By V. Venkat
My journey with Life Positive began in 1996 when Parveen Chopra, the founder editor, called me to join the marketing team. I had absolutely no idea about the whole New Age concept on which the magazine was based. Adityaji, our chairman, had to explain in great detail about the concept of body-mind-spirit wellness to me during the interview. It was nothing short of hara-kiri for me to leave a well-established publication like Mid-Day and join a budding magazine based on an ideology that was subject to ridicule from the mainstream media. But I loved, in fact thrived on, challenges and took the plunge. It started as a New Age movement 20 years ago, and today I take immense pride in LP’s standing in society. Today, every mainstream medium has a section dedicated to spirituality but it is so gratifying to know that LP has been the pioneer. I am happy to boast that we have become a Bible for New Age to all and sundry.
I remember how tough the first six months were. I was handed a list of 11 ‘probable’ advertisers. We had to go out and look for healers and therapists. What a distance we have covered! In retrospect, it wouldn’t have been possible without the team effort that we all put in. It never felt that I was working for a company but for my family – of course, we were thorough professionals yet we all got along so well. We had our fair share of difference of opinions but never a sense of insecurity or competition amidst departments or within teams. I fondly recall how we (the marketing team) were cheered when leaving for a client meeting, and were welcomed back with hot lunch and the whole team waiting for us. It is so different from any other media organisation where the marketing and the editorial staff are accommodated in separate buildings.
That was, and still is, the strength of LP. We are a group of people who are dedicated to the vision and mission of our chairman. Thanks to him for bearing us all through, and also for supporting us during our period of distress and pressure. It is not easy for any publisher to bear the brunt of so many ups and downs for 20 years consistently. A niche magazine like LP has survived because of his vision and mission. We were very clear from the day one that we will only promote the positive aspect of every person or modality coming to us. In the process, we unearthed thousands of healers and therapists, and were the stepping stones to the illustrious presence of so many gurus and masters.
Today, our editor, Sumaji, is called to moderate events like the HT Summit as a representative of New Age spirituality. In my opinion, alternative medicines received integration into mainstream thanks to LP’s endeavour. AYUSH merely existed; we blew life into it. Today, AYUSH has its own central ministry!
Even in my personal life, LP’s concepts sustained and helped me sail through tumultuous times. I gradually turned into a mature decision maker, a calm and composed person. When the going got tough, Mr DR Kaarthikeyan, our President, who has been like a godfather to me and my entire family, stood as a rock of Gibraltar behind me, and kept the steady stream of motivation flowing. I am grateful to all of them.
The biggest lesson I learnt here is that money is not everything. Had I not been with LP, I would have jumped several jobs, yet I stuck to it for 20 long years. More than anything, what rules my heart is the emotional attachment with Life Positive.
V Venkat is director, Life Positive and senior VP, Corporate Affairs, Worldphone India Pvt Ltd.
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