TheGlitz ‘Super Woman’ Sonalika Pawar

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Sonalika Pawar

Sonalika Pawar, the dynamic CEO of Bold and Beyond (formerly known as Meraki Creative Inc.), is a visionary leader who has reshaped the world of PR and marketing in her own way. With a relentless pursuit of brand impact in the ever-changing and dynamic realm of communications, Sonalika has steered Bold and Beyond to grow from a humble 2-3 member team to a robust 40-member squad with sector-specialised verticals.

A seasoned PR & Marketing professional and communications specialist, Sonalika has successfully launched prominent brands in the Lifestyle and Hospitality Industry, including Puma, BMW, Heineken, Belvedere, Leela Palace Bengaluru, Swiggy Steppinout, Pernia’s Pop Up Shop, and more.

Spearheading Bold and Beyond with unwavering inspiration, Sonalika has etched a remarkable legacy in just two years. The company now stands as a paragon of success, boasting over 200 esteemed partnerships with renowned brands. Sonalika’s leadership is a beacon, fostering a culture where creativity is boundless, and passion serves as the driving force. While based in Bangalore, Bold and Beyond has left its mark on events and activities across India. Under her guidance, the company has consistently experienced a remarkable annual growth rate of 300% since its establishment.

Her leadership philosophy transcends mere business triumphs, embodying a profound commitment to inspiration and empowerment. Her visionary approach extends to fostering innovation, nurturing talent, and championing diversity within her team.

Away from the professional realm, Sonalika finds joy in exploration, whether it’s through travel or savoring the finest cocktails and cuisine. Her downtime is enriched by the delightful company of her canine companions, Leo and Sushi, reflecting her appreciation for life’s simple pleasures and meaningful connections. Her journey from the establishment of Bold and Beyond to its current stature exemplifies her unwavering dedication to creativity and delivering exceptional results. TheGlitz has more…

Sonalika Pawar, CEO, Bold and Beyond
Sonalika Pawar, CEO, Bold and Beyond

Sonalika Pawar On Bold and Beyond

Your journey has had many momentous milestones. Could you tell us about the life-changing milestones that have moulded you into what you are today?

Let me take you back to the pivotal moment that shaped not just the trajectory of my career but also the essence of who I am today. It all started with a daring decision—the decision to launch our agency from scratch.

Launching an agency from the ground up is similar to planting a seed and watching it sprout into a magnificent tree. The growth, the challenges, and the victories have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride. I wouldn’t have ever envisioned having such a significant effect and collaborating with so many brands in such a short time.

As the founder of a successful PR agency, every milestone feels like a personal triumph. I still clearly recall those modest beginnings, spent in cafes and driven by a strong sense of purpose and resolve. But as luck would have it, we were able to leave the clamour of the cafe and get our own office space in less than six months of our inception, all thanks to my team’s dedication and perseverance.

When I reflect on my personal journey, I recollect moments that helped shape my character. One important lesson was the value of authenticity. In the world of business, being true to oneself is more than a principle; it is a superpower. It all comes down to appreciating our individuality and resisting the need to fit in. Fearlessness became my guiding beacon. The eagerness to explore the unknown and try new things, even if they diverted from the norm, became a driver of creativity. It’s easy to follow the crowd, but forging a new route requires guts.

And here we are, not at the end of the journey, but at the beginning of a new chapter. As a founder, witnessing the growth and impact we’ve achieved feels surreal. It’s not just a professional accomplishment; it’s a life-changing journey that continues to unfold with every client collaboration and every fearless step into the unknown.

What are the setbacks you have faced? How did you tackle these setbacks or challenges? And what lesson have you learned from it?

Shifting from traditional methods to data-driven strategies can be a significant adjustment, as not everyone may adapt to it easily. This was definitely a notable hurdle to getting everyone on the same page. Particularly with PR, most agencies still use a very dated or manual way to calculate ROI, which requires concerted efforts to reconcile differing perspectives. Fortunately, we have been able to figure out a unified approach towards leveraging data to drive impactful outcomes.

Expanding our footprint into national markets posed its own set of complexities, especially in accommodating diverse audience demographics and regional intricacies. Navigating these variations while ensuring a cohesive brand message demanded a deep understanding of local markets and a nimble approach to tailoring strategies and campaigns accordingly. Embracing this learning curve has empowered us to effectively penetrate diverse markets while upholding our brand integrity.

Furthermore, talent acquisition and retention emerged as a perpetual challenge, exacerbated by the shift to remote work in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Striking a balance between remote work flexibility and fostering a collaborative team culture has been paramount. By implementing a policy of four work-from-home days per month, we’ve endeavoured to provide flexibility while preserving the collaborative energy essential to our industry. This balanced approach has enabled us to cultivate a supportive work environment conducive to creativity and innovation, ensuring the sustained success of our team and the agency as a whole.

When you look back, what are the three qualities in you that have helped you become what you are today?

There are three qualities that have been instrumental in my journey: patience, resilience, and being a smart worker. Additionally, my innate ability to connect with people has pushed me forward, creating a dynamic combination that has contributed to where I am today.

Sonalika with Shylesh Jain, Husband and Co-founder
Sonalika with Shylesh Jain, Husband and Co-founder

Who are the people who have been the wind behind your wings?

In my entrepreneurial journey, support has been like threads weaving together stories of success. My husband, Shylesh, is more than just a life partner; he has been my rock from day one, and I don’t know where I would be without his undying love and support. My team at Bold & Beyond comes next. Our journey goes beyond personal ties and includes the collective energy of a devoted team. Their dedication and tireless hard work are more than just contributions; they are the foundation of our success story.

Each chapter of my success is dedicated to the combined strength of these supporters—Shylesh, my amazing team, and my ever-supportive family. Together, we collaborated to write a story about resilience, dedication, and the power of shared dreams.

Lastly, if there was a quote to define you, what would it be?

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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