‘Listen, design and act- that is the way to work’: Anshuman Singh, Founder, Paul Adams
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.
Anshuman Singh, Founder, CEO, Paul Adams, has more than 17 years of senior marketing management experience in companies like Virgin, Ericsson and Reliance. Paul Adams creates ultra-premium handbags and accessories, and also offers a vast range of bespoke men and women bags. It gives a platform to Indian art and artists through its leather goods line. With a mission to make art an intrinsic part of everyday life instead of it being confined to a frame, the organisation has embarked upon an initiative called, #ArtEverywhere. The highlight of their pieces is the fact that at the heart of each masterpiece is an original artwork painted on a specialised canvas with acrylic paints by a professional artist. Here are Anshuman’s responses to our Proust questionnaire…
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Satisfaction, which could be anything from watching a smile on your wife’s face to achieving the desired result or product for your brand.
What is your greatest fear?
Letting your family down, which includes my staff.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Impatience, though am working on it.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Reaching a conclusion without actually delving into the issue.
Which living person do you most admire?
Elon Musk who showed us that by being imaginative and having the right attitude can make a big difference.
What is your greatest extravagance?
My first Paul Adams bag.
What is your current state of mind?
Relaxed. However, there has been a thought which has been nagging me on the current state of rising violence against women in India and around the world. We have reached Mars but we can’t protect our women. I am wondering why brands can’t take this challenge as a larger contribution to society. I am not just speaking about the many safety and alert apps or helplines – those are great at protection. I am keener on developing grassroots behavioural influences on men and women, and a more humane and mutual respect of each other. Prevention is better than cure.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Love. It is highly overrated because we claim to spread it too easily. If we do take a moment and think about it, we will find that it’s linked to our desires. We can be empathetic, supportive and engaged. But love and passion are distinctive notions for me.
On what occasion do you lie?
When there is a chance of revealing something I don't want to.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I have been developing these extra set of abs, though my wife calls it a paunch.
Which living person do you most despise?
Irrespective of religion, whoever spreads hatred.
What is the quality you like most like in a man?
Integrity and respect towards women.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Someone who listens patiently.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My wife. And my daughters. They have my utmost attention.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Creativity, as its independent of any subject.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Professionally, coming up with Paul Adams, a brand that’s not merely about business, but also has a core that is based on social responsibility and betterment of our fantastic artisans.
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
I would like to come back as Anshuman – as there’s a lot to be done and maybe one life is not enough.
Where would you most like to live?
What is your most treasured possession?
My creative nature - which I have nurtured and taken immense risks with.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
So far, I haven’t come up with a thought about it.
What is your favourite occupation?
Being an entrepreneur, because if you have ammo in your imagination, then entrepreneurship is the best battle to fight.
What is your most marked characteristic?
My constant laughter and big smile.
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favourite writers?
Jim Corbett, as he writes about real life incidents and depicts them beautifully.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Superman… as I am a kid at heart.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Winston Churchill, as his resolute character led Britain to their victory in WWII.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Kids who work for a living for their families (instead of going to school). I have encountered many children who can go to school with the money they earn but instead, they contribute to their families.
What is your favourite name?
What is it that you most dislike?
A breach of trust.
What is your greatest regret?
I've had a great life so far and I have no regrets.
How would you like to die?
I would like it to be spontaneous.
What is your favorite journey?
My first international travel with my family.
What is your motto?
Flow like a river and cut through the mountains. The flowing waters create their own path and yet listen to the banks around them. I personally find it comfortably work like that - listen, design and act.
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If the words of writer and filmmaker Nora Ephron who once said,"Writing is what I do... it is like breathing to me..." defined the goals of Ephron's life, it would be Asha's mantra too, as she lives to create word pictures of the people she meets. She believes that the best stories "must move the heart and feed the mind". When she is not working, she loves reading novels and listening to music.