has also completed her Post Graduation from Sophia College, Mumbai. Her marketing and planning skills combined with her keen interest in décor, adds to the strength of the team.
Taapsee is involved with the creative decisions and marketing. She usually does not get into the execution of things and that leaves her enough time to focus on her acting career.
While the three girls bring their own experiences, networks and skills to the table, together they from a cohesive group that according to Taapsee, “helps us to deliver a well rounded product.”
Sky is the limit
According to her, the sky is the limit if a woman decides to really exploit her potential. Always up for challenges, and prove people wrong about herself, Taapsee, even in the face of resistance, has held on to self belief and knows what is right or wrong for her.
Even when it came to heading into the movie industry, Taapsee knew that it was not something that her dad had thought for her. “But I thought of our long term happiness and I am happy that I was right.”
Of all her achievements and the milestones she has crossed, what has come to mean the most is,
Earning money in a month equivalent to any engineer much before I completed my engineering; stepping out of the house in a totally new city all by my own and making a home for myself there. Building a name for myself through my own efforts, and starting, The Wedding Factory, a venture that will continue beyond my acting career.
Living life queen size
“Live life queen size,” she says, “and just make sure no matter what work you do, you should get happy and sound sleep at the end of the day because that is what we work so hard for eventually.”
Short naps and retail therapy is how Taapsee unwinds and she loves to travel as it helps her discover new sides to herself and rejuvenates her soul.
And every time she feels bogged down, she looks back and traces her journey from where she was and where she has come. “This makes me believe that it’s not difficult to keep going on. Take inspiration from what you have and do not get disheartened with what you don’t get,” she shares.