Meet Subhobroto, A Successful Failure
"My overnight success took me 1065 unsuccessful days"

1065 Misfires

It all started with misfires, failure & anger.

A few decades back dad said, “I don't see much future in you.”My school teacher told my mom, “Your son is weak in all subjects!” This marked the onset of a list, my failing list.

After College

I applied at National School of design (I was a born painter). Still failed. Applied at Jamia Millia University for  Mass Communication at Delhi & Rabindra Bharati. Successfully failed to even get selected. The security guard at Mudra didn’t even allow me to get in with my CV. Trikaya Gery( Now Grey worldwide ) liked my portfolio but rejected as I did not hold any professional degree on design. A dozen internship misfired. Worked 3 years in a design studio as an intern with only a promise of payment. They stole my design and never gave me recognition. I left them with anger. But Lady Luck had no intention to show up. Misfires continued. But I was shameless and kept on trying all avenues. In those days I couldn't afford business magazines so rented second-hand books from stalls on the footpath. These were my sole source of inspiration. In one of these, I found 200 CEO’s addresses and details. To get one single attention I sent them my coloured print out creative CV (Cost me a fortune in those days). None replied back. Lost self-confidence & hope. Found strength, to try again.

My first job

Managed my first job as a Designer cum Visualizer. Found hope. My second boss was kind to give me a job in marketing. Got promoted 6 times in 5 years in that company. Found my path. But soon I realized, I   had knowledge gap & was not future ready. The knowledge search began. Landed at IIM Calcutta. The late Subrata Sengupta (Ad man. Author. Academician. Our IIM’s Professor Subroto Sengupta, ex-CEO of Clarion Advertising) was kind enough to take me in his brand management course at half the fee as I couldn't afford food and residential fees in those years. Found a teacher. This incident changed me, and my perception forever.

My good, bad and the ugly bosses ( Read horrible) :

There is a saying, “Damaged people are dangerous, they know they can survive”.

I found more Horrible bosses than the good ones. That actually helped me. It was a blessing in disguise, to be frank. They tried to break my confidence & underestimate my knowledge power. There is a saying “ They try to bury me, they didn’t know I was a seed”. Thus, Found growth.

Tried to move to Mumbai for the next 7 years. Successfully failed, but at last got a chance to visit Mumbai for a month (as a brand manager to study markets ) & fell in love with this city. Over Stayed for 6 months and went back to Calcutta.

‘Life in a Metro’


By that time I had realized Mumbai was my place. Mumbai taught me three things.

  1. If you have a skill you have a future
  2. If you want a future, sacrifice first
  3. If you sacrifice you win here


Mumbai took many things.

My savings pushed me hard, cornered me, even took my settled jobs along with recessions which were quite a blow on the face.

Meanwhile, Mumbai was kind too.

It gave me many great men who are still my mentors, well-wishers & friend. I once met Anurag Batra in a lift for 4 minutes. He gave me his business card. I texted him later and he replied too. Found a mentor. I was then an unknown marketing recourse of a sinking company. He never treated me like that, instead, he started inviting me to all his marketing conferences.

Three things I learnt in Mumbai

  1. Industry stalwarts are kind & and approachable, I leveraged this opportunity
  2. Avoid transnational relationship, people will remember you
  3. Never ask, offer help. You gain respect fast

Anger is good, so are rejections & misfires. Only you have to be a little shameless and ignore them.

At last out of anger, foundations for my own company was laid.

I was working hard out of anger all of my life. In the end, I created jobs for a dozen. Anger motivates you to keep moving forward.

Misfires build you. Never stop firing!

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