Enhancing the ‘likability’ quotient in Individuals

Deepti Joshi Dange, Image Consulting mentor – Persona-Stars Image Management

With over 12 years of experience in the service industry and having been a part of the BPO Culture, training & grooming individuals for leadership role is like second nature to Deepti. She has always had a passion for clothes & grooming and been fascinated by the way people dress and behave at various places, occasions and in different situations. She loves to work with people and help them see themselves as more confident and beautiful human beings.

Deepti was raised in New Delhi and then moved to Pune where she completed her Graduation. She holds a degree of diploma in Event Management. She landed her first job in Global Telecommunication industry, accompanying her friend at a job fair. Since then communication, training and service became a large part of her professional life. “Over a period of time, I realized that appearance influenced perception and looking good for any job was important to succeed. Overall Grooming and Etiquette became passion which can turn ordinary to extra ordinary and get people noticed,” says Deepti.

In this interview with ABT, Deepti shares her inspiring success story to motivate other women entrepreneurs.

You have been part of the industry for more than 12 years, what are the major challenges that you have come across?
Having worked for over 12 years, the biggest challenge in the India was to establish awareness amongst the masses about Image Management. People in India have always placed more importance to technical skills over life skills. It took 3-5 years for the concept to be accepted as everyone earlier thought of it to be a western concept. It is only now with the increasing media exposure that the Indian market has been exposed exponentially to style, brands and fashion, along with an increase in the number of organisations stepping up their global business and sending people across the globe for opportunities. This has opened minds about the importance of self presentation as that alone can increase your confidence many a times or let you down.

What inspired you to start Persona Stars Image management and tell us about its reach so far?
During my 6 year Telecom career, I saw highs and lows in dressings in various organisations and how casual the dress code had become from where we started. I always wanted people to realize the importance of dressing right for work and the impact of careless dress on business and team’s overall behavior and attitude. I was intrigued with a global makeover show and wanted to bring something similar to the Indian market.

Just a temporary makeover does not do the trick. It has to be a lifestyle change, just like they say for health and fitness. I looked for courses online and came across Image Management Programs abroad. As I was working in India, I decided to study in a course offered here with a specialization course in USA.

So far, I have trained over 400 aspiring Image consultants across India on various modules, trained employees of over 30 organisations and a retained consultant with most of them. I have had the pleasure to work with multinationals and people from various walks of life like children, college students , housewives, fashionistas, lawyers, doctors, business families, political families, CEO’s , Managers , Architects etc through corporate workshops, open workshops and 1-2-1 consultations. With a passion to speak, I have also been a keynote speaker and Anchor of choice at various events.

What advice would you give to an individual to make a good first impression?
I would say education is important; however in today’s fast paced world, it’s equally important to look like you at the best fit for the role and so pay attention to details. Work on your people skills and Communication. Details of the way you dress and groom, how you use your body language, how you smell, how you use your words to work your magic and be liked instantly. If you take care of your likability, the other person will almost instantly trust you and your ability and that will make them believe in your capability without looking at your CV. Your first impression matters to others, even if it does not matter to you.

What three characteristics do you think a good image consultant should possess?
The 3 most Important characteristics of a good consultant would be Passion alongside knowledge of latest trends which reassures and gives confidence to a client, Patience and Empathy as client needs are unique, and last but not the least, a strong desire to help people transform and be non judgmental or stereotypical about all the people we coach.

What do you like the most about your job and career as an image consultant?
I love the fact that I can utilize my creativity to help clients and groups with their Image and it’s very satisfying to see them become confident and successful in their personal domains. My work is flexible yet rewarding and it helps me to network and connect with people from across industries at various levels and learn from their experiences as well.

What would you like to achieve in the next coming years?
In the coming years, I would like to work on International Training Projects and work with HNI (High Network Individual) clients, to coach them on Wardrobe Styling, Grooming, Global Etiquette and Communication Protocols.