Sourabh Sharma on Following Passions All the Way to Business Success

·5 min read

The elusive “secret” to success is something people have been in search of for centuries, from the Stoics to Silicon Valley execs, each generation has made attempts at ending the quest. Today, with an immense focus on self-optimization, monetizable passion projects becoming the norm, and the disposal of free social media transforming how we think about and approach business, the definition of success may have changed, but the desire to possess it remains paramount. But what if we told you it’s not so much about trying, forcing, or doing? What if true success, which includes a successful life (read: joyous), lies in simply following one’s passions—the things that set the heart on fire, and fuel the soul? Trailblazing creative and multi-faceted entrepreneur, Sourabh Sharma who has founded, consulted for, and runs a motley of companies in the travel, beauty, fashion, and digital marketing space, can attest to this firsthand. Rather than chasing status, this contemporary Renaissance man followed his dreams and as kismet, the opportunities sprang before him like wildflowers in a Wonderland—a nod to his favorite fictional characters. This of course, only happens when the path one is on, is in fact their own.

While it’s he soif de vivre that fuels his love for living, it is accompanied by an inquisitively analytical mindset. Through determination, pursuing and simultaneously nurturing his vast interests, which span the gamut of the modern arts, and an undeniable je ne sais quoi, he found himself aligned with opportunities. He believes that talent is equally distributed, but opportunities are not, and chose to harness them as they arose. To Sourabh, the grind and doing what he loves are not mutually exclusive.

A self-proclaimed “dreamer,” Sourabh’s affinity for the clouds, which perhaps formed from a childhood filled with international travel, has not hindered him; rather it has played an instrumental role in shaping his diverse day to day life. “My imagination is so wild and vivacious that I often find reality to be quite disappointing,” muses Sourabh, comically channeling these in daily conversations as if speaking in verse.

This very notion is what allows him to create and see the world from a unique perspective. Whether in his writing work, which started at Bon Appetit and transitioned to his own site 3FS Lifestyle, or in his own Digital, Creative and PR agency, FIG or out, he is able to combine innovative ideas with an artistic eye. Sourabh married his passion for history with a sensibility of scents when he forayed into the perfume space with Histoires de Parfums, now a part of the niche perfumery master house Europerfumes, bridging his vision as creative director with the digital and business growth expertise. Given his poetic propensity and ability to feel deeply, all of Sourabh’s work in some way plays with the senses, from sight to smell. The scents are often memorabilia carried from trips through Dubai’s saffron tinged souks, Paris’ macaron-to-cologne air, and Budapest’s marble clad natural hot springs. But when asked his preferred sense, taste is the clear winner—perhaps genetically, owing to his parents’ quest for the very same in all of their respective and collective voyages. From trying the street foods of New Delhi to Michelin meals of London, he developed a knack for identifying juxtaposed ingredients and juxtaposing cuisines, which boiled over from his review-filled website to a dedicated #foodporn Instagram simply called, @foodbysssourabh. This is a huge part of what makes the modern bohemian standout—that and his unmatched style.

From traversing through fashion weeks in Milan, Paris, and New York, Sourabh always had a keen eye for fashion. Amidst gorging baklava in Istanbul and guzzling tiramisu in Milan, he somehow managed to maintain a fitness regimen that allowed him to fit tailored blazers, leopard print silk shirts, and skinny jeans with snake print boots. A keen observer of fashionistas in the cosmopolitans he resided in, he found himself drawn to the people-watching, and acquired a unique, slightly over-the-top sense of style that lacks basics. This led him to being on the founding team of Print All Over Me, the world’s leading on-demand print fashion and custom clothing brand that creates diabolical clothing for A-listers and runway regulars alike. Collectively, this made him an institutional regular at fashion weeks worldwide. Due to his nearly insatiable appetite for travel, Sourabh looked to merge and monetize his penchant for exploring (something he’s a clear expert at), which led him to start Dot & Pin. The influencer-powered travel recommendation service caters to the finer and illustrious parts of travel, while finding hidden gems and supporting local hospitality businesses in a handful of cities. From opulent hotels to ambrosian delicacies, they are all in the frequently-updated service, and more in-depth narratives are available from Sourabh’s first hand experiences via his partnerships with luxury hotels.

Although Sourabh is best described as an aficionado of life, his areas of expertise culminate in a deep understanding of the behavioral trends of Gen Z and its predecessors, millennials, which is showcased in public presentations and whitepapers on the topic, one popular one known for notoriously calling on the decline of experiential marketing. He is the all-encompassing pop culture guru we didn’t know we needed. One cannot predict where the future will take Sourabh, as his choices are not only disparate, but idealistic, and often transform into opportunistic. His standout characteristic is that he seeks out the fun from his keen observations of people and daily lives across the world, making him an innate non-conformist. “Conformism requires a surrendering of intelligence, which I just cannot do,” he concludes, epitomizing it with matched vigor.

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