“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”: Akshay Narvekar, founder Bombay Shirt Company
The Proust Questionnaire is a questionnaire about one’s personality. It has its origins in a parlour game popularised by Marcel Proust, the French essayist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.
Akshay Narvekar the founder of Bombay Shirt Company (BSC), India’s first online custom-made shirt brand. Launched in 2012, the business has now expanded to include numerous brick-and-mortar stores across India and internationally. Akshay believes that one’s fashion choices should express one’s personality and that everybody should be able to channel their personal aesthetic into what they wear.
Born and raised in Mumbai, Akshay went on to graduate in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He worked with BCBG Max Azria, a billion-dollar apparel brand, in Strategy & Operations for over 4 years at their Los Angeles offices and subsequently returned to India to do his MBA in Finance & Strategy from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
Akshay is a keen sportsman and spends a large part of his free time engaged in sporting activities. He is also an avid photographer and enjoys researching architecture, furniture design and fashion. He travels extensively, learning about new cultures. Here are his responses to our Proust questionnaire…
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sunday brunch with my extended family.
What is your greatest fear?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My impulsive nature.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Which living person do you most admire?
My mum – mother, wife, professional, entrepreneur, and all-round woman extraordinaire.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My watch collection.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
I feel that I am over analytical. Sometimes, you’ve just got to take a chance.
On what occasion do you lie?
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My wife tells me my limbs are too long.
Which living person do you most despise?
No one. I believe in the policy – ‘Live and let live.’
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Are you ready to change the apparel industry?"
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Which talent would you most like to have?
To have a flair for languages
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to think my flaws and quirks make me who I am, so there’s nothing I would like to change.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Having the courage to start a business and operate it on my terms.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I’d be fairly happy being myself, to be honest.
Where would you most like to live?
What is your most treasured possession?
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
A life devoid of humour.
What is your favourite occupation?
Anything to do with sports.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My minimalist approach to life.
What do you most value in your friends?
Who is your favourite writer?
Who is your hero of fiction?
Jason Bourne (but is he really fictional ??)
Who are your heroes in real life?
What is your favourite name?
I’m keeping this one a secret until I’ve had my first child.
What is it that you most dislike?
What is your greatest regret?
Not having spent more time with my maternal grandparents.
How would you like to die?
In my sleep, peacefully.
What is your favorite journey?
What is your motto?
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” ― Oscar Wilde.
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