Sonali Priy Kapoor Founder and Managing Director, The Hatch Project
Sonali Priy Kapoor, First Generation entrepreneur, Founder and Managing Director, The Hatch Project in conversation with Delhi magazine about her background, journey and challenges.
Please tell us about your background and journey of becoming an entrepreneur and starting your own venture.
The way to start is to quit talking and begin doing. Even though I had never dreamt of opening a company, The Hatch Project happened when I realised that I was too comfortable being comfortable. Cozily ensconced in a job I loved and with an almost two-decade odd long career in public relations, I was always the employee, albeit one who loved her career. The transformation to an entrepreneur was an unexpected arc in my journey.
Entrepreneurship is now a trend of our times. The journey has been tough, the challenges considerable. It has also been a journey of rewards, of loving my work and seeing the satisfaction in matching and surpassing the expectations of clients and colleagues alike. Given my inquisitive nature, I have always loved interacting with people and knew early on that I had to do something in communications with my life.
Even though I started work as a teacher, I soon realised that my calling lay elsewhere. I joined Lilliput Kids in their customer care department and left after opening 202 outlets pan India as a brand planner. I handled internal and external communication for them and I realised for the first time that I loved doing this the most. Opportunities took me to various organisations, where I got the chance to learn and upgrade my skills.
I was really enjoying the work in last organisation I was with, which was also my longest employer, so a comfort level existed. I was very attached to the work and the people – people poked fun at me saying you even remember the opening dates of the outlets like they are your own kids. We were building brands, the brands were growing but the niggling question remained – what next?
The curiosity to explore the unexplored enticed me to start The Hatch Project. When I signed my first client did not even know the name of my company but I knew what I am going to do.
I love my work – and was sure I would do evolved PR. The dos and don’ts were clear in my mind. It all began with stretching the boundaries of my knowledge and experience. For us at Hatch, it’s about the wealth of experience which we as a team have collectively earned. The team members employ creativity, skilfully storytelling to engage the audience and change the conversation to how we perceive and want to look at. If you have a thought, we will develop that thought into a brand and help you expand with franchising and investor relations. Our services are especially tailored to handhold start-ups as well as deliver on Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing strategies for them to build the brand and its equity. We build brands and help them expand, whether B2B and B2C.
Please tell us about the challenges that you faced along the way.
The entrepreneurial journey has been quite tough. I thought I would be doing what I love most – PR but it’s not just the PR – I am also running a show. Today’s fiercely competitive business world throws many challenges to entrepreneurs. The factor responsible for the success of the journey so far has been the team spirit. Inculcating the vision for everyone joining the team has been the most important thing to look at. If people at home are not happy, I cannot make anyone happy. They are like my family. We don’t believe in only working with big brands but more about making small names big – transforming them into brands.
It’s now been three years of fostering an entrepreneurial culture. As a director of the company, I have certain targets. Hiring has been the most challenging aspect to look at. Every employee has a single scope of work which is defined with me. I continuously and consistently work with them daily to uplift that. Individual growth is as important as the growth of the company because you don’t grow alone, you grow with the team. When you serve a value add to your colleagues, it becomes a stronger bond, which for me is the core of my work and the journeys it takes me on.