[100 Emerging Women Leaders] For the love of writing: Gunjan Pai on her Copylove journey
Gunjan Pai is the Founder and CEO of Mumbai-based creative copywriting and content studio CopyLove, which offers branding and strategic content solutions to corporates, brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
Gunjan Pai always thought of herself as a creative person, with a strong love for writing. But after working for multiple ad agencies and design studious, she felt her creativity was being stifled.
“As writers, we are the conceivers of ideas, but we are constantly expected to fit into a category or requirements from ad agencies and design studios. I wanted to create a company or a formal set-up where we ourselves are creating, owning and leading ideas as copywriters,” Gunjan says.
In 2015, Gunjan began creative copywriting and content studioin Mumbai with her husband Prakash Pai.
Today, with a team of six people, CopyLove offers branding, copywriting, and strategic content solutions to corporates, brands, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
For the love of creativity
Gunjan feels that her experience of living in different cities across Assam and West Bengal sowed the seeds of her creativity. After completing her master's in mass communication from Symbiosis College, Pune, Gunjan moved to Mumbai to pursue a career in advertising and brand content writing.
“I have the typical story of coming to Mumbai with barely Rs 2,000 in my pocket. The initial days were hard and I didn’t get paid enough. Slowly and organically, I scaled my way up and then finally CopyLove happened,” Gunjan recalls.
But a tragedy occurred when her husband passed away in 2018. The loss was a blow for her, personally and professionally.
“Prakash was one of my biggest supporters. From shifting his base to Mumbai from Kolkata to getting onboard with CopyLove, he was there for me. I have been typically the creative, la-la-land, happy-to-write person and he was responsible for the financial side of the business. But when I lost him, I suddenly had to learn to deal with money and numbers. The initial days were hard,” she says.
But she persevered, for her family and her love for writing.
What lies ahead
From thinking twice before buying a bowl of noodles to celebrating seven years of CopyLove, Gunjan thanks Mumbai for being a learning curve.
“For a first-generation entrepreneur from Uttarakhand like me, Mumbai has been the city of dreams. It’s been 20 years since I started living here and the city is now a part of me,” she says.
Gunjan feels that her journey as an entrepreneur has also taught her to be kind to herself and reward herself for the smallest of achievements.
“I learnt it over time that, as entrepreneurs, we need to reward ourselves for our efforts. It is equally important to wake up every morning with a goal and to sleep with the acknowledgement that we gave our best to get closer to it,” she says.
Advising future women leaders, Gunjan says, “If you have a dream then just go for it. It might sound cliche but a lot of times we doubt ourselves from making our dreams a reality. We need to overcome these mental barriers, and make the effort.”
Edited by Teja Lele