Monthly Archives: May 2016

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Bringing to the forefront the Kashmiri Artisans – PASHOM

In lieu of a formal introduction to my academic accomplishments, goals, and aspirations, I offer a summary of my dissertation which earned me the 2nd Position in ‘2016 A-Team’, a national level business plan competition at Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), Pilani. The first of its kind venture has affirmed my passion and inclination towards transforming the poignant lives of cashmere hand weavers into enduring and sustainable livelihoods, in the state of Kashmir, India. My endeavor – Pashom intends at ensuring that artisans of Kashmir- who are often duped by the main stream business houses and are barely paid menial wages- become the active beneficiaries of income generated from the products created through their six-century-old weaving skills.

The concept of Pashom was conceived in November of 2015 as my final year research project. While the dissertation was still in progress, I was suggested and encouraged to apply for competitions and to look for seed support. During my research I came across the sorrowful plight under which the Kashmiri weavers lived and worked. The more I learned about the artisans, the bigger my concerns became. To authenticate my research premises, I was motivated to travel to the state and interview the artisans, only to be struck by the irony in which these artisans lived. Despite of producing one of the world’s most exclusive, expensive and desired fibers, their livelihoods were rather precarious, with no hope for a better future.

Through Pashom, I aim at changing their perception of life and catalyze the process of them realizing their dreams of primary education, basic sanitation, and fruitful jobs. My business model which soon turned into a life mission focuses on creating a synergy among the government initiatives, handloom experts, and financial institutions, and furthermore in bringing a paradigm shift in the nature of the business from being “subsidy” based to be more “market led and sustainable” way of development.

Besides Pashom securing a position at BITS, it also got selected among the top three in the reputed 2016 James McGuire Global Business Plan Competition, USA. Further, the project has also been recognized at another national level competition – “Lakshay 2016” a collaborative initiative between Ministry of MSME and Amity University, Noida where it made through the top ten projects. All of this has re-shaped my personality and has instilled in me the confidence to assert my opinions and contest my ideas, even if that involves going against the current.

My goal is to empower the untapped talent, bring them due recognition, and help them grow exponentially by facilitating the right platform and the correct structure. My ambition is to safeguard the traditional skill and ensure that it is valued and awarded in the regard that it deserves to be.
I am proud to share that Pashom has already become a part of discussion and appreciation at other universities, forums and countries. I am more than pleased that at this juncture, where I still await my graduation degree; my project has attained the desired visibility and is on the intended path.

I am of the firm belief that for a great venture to succeed, it is only vital that it is comprehended, discerned and supported by other great individuals and groups as well. My journey with Pashom wouldn’t have been the same without the unwavering support, mentoring, incubation and evaluation of my ideas, presentations, beliefs and vision, which were backed by my mentor, teachers and other faculty members of Pearl Academy. Pearl has given me the much-needed platform to meet, learn and get inspired from the industry leaders, shapers, and makers of our society. I have inculcated deep aspirations to speak, discuss and enhance my business ethics, ideas, formation and persuasion at a platform which is further devoted to building better people, businesses, community and world. I cannot think of a better rostrum which connects so many entrepreneurs, start-ups, ideas, innovations and visions at one place, and embraces them with widened scope of horizons, opportunities, and avenues to explore and build a better future for the society. I am grateful and proud to be a Pearlite.

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Career in Luxury Brand Management

Shoyeb H. CyclewalaCareer in Luxury Brand Management by Shoyeb H. Cyclewala, Course Leader- Luxury Brand Management at Pearl Academy.

What is Luxury Brand Management
Luxury Brand Management imparts deep understanding of the Luxury industry and its management without forgetting the cultural and other relevant aesthetics. Luxury is not just about a brand, it is a combination of brand’s attributes, its identity, architecture and history – a spectrum of all these components make a brand stand out as a luxury brand.

How is it different from retail management

The basic premise of retail is to bring the customers into the store, fulfill their needs and live up to the client’s expectations. Retail Management, is to facilitate this process, which includes a gamut of functions like Merchandising, Marketing, Sales, CRM, Finance etc. and create an effective mix.

Luxury Brand Management on other hand includes all of the above and in addition it is about adopting further refined approach in terms of experiential quotient and customer satisfaction. Its facets are beyond conventional methods. Since luxury brands deal in expensive, rare & exclusive goods and services, the focus is on adopting new set of techniques to provide a seamless customer experience in a niche segment.

What are the skill sets required
Successful professionals in this field demonstrate the ability to operate in a highly competitive global context. An innovative and creative approach with a strong cultural perspective is the key. In addition, analytical and management skills are also important. An understanding of the luxury industry and passion to be associated with the best and the most elite segments will help an individual to innovate and excel.

What career path to expect
There are various career options that one can choose from. After graduation the aspirants can pursue their career as a Luxury Brand Manager, Luxury Marketer, Luxury Shopping consultant, Luxury Store Manager, Luxury Operations, Luxury Publicity and PR or Luxury Buyer and Merchandiser. With their knowledge and skill set candidates can potentially reach the top management levels. Students can also choose to be entrepreneurs in the domain of Luxury Brand Management. Luxury brands today, are in search of experts who can take the businesses and organizations to new heights and are looking for leaders with excellent skill set and innovative ideas.

What to expect from an institute
The institute or the course must offer a good understanding of abstract functionality of Luxury Brands. The course curriculum should offer in-depth understanding of various aspects such as different segments of goods and services, consumer behavior patterns in different parts of the world, in depth financial analysis and creation of luxury brands & success stories. Also, there should be a constant communication with industry, with regular Master classes and Ted talks from experts, which should provide students with actual industry insights. Moreover, a student should definitely consider the global learning opportunities, in addition to the faculty experience and employability provided by the institute before joining.

Know more about the course HERE

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The Fashion_i workshop in Jaipur

img_2450 (1)Last week was full of fun & was completely memorable as I had this wonderful opportunity to do a collaborative fashion visual making workshop with photographer Tarun Garg at Pearl Academy, Jaipur. It was completely a different experience as I graduated two years back from Pearl Academy & now conducting this workshop with the students of the academy as a guest faculty. The 3 day workshop included lot of fun activities & of course the best part was photoshoots. It was interesting to see new students coming up with fresh ideas & even more fun was to guide them throughout the whole project & also to work so closely with the upcoming designers.

I won’t say much but I was impressed with the enthusiasm of the students & here is how we worked together on this workshop.

Photographs & Text by Abhimanyu Singh Rathore

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Final Result– Proud to see my students work being appreciated in exhibition at PORTFOLIO 16. Here are the credits for the images. 1. Shot by Gunjan Jain, Styled by Anjali, Model-Drishti, 2.Shot & Styled by Rajat Mittal, Model Shreshtha, 3.Styled by Mansi, Shot by Palak, Model Sakshi Khanna, 4. Designer & Photographer-Shubhangi Jain, Model-Vaishali, 5.Shot & styled by Palak Jain, Model-Mansi, 6.Shot & Styled by Drishti, Model-Vasudha Tiwari

Some behind the scenes action
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I can’t thank enough to Pearl Academy for making me part of this creative effort. Thank you so much Dr. Veena Dutta & Kunal Dutta for this amazing experience.

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5 ways Journalism and Mass Communication has changed in India

5 ways Journalism and Mass Communication has changed in India

When we think about Joseph Pultizer, Margaret Fuller, Judith Miller from across the globe and Dr.Prannoy Roy, Karan Thapar, Barkha Dutt, Rajdeep Sardesai from homeland, then we realize how journalists from many centuries have been indispensable to our society, the pivotal role they play in disseminating the information and influencing the thought processes of the masses. With 24 hours news cycles and news-on-mobile, Journalism and Mass Communication as a vocation has evolved to meet the needs of the digital citizen. Let’s check out five important directions which have changed Journalism and Mass Communication:

1.An all-inclusive arena: Traditionally Journalism and Mass Communication referred to a profession of serious old bald & bearded man with high-brow ideas, opinion or perspective who would synthesize them to share it with masses through the medium of Television, Radio, or Newspapers. Today, the scenario has undergone a massive change, the young yet focused energies are appreciated and it now expands the horizon to include the whole gamut of activities like Screenwriting, Photography, Sound & Radio, Media & Cultural Studies, Events, Television Production, New Media Storytelling, Digital Media Arts, and many more.

2.Gateway to the world of employment opportunities:
A specialized course that mentors students to meet the requirements of new age media careers and provide international opportunities. One is not expected to do a boring desk job where you compile and circulate news but can choose a field of one’s choice. Also, many universities and institutes offering these courses also arrange internships and placements for their students thus enabling them to gain practical, hands-on experience as well as economic independence.

3.A promise to break the Monotony: Don’t we all hope to have a job or profession that allows us to meet new people, travel to new locations and create novel experiences? Training in Journalism and Mass Communication opens avenues that work would not feel like work but a constant journey that stimulates a wondering mind who loves to explore new horizons.

4.Liberty to work on topics/themes/ assignments important to you: While many jobs do not allow the employee to exercise their free-will at work and containing them from speaking their mind out, with the right kind of training in Journalism and Mass Communication one could report on issues within his/her domain or choose to become a freelancer and write on various issues that are dampening the economy or impinging human rights among others. One could choose to be an independent film-maker and tell a story that is close to his/her heart or be a blogger or graphic designer and work for people and projects of your choice or even become a consultant or researcher and share your knowledge with other aspiring apprentices.

5.Welcoming the female counterparts: There were chauvinistic times, but journalism & mass communication has been one profession where women have played serious and important roles since pre-independence. Women in media have covered wars, riot-torn states; terrorist attacks, and actively reported from catastrophic event sites. They have emerged as chief anchors of many news channels and are even accepted in cricket reporting. Radio jockeys is another area that women have moved into and have been famous & well accepted.

If you’re planning to pursue a course in Journalism and Mass Communication then Pearl Academy is the Institute you need to consider. The institute offers an exhaust ve 3-year course that promises to hone creativity, ingenuity, innovation and judgment along with intellectual acumen to formulate, develop and communicate conceptual arguments rooted in a holistic perspective of the business context.

Pearl will equip you to work with converged media and a global context. Its academic rigor and agility to bring to India an international curriculum with an opportunity to study a semester at a foreign university will give the cutting edge to graduating students.
Pearl’s media curriculum and pedagogy are based on the fundamental of building an inquiry-based learning with a more student-centric approach that facilitates capacity to think and learn throughout one’s life, communicate, and collaborate.

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Careers in New Age Journalism

meha-for JMC storyCareers in New Age Journalism by Meha Jayaswal, Area Head, Media & Communication at Pearl Academy.

With advent of social media, how is new age journalism different from traditional journalism?
New media includes many different forms of media, i.e. news report via SMS on mobile phones, news apps, Youtube etc. While new media is challenging the popular or traditional media like newspaper and radio, it is also challenging the curriculum of journalism & mass communication across many colleges.
The fundamental of the new age journalism is to successfully marry technology with traditional skillsets – language, writing, reporting, editing, analysis, layouts and camera skills.

Is there a fusion of print, electronic and social media? How can institutes prepare students to be industry ready?
Newsrooms are integrating and today journalists are expected to write from 12 word tweet to 1200 word long format stories, share on instagram and also report on television. Hence, convergence is a very important skill set that journalists should be adept at. It is therefore important for media schools to train journalists with a 360 degrees approach towards a story. With social media’s global reach, it is all the more important for new age media curriculum to build upon knowledge and skills of being global citizens.

What are some of the essential skill sets required by a new age journalist?
The new age media companies require journalist with strong traditional journalism/mass communications skills such as good command over language, an ability to write, edit and report, but the journalist shall also be fully equipped to work with converged media and more so in a global context.

What things should a student look for in an institute before joining the course?
First, the institute’s curriculum and pedagogy should be based on the fundamental of building an inquiry-based learning with more student-centric approach. This will facilitate student’s capacity to think, communicate, and collaborate. Also, institute should be forward looking and prepare its students for what’s coming next and not just what already exists. It should prepare students for tomorrow – the workplaces, the trends, the dynamic industries. Moreover, a student should definitely consider the faculty experience, employability, Industry and international exposure provided by the institute before joining.

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Career in Product Design

Hardik Gandhi_profile picCareer in Product Design by Hardik Gandhi, Course Leader – Product Design, Pearl Academy.

What is Product Design and how it is different from Lifestyle Accessory Design?
Product Design involves a broad approach towards designing new and innovative products. It enables students from diverse backgrounds to have in-depth knowledge to design Consumer Electronics / Consumer durables / Furniture / Medical & Healthcare products / Packaging / Toy & Educational products / Kitchenware / Lighting and luminary design / Eco-friendly and sustainable products.

Whereas, Lifestyle accessory design is intended to train designers to actively design from the most basic to high-end luxury. It has gradually evolved to address the entire spectrum of accessories and lifestyle products such as precious, semi-precious and costume jewelry, leather goods, footwear, watches, giftware, tableware, silverware, crystalware and consumer interface design.

What would be job opportunities for Product Designers?
Students can opt to become Design Entrepreneurs and Consultants. They can also be employed as product designers / Product development managers in the domestic/ international / export & manufacturing industry. Students have the opportunity to work in numerous avenues i.e. for companies (product / furnishing / materials) that are continually creating their own research or design centers or they can start their career working at various design startups operating in Product design fields.

What are skills required to be a Designer?
To become a successful professional in Product Design one needs to have a good handskills and an understanding of developing concepts using different techniques. Design methodology for areas such as problem analysis, generating ideas, visualizing and presenting can be applied to a broad set of contexts and are often helpful in other areas such as communication skills, social media. Understanding of marketing too plays a significant part in creation of a complete professional.

How does one stay creative as a Product Designer?
It is always important to capitalize on innovative opportunities. Evolving technology keeps creativity at the forefront – it’s about making sure it’s not just another light or chair or table. You have to be constantly exploring the environment around you, to have an inspiration to create something new.

How can one focus on Professional development in this area?
Apart from professional qualification, everything else is through experience be it ‘on the job’ training, or making use of support networks like trying new software and processes. More so working with designers who are already established and making use of a designer network also means that you can learn a lot without having to make mistakes. This sort of knowledge sharing is beneficial to one and all.

What things should a student look for while choosing a design school for such courses?
A design institute should be forward looking and prepare its students for what’s coming next and not just what already exists. It should prepare students for tomorrow – the workplaces, the trends, the dynamic industries. A student should definitely consider the faculty experience, employability & entrepreneurship nurturing, Industry exposure & connect and international exposure provided by the institute before joining.

Learn about the course HERE

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FDCI and Pearl Academy Join Hands to Offer India’s Best Fashion Education

FDCI and Pearl Academy Join Hands to Offer India’s Best Fashion Education

Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and Pearl Academy announced their landmark collaboration to offer India’s best fashion programs. This was announced at the finale of Pearl Academy’s annual graduating event, Portfolio 2016 on May 8, 2016 in presence of ace designers Manish Malhotra, David Abraham, Rohit Gandhi, Rahul Mishra.

FDCI, the apex body of fashion design in India with over 400 members including Rohit Bal, Sabyasachi, JJ Valaya, Namrata Joshipura, Anju Modi, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Manish Arora etc and Pearl Academy, leading design institute with a legacy of over two decades and centers in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Jaipur have come together to nurture and develop the designers of tomorrow.

An industry first, Pearl Academy graduating fashion students will show their final collections at the Amazon India Fashion Week. FDCI will be conducting masterclasses for Pearl Academy’s Faculty and expose them to the latest trends and techniques in the fashion industry. Regular FDCI events will be hosted at Pearl Academy campuses where by designer members, trend forecasters and fashion editors will teach and mentor students. This unique initiative has been taken by the fashion industry to shape future designers.

Speaking at the occasion, Sunil Sethi, President, FDCI who has always shown deep interest in education said, “This is a momentous juncture, as for the first time the entire fashion design council is undertaking such a deep engagement with an institution. We are very proud to be associated with Pearl Academy. I find them to be forward looking, innovative and leaders in design education. Their student work has been outstanding and I am confident that it will be further enhanced with this association. It is an opportunity for FDCI to shape the industry for tomorrow and this alliance is a first step in that direction.”
Sharad Mehra, CEO, Pearl Academy, added, “We have been associated with FDCI for multiple events but this association is a historic one and will change the face of fashion education. We welcome all the leading designers from FDCI to be a part of Pearl Academy and help mentor Pearlites to be future ready.”

ABOUT FDCI
A non-profit organisation, the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), is the apex body of fashion design in India, represented by over 350 members. Founded on the premise of promoting, nurturing and representing the best of fashion and design talent in the country; its prime objective is to propagate the business of fashion. FDCI stays true to its commitment to promote the ‘Make in India’ label as handlooms take center stage, in a country, who’s heritage is soaked in the flavours of indigenous crafts.

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Careers in Communication Design

Michael DotoloCareers in Communication Design by Michael Dotolo, Interactive Media Designer and Area Head, School of Design at Pearl Academy

Tell us something about Communication Design?
Communication design helps students to develop a personal and visual vocabulary using skills to build artistic expression, creative strategy and design thinking, along with appropriate software tools. It equips students for content development in diverse media like motion graphics, graphics, moving image, which can be applied to video and film production, web and app design, and other interactive media.

How is Fashion Media Communication different from Communication Design?
Communication Design and Fashion Media Communication are relatively two different fields. Fashion Media Communication provides students with skills required for communicating fashion through various media formats such as journalism (print, electronic or new media), events and promotions, visual merchandising, styling, graphic design, display and exhibit design, advertising, public relations and creative writing in context of fashion promotion.

Whereas, Communication Design equips students with knowledge to create engaging content through two pathways. Graphic design is one pathway which develops a professional knowledge of print and digital media through branding, packaging and corporate design, book and magazine design, exhibition design, typography, etc. The second pathway, Interactive and Digital design allows students to explore the possibilities of designing with a variety of time-based media types, like moving image, animation, and sound with strong study of human behavior and interaction.

What interesting jobs can be offered in Communication Design?
Communication Design is already a dominant creative professional field, which reflects a set of skills that are applied to specializations for a variety of job opportunities. One can choose to become a Graphic Designer / Print Designer / Exhibition Designer / Retail Space Designer / Art Director / Advertising Professional / Interactive Media / Professional or an Entrepreneur. As the field is growing, the industry demand for creative professionals in this creative domain is also growing in many new and exciting directions.

What skill sets would give me a competitive edge in Communication Design?
To become a successful professional in Communication Design one needs to have a good understanding of developing concepts using the techniques of digital media production. The individual also needs to think creatively, be able to research trends and technological developments, and effectively plan project, which will involve a variety of media types. Additionally, networking, communication skills and knowledge of social media & marketing too plays a significant part in creation of a complete professional.

How do I select the right design school for this course?

A student should definitely consider the faculty experience, employability, Industry exposure, international experience, and a fostering of entrepreneurship that is provided by an institute, before choosing a design school. On the other hand, the institute should also be forward looking and prepare its students for what’s coming next and not just what already exists. This is particularly true with communication design, where media and how it is delivered to the individual, evolves so quickly. Students must be trained for better tomorrow and should excel in a dynamic industry.

Learn about the course in Communication Design HERE

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Let’s talk OFFline

Pearl Academy is well renowned in the fashion circuit for facilitating the unique platform for all aspiring talents in the field of garment, design, textile, and fashion industry. Stimulated by India’s pivotal position as a source of inspiration for diverse emerging trends in world’s fashion scenario, Pearl Academy collaborated with The Artisan Centre, Kalagoda to bring in a new initiative-OFFline.

OFFline is an interesting platform to discuss and engage with thought leaders from diffe

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A Career in Interior Design

Dr.SchmidtA Career in Interior Design by Dr. Schmidt, Area Head – Interior Architecture and Design at Pearl Academy

Can you tell us something about Interior Design?
Interior design is a relatively young and constantly evolving discipline, which emerged in the late 19th and early 20th century in England and the US. Originally referred to as “interior decoration” in magazines and other publications its origin was closely associated with women of exceptional taste and cultural literacy but no specific training. It was only in the 20th century that interior design developed into a profession with specialized training, standards and professional associations. Taste was transformed into skill and untrained amateurs became qualified practitioners.
The scope of the projects also changed from largely residential design in its beginnings to various forms of non-residential design and from the design of solely private spaces to the public realm. The complexity of the projects as well as specialized expertise ultimately resulted in a specialized trainingdifferent from architecture. The terminology – albeit lose with no concrete definition -reflects this process of professionalization. “Interior decoration” has the ring of the work of an amateur, while “interior design” denotes the profession of a skilled practitioner and the move from mere aesthetic considerations to concrete problem solving.

What are the skill sets required to be an Interior Designer?
A passion for interiors, creativity, spatial imagination, aesthetic judgement are the prerequisites of any designers. There is both an aesthetic creative element to design as well as analytical problem solving skills. Yet ultimately one does not only design beautiful rooms that need to fulfill a specific function one needs to have good psychological skills and be able to translate clients’ needs and ideas into a design scheme. Thus it makes perfect sense when the legendary British designer David Hicks (1929-1998) tried out various creative fields but thenopted for interior design because he was most interested in how people lived. Last not least it is cultural literacy that will result in truly outstanding design and this is worth remembering from the early lady pioneers in the field of interior design.

What are the working hours and job opportunities?
Interior design is not really a job but a vocation. I believe it is one of the most beautiful and rewarding things to do. Thus office hours from 9-5 do not really apply because a true interior designer thinks about interior design all the time. When a project needs to be finished odd hours certainly apply. With the massively growing real Estate sector, home furnishings industry there are many opportunities for young inspiring designers. It is important to be entrepreneurial and look for opportunities in many different areas – from kitchen and bathroom studios, to hotels, restaurant chains, yachts and planes, lighting designers, office design, interior design studios, architectural practices and the heritage sector – just to name a few.

How do I select the right design school for this course?
The choice of school is personal and depends on the applicant’s personal interests. A good school should offers a variety of courses on the undergraduate and graduate level. Ultimately the faculty is the crucial factor thus a student should look at the educational background, teaching experience and industry experience of the faculty and visit the school to get a feel for the place and general atmosphere. Ideally faculty should have a wide spectrum of industry experience as well as advanced research degrees. The curriculum should be rigorous and fit the complexity of the industry. Apart from a nurturing environment the school should offer industry exposure and site visits as well as international exchange programs to offer an ideal exposure. Some schools even provide interdisciplinary experiences for students as they also offer an education in fashion, communication and business – a great advantage to face the challenges of our complex world.

Know more about the course HERE

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