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Guest Blog: Nurturing Hobbies with Work

With a background of Finance, I started my innings as a sales and implementation associate working with clients across 3 cities on corporate banking services, which inspired me to consider the consulting avenue. After a few years into the sector, I decided to move forward and started working as a consultant with a cross-section of Government, private and nonprofit clients across different domains. After 2 years I got an opportunity to work for Flipkart in a corporate strategy consulting role.

Almost 3 years into e-commerce, I recently aligned my passion with my work profile by taking over the sales & marketing function for books & hobbies categories. I have been an artist and an avid reader since childhood and this brought together the things that I cared about the most, in a very rewarding way.

Being an artist on the side, I love to experiment with multiple mediums - I recently discovered an old demonetized 500 rupees note in my closet and painted an artwork using it as a subject. It’s true what they say, inspiration can strike in any form!

A large chunk of my inspiration lies within pop and mural artwork and fortunately for me, I got the opportunity to sight umpteen number of amazing murals by famous artists like Eduardo Kobra, Sipros, Duda Penteado, et al during my recent travels. I even volunteered for a couple of mural artworks in Brooklyn and Harlem earlier this year and made some amazing friends through our shared love for art. My sister, who is also a pop artist on the side, loves Roy Lichtenstein and Malika Favre's works, which are also my favorite and has become our beloved topic of conversation.

New York City became a big inspiration for some of my recent paintings, especially the cityscape that inspires you to capture the shades and moods of the people and features that symbolize it.

For me, a good way to get inspired is to read. And I read. Voraciously. Sometimes it's just impossible to put down a book! Being a fan of thriller and young adult genres, I remember reading Jackdaws by Ken Follett, Exit West by Mohsin Hamid and Jeffrey Archer's Tell Tale, in a single sitting. With reading, came in the love for writing short stories and poems that finally led me to pen down a story blog couple of years ago. Partly inspired by real events and figments of my imagination, there’s a story that I might like to publish as a book someday.

Cooking, among other things, has been a soothing hobby for me while travelling began when I took a sabbatical to visit North and Latin America. I like traveling to destinations with a deep artistic and architectural heritage. Cartagena in Colombia is so far my favorite destination - every house is painted uniquely and with creative color coordination, in harmony with its natural surroundings, which really inspires me to contribute more and share my art. Eastern Canadian cities such as Quebec and Levis with its silver-tinner roofs and spires amidst perfectly manicured gardens was another one of my favorites.

Lastly, let me close with my office wear clothing choice. I prefer simplicity through clean cuts and semi-formal layering that worked with both my offices. From corporate banking to e-commerce, the workwear options have undergone a change of sorts as the latter is quite relaxed in terms of office wear. I have a lot of polo tees, boat neck tops and linen pencil-fit pants in my wardrobe as I attach a lot of importance to comfort and hence most of my formal wear clothing is linen fabric-based. Trying to add more comfortable options into my collection, I am looking forward to adding more versatile clothing.


Namrata Saigal Manrai

Namrata has 7+ years of experience across Corporate Banking, Strategy Consulting and E-commerce - in organizations such as Flipkart, KPMG, Citi. She currently manages Book and Hobbies category at Flipkart




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