Interview with Gunjan Bakshi
Gunjan always had a feeling that something wasn’t right. She had a great job in Mumbai but wanted something more. When she heard about Isprava, something clicked, she felt Goa could be exactly what she had been looking for all these years. A place that is well-connected, progressive and modern yet with the mood of a small, quiet town. Gunjan now works in our Guest Relations team in Goa where she interacts with prospective clients, provides great experiences for existing homeowners and renters and is super involved with everything we do in Goa.
Tell us a bit about yourself, how did you end up at Isprava?
I was working in different roles in the fashion industry for most part of my life. The last job was at Reliance Brands Limited where I was the Style Head for all the international brands under their umbrella including Brooks Brothers, Diesel, Steve Madden, Muji, etc. It was a superb experience with exposure to the best in the business. However, there was always a dream I held onto which was to be able to work in a place that I did not need to escape from, and Goa was the ideal fit – close enough to Mumbai, progressive yet with the mood of a small, quaint town and good infrastructure. Although I loved my work, being in Mumbai was taking a toll on that dream and with each passing year my determination to move out of the city only got stronger. Eventually, I made the bold move to graciously exit RBL after 4 years with the plan to move to Goa. I approached online sites, friends, Facebook groups looking for work but nothing seemed available until one day a friend said that he knew someone looking to hire in Goa. He put me in touch with an Italian man who sounded more Indian on the phone and we spoke about Isprava. I looked at the company website and knew that this was it. Not only was I mesmerised by their beautiful homes, but also the team looked modern in their approach. The shift from luxury fashion to luxury homes seemed ideal and the perfect evolution. One thing led to another and after 4 interviews I was hired. It was one of the best turning points in my life and I am grateful for it every day.
What is your role here?
I work in the Guest Relations team in Goa. This includes showing prospective clients what we do, providing a personalized experience to rental guests and many other aspects of maintaining a luxury home.
What is your favourite part of your role?
The product, the people, our homes are breathtakingly beautiful, while the company culture is warm and supportive. In my interactions with a variety of people across the globe, I get to foster kind and heartfelt relationships with some of them. But the absolute top one must be “working” in the beautiful, lush and vibrant environment of Goa with a team that is as eclectic as they are committed and hard working.
Tell us a little bit about the culture at the office?
Young, driven, intelligent, creative and embracing. We have an HBR group that is a weekly open forum encouraging new ideas, discussions, criticisms and lots more. Every meeting is refreshing and gets the mind churning as it is sparked by articles suggested by colleagues.
Were you always inclined toward the luxury space? If so, how do you feel it evolving in India now?
In retrospect, I guess I always noticed attention to detail and was naturally attracted to the finer nuances. Luxury is beyond the basics – when time and care is spent on the most mundane task, when there is mindfulness in all you do, that I believe results in luxury. A simple task like folding a shirt, if done perfectly, is luxury.
Are you more a beach person who loves the energy of Goa or the tranquil calm of the lush Nilgiris?
Goa is exceptionally generous. With every season she offers you a different mood to indulge in. The warm summer invites you to laze on the beach and cool off in the sea. The monsoon magically transforms her as nature comes alive all around and her winters are for cosy nights under the starry skies…sigh! This is after all the susegad state of India.
What does luxury mean to Isprava?
Luxury to Isprava is personalized and from the heart, always with a little surprise to delight.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
What are three things we will find on your desk?
Laptop, phone and a water bottle.
Vintage or modern?
Modern functionality with quirky vintage charm.
Favourite vacation spot?
A celebrity you would like to have a drink with?
I would love to have Tibetan tea with His Holiness, Dalai Lama.
If you could have a holiday home anywhere, where would it be?
I have one and I live in it.
Favourite TV character?
Two actually, Ari Gold from Entourage and George Castanza from Seinfeld – they both crack me up!