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Suman Agarwal - Director and Master Image Consultant- Image Consulting Business Institute, President- Image Management Professionals' Association

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this business/ entrepreneurship?  Being a Corporate profession...

Q1. How did your career journey start? Or Who/What inspired you to start this business/ entrepreneurship? 

Being a Corporate professional for almost 14 years was a long enough time to come to a realisation that I must get into something of my own and once this decision was taken, I decided to research on what is the biggest need of the hour. 

The answer after a year long research was Image Management. India is strong with Academic Skills, but they greatly lack Soft Skills and Image Building and this is where we came into picture way back in 2009 with what was missing and I am glad we made a sensible decision and pioneered the concept Image Management in our country. 

Q2. Kindly share some information about your Business, products and services here. 

Image Consulting is a Life Skill. Everyone needs it but very few ask for it. Now people are becoming aware and the need is picking up all across. Our brand- Image Consulting Business Institute produces Image Consultants, people join our program from different segments like CA, doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Actors, Models, Cabin Crew, Students, Home-makers, Scientists etc with different age groups starting from 18-70 years. They either want to up-skill in their existing job or business, start a new career/business, change their field or diversify, these programs are a one stop solution for all. Image Consultants offer various services to individuals, Corporate, NGO, Hospitals, Institutions, Schools, Management Colleges, Services industries, prisons etc. 

Q3. What kind of challenges did you face while starting/doing business? 

Any new category when introduced for the first time has its share of challenges. People take time to accept anything new and same thing was experienced by us. It took us 3 years to establish a new concept and now there is no looking back. 

Q4. Do share with our readers about your discovery period when you were facing difficulties in your business? 

Every individual whom we told about what we are into understood Image Management to be a photography studio where we click pictures (Image). It was challenging and people could not relate to what we really meant by "Image." Yes it was a difficult phase but with our marketing initiatives through rigorous advertising campaigns, people have started realising its importance and today companies and individuals approach us to hire Image Consultants for various services. 

Q5. Share with our readers about your experiment period after the discovery period? 

The experiment period was yet again challenging but surely exciting too. We released several beautiful ads and our advertising campaigns are being remembered even today when people talk to us, they keep praising our ad captions. This was one of the most memorable experiment as our brand got tremendous amount of visibility and recognition. People recall our lime green brand color and our tag lines.Today we have completely shifted to online marketing and realised that this medium has a great scope and reachability with better results at a lower cost. The experiments always give you insightful learning and teaches you what not to do in business and to be able to differentiate between what is good and what is effective.It only adds to your learning to make you a better business owner. 

Q6. What are your future plans? Or now what is your vision for next five years? 

In the next 5 years there are three things to accomplish 
  • Have our own App 
  • Have an Image Helpline to dial for Image Management tips and solutions 
  • Start ICBI Finishing Academy all across in every location for the end users 
  • Online courses in Image Management for scalability (For international Market) 

Q7. How would you advice/suggest new entrepreneurs who want to start & sustain in business? 
  • Be clear of what you want to accomplish 
  • Prepare a plan without any abstract thinking 
  • Stay on ground and be realistic 
  • Keep things simple 
  • Stick around, do not get demotivated if things look difficult, everything takes time 
  • Have enough backing to sustain your business for atleast 2-3 years before it starts self-generating 
  • Be positive and have a never give up attitude 

Q8. LinkedIn profile URL link 

Q9. Facebook profile URL link 

Q10 Twitter profile URL link 

Q11. Personal blog URL link

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