Each one faces a different type of challenge in life, while some chew the cud and get over the setbacks, roadblocks and defeats in life while some moan over with despair. Neha Khilnani a passionate entrepreneur and founder of Connekting Dots PR & Brand Communications, a boutique PR & Branding agency, has thoroughly exhibited her grit, perseverance and subjugated her life’s problems since childhood. Be it her stuttering affliction in her speech as a child or the gruelling journey she set-on to place herself in the PR & Branding industry, motivated by her parents she not only overcame her not so lopsided disadvantage but turned her vulnerability into her greatest strengths. In the process, she realized that PR & Branding has always been her calling.
Driven by her desire to become a propeller in the industry and help many others jot down the missing links with her communication skills, Neha ensconced Connekting Dots PR & Brand Communications, a one-stop PR & Communications agency specializing in media relations, corporate positioning, social media and content strategy as well as design. Founded in 2016, the firm engages, inspires and helps people connect with brands and artists by providing end to end services. Shepherd by a spirited team of young and energetic individuals who are always on their toes to tap the superlative marketing and production opportunities for a brand, the prudent firm is a model of dynamicity that focused in creating tangible commercial impact for the clients. The CEO Insights team spoke to the draughtswoman of this unique firm, Neha, to get a glimpse of how a Communications & PR driven organization is run successfully and to get her take on entrepreneurship.
Take us through your journey from being a PR to being an entrepreneur. How has been the ups and downs and what learning do you carry with yourself?
I am a BMM graduate with majors in Advertising from Mumbai University, and also hold Masters in Advance Integrated Marketing & Communications from Xavier's Institute of Communication. My experience in advertising and marketing over the last six years has helped me secure a position as a much sought-after professional in the media and entertainment sphere. It has been about 15 exciting years of holistic global journey across industries and geographies, wherein I have been fortunate to bag the opportunity of working alongside some of the leading industry experts (Ray Ban, MTV, Tanishq, ICICI and the Times of India) in different capacities and teams in the advertising world, alongside taking care of BPL landscape, and specialized domains across media relations, digital transformations, integrated campaigns, to name a few.
Entrepreneurship is a commitment that may or may not bear fruit. But the drive and the risks are always worth taking. There are countless examples of entrepreneurs who kept reinventing themselves to eventually taste success in the field, but noteworthy to mention, failure is a very important part of the learning process. I realized fairly early on in my career that effective relations have the power to transform organizations, leaders, and people’s lives. Conclusively, I ascertain PR to be my field of business, where I have chosen to place myself as an entrepreneur. My biggest learning would be that one has to rise like a phoenix and constantly reinventing is the key. As an exemplar PR professional, I as the thought bearer want to help our clients do exactly the same.
You are an expert in connecting the dots to make a brand speak itself. Delineating the exclusivity of conneckting dots and journey. Also, excerpt about your role and skills at the agency, mentioning how have you been updating yourself.
Thinking out of the box is one of the key skills set of our business. At Connekting Dots we have a unique way of strategizing for our clients. Connekting the dots is all about forwarding the mission, products, and services of companies and clients we believe in. Our biggest win is our creative ability to hone the skills as a product and create distinct market positioning for both brand and personalities of our client. We believe in building lasting relationships which transcend brand identity & reach seamlessly. It is very important to have an ability to work closely with the clients at all levels and demonstrating sincere interest in solving problems creates significant opportunities. For us what’s of utmost importance is to connect all the dots for branding and communication to be in sync. We do that by finding a mid-point to take a brand’s vision through. This approach acting as a chaperone always helps us attain our aim, surpassing all the expectations when it comes to branding and providing 360-degree integrated strategies to the table.
Before starting my own company, I have worked extensively in the hospitality sector and when I started Connekting Dots our journey began with the hospitality industry; hence we have always been passionate about driving our hospitality clients and brands. Our fortes yet remain with lifestyle and entertainment, and we then decided to leverage our services to the healthcare and wellness sectors by representing the founder of one of India’s largest volunteered medical body MD, Radiologist, and Healthcare Entrepreneur- Dr. Sunita Dube. From catering to an International celebrity chef Sarah Todd, Yazu: Pan Asian Supper Club and Beach Club in Mumbai and Goa from the hospitality sector, to luxury brand White: Mason De Couture from lifestyle and luxury, and now to Dhoni entertainment and many more, our clients span a broad spectrum of various industry sectors.
Technology is an interesting addition to PR & brand communication. How are you leveraging it to the fullest to help your clients achieve their best?
PR has always been a dynamic industry, which is ever evolving. There is no doubt that it has become a quintessential part of a brand’s organizational structure, and a more integrated approach has already been adopted. Given the current pandemic, with the economic uncertainty and pick-up of technology, it is clear that the way PR will work is set to expand & change rapidly.
At Connekting Dots, we make sure that digital tools are taking centre stage in adapting to this ‘new normal’ we are planning to scaleup or business on the digital front. Conclusively, we are helping our clients clean up their social media platforms, and integrating strategies that thrust their mission seamlessly to enter the post COVID-19 world.
What future plans do you have for your agency?
In view of the current situation, and after a thorough study of the market dynamics we have decided to expand our horizons by incorporating Influencer Marketing and Digital solutions as a part of what we do, as we believe it can strengthen one’s brand reputation, improve audience engagement, and increase conversions.
Further, looking towards the future with a great zeal and fresh eyes, we are hoping for the sustainable growth, surviving COVID.
Neha Khilnani, Founder, Connekting Dots PR & Brand Communications
A BMM graduate with majors in Advertising from Mumbai University, and Masters in Advance Integrated Marketing & Communications from Xavier's Institute of Communication, Neha is an agile PR & Communications professional diligently helping brands and individuals transcend their identity & reach seamlessly, establishing long-lasting relationships.
Head Office: Mumbai