All About Image Consulting: An Interview

Today we interview Prachi Mishra, the Founder of Prachi Mishra Image Consulting who is a post graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology on why image consulting is important and how she is observing first hand the changes that are happening in India.

 In the year 2002 she embarked her path as a professional in the fashion industry where she was over and again appreciated and recognized for her innovative approach towards work. In the years spent she has worked with renowned brands like Benetton, Zara, Carrefour, Dillards, Nordstrom and Ecko to name a few.

In the year 2007 she kick started a new career and moved her domain to Training and Development.In the past six years she has trained several professionals and students and has created a niche for herself as a corporate trainer. Her assignments include several Educational institutes, Leading Air Hostess Academy, IT and ITES organizations. An inspiring speaker she believes that people understand and learn more through doing. Consequently her seminars and workshops are highly participation and action-oriented.

You run an image consulting business in India, why do you think having the right image is so important?
In today’s world we assume and judge people based on little Information. It takes approximately 3 to 7 seconds to form a first impression. Appearance strongly influences other people’s perception of our personality, values, financial success, authority, trustworthiness and intelligence to name a few.

Hence it is essential to “Create a Powerful and Desired First Impression” in every new situation for success in personal, professional and social life. In order to come at par with contemporaries and rise in life it has become imperative to maintain the right image.

As also Brian Tracy has mentioned in her book “The Psychology of Achievement” – “Many capable men and women are disqualified from job opportunities because they do not look the part”

Can you give us 3 tips, on how a professional can change their image from a nervous newbie to a confident professional?
Dress appropriately for the occasion.

  • Mind your body language, especially your hand gestures. They can convey a lot. Be aware of others body language as well.
  • Think before you speak. Don't be in a rush to prove yourself

How do you run these sessions? How much is the charge and who can enroll?
I conduct these sessions under two models - Personalized one on one coaching and Group seminars/ workshops. Anybody who would like to enhance their appearance and communication skills can enroll for my sessions. So far I have worked with people from various walks of life such as – homemaker, college goer, corporate executives, people in leadership roles, politicians, entrepreneurs, doctors, aspiring models and actors.

The sessions are conducted on hourly basis and each session is approximately of 2 hours duration. The commercials for a 2 hour sessions is Rs 6,000.

3 things every professional woman should have in their hand bag?
Other than mobile phone and money – three things essential in the handbag are:

  • A small mirror
  • Kajal
  • Lip gloss

What is your background and why did you decide to move into image consulting training?
I am a postgraduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology. Having worked with leading export agencies in India, I had the opportunity to experience the taste of international fashion and also meet and interact with people from different corners of the globe. I always felt that we were a misfit for many reasons in the global arena. At times it was lack of finer soft skills and other times our perception about the western counterparts. I realized in order to stay fit and compete in the global market one needs to learn the art of projecting a great first impression.

I started my second career as a trainer with corporates and colleges and soon got myself certified as an Image consultant. I have now been in this business for 6 years. I work with colleges, corporates and individuals to help them enhance their image.

How do you see professionals in India being more conscious about their image? What do you think is the reason for the change?
I definitely feel that the professionals in India are much more aware of their Image than they used to be. People are willing to spend money and take professional help for things which were considered meaningless.

The reasons are umpteen- with every passing day, the World is becoming a smaller place. Thanks to globalization and economic transition, trade between countries have increased – which includes technical tie-ups, increased human interactions, exposure to multi cultures and customs. There is heavier and intense international and domestic competition. Customers are emerging stronger.

Today we have better technology, better people  and a need to create better First Impressions.

To connect with her directly, you can find her at @prachimishra (twitter handle)

(Pic Courtesy:Prachi Mishra Image Consulting)