My Dream Of A PHD In Communications: Premjeet Sodhi


It has been a rollercoaster ride for Premjeet Sodhi, Sr. Vice President, Intellect, Lintas Media Group. He welcomes change and has experimented with many different roles along the way. Some have clicked, whilst others failed. Here, Premjeet takes us through the maze that he calls life.

"Born in Nagpur, Premjeet has fond memories of being beating up by his sister and elder brother. "I even remember the days when my brother would return after giving an exam and sit with my mother to discuss his paper and she would always turn to me and ask, 'are you going to pass?' I have always been an average student throughout my life."

"With my father working in the bank, our childhood has seen many transfers to various places. I completed my electronic engineering from RKN engineering college in Nagpur. Just as most youngsters my age, I too harboured a desire to go to the United States for further studies. To boost my chances,I knew that experience in teaching would be an advantage. So, I became a lecturer at RKN engineering college.

I've made a few wrong moves in life

"My first visit to Mumbai was for my US visa, and I left the dream of going abroad far behind when my visa was rejected. Later, I sat for the competitive exams and cleared quite a few of them and finally got into IRMA (Institute of Rural Management Anand). After completing my management from there, I joined Gujarat State Financial Service at Ahmedabad. But, on realizing that it was too risky a business as the burden of any default would come on me, I decided to opt out of it. Then was the time to do a SWOT analysis and I found that my analytical skills were my biggest strength," says Premjeet.

"So, choosing marketing research as a favourable field, I moved to Mudra Advertising as an associate project director in the ICRG branch for two and a half years. I found no scope for growth in Ahmedabad and therefore moved to Mumbai in 2000."

"Here, I joined hands with MRUC and worked with great names in the industry like Roda Mehta, among many others. I was later guided by some senior friends of mine who told me that I was fit for rural media, so I applied to O&M and Lintas and luckily got through both interviews, but ultimately joined O&M."

"New enterprises always charmed me and the dot com boom caught my fancy. I joined Tangent Software Pvt Ltd. But the company wound up in no time and I was without a job. At this point, I took complete time off from work and just did nothing for a couple of months.

I returned to MRUC as a consultant and later became the Technical Manager. In 2002, I joined Lintas Media under Partho Ghosh, though I did not get to work much with him. But thereafter, Lynn de Souza has been my driving force. She has been an extremely good guide and philosopher and has helped me gain a completely new perspective.

Mine was an arranged marriage

My wife Simran, a dentist had come down from Amritsar to Mumbai to be with her relatives. It took us only 15 minutes in our first meeting to decide that we want to spend our lives together. Since my marriage, life has been great with my wife and my three-and-a-half-year-old son, Rajveer.

I was absolutely numb when Rajveer was brought to me

No one can really prepare you for the day you become a father. There is a strange feeling of numbness and all that you can do is just wait and watch. When I held Rajveer for the first time, I was aghast! I really did not know what to do. And, nowadays, all that I hear from Simran is, 'you don't love me, you only love Rajveer.'

I surprised my wife with a trip to Goa

I've have been slogging away and have not really been able to take off for any planned holidays. Last year in September, I took Simran for a holiday to Goa as she has not seen much of the West. One day prior to her birthday, I asked her to just pack her bags as we were off to celebrate her birthday in Goa.

Though we go to Punjab quite often, we hardly get time to go anywhere else. My trips abroad have been to London, New York and California. The best place to see was Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon.

As such, I don't have a dream destination, but I do wish to undertake a voyage to Darjeeling, Imphal, Kerala and the Himalayas some day.

I don't miss my wife as far as food is concerned

I am a typical Punjabi when it comes to my appetite. I am game for any kind of cuisine. But, yes, I am biased to non-vegetarian food. Staying alone for 6 to 7 years, I had even started experimenting in the kitchen and seeing the time consumed, I started channelising all the effort in making non-vegetarian dishes. I am a pretty good cook, so much so that my wife leaves making some dishes entirely to me. I love Chicken Mumtaz, which I make following recipe books. Otherwise, Tariwalla chicken, chawal and rajma chawal are my favourite dishes.

Other than that, I once went for a light Chinese meal of Dimsums, which one can eat unlimited. I remember this meal as the food was awesome.

I read only when traveling

Reading is part of my profession and I keep up with it. I hardly read one or two books in a year. Presently I am reading The World is Flat and Freakonomics.

Sundays were reserved for early morning movies with my son

I am fond of English romantic movies which include, A Walk in the Clouds and One Fine Day, among others. There were days when I used to take my son for movies every Sunday morning and it used to be great fun watching him getting ready in the morning, all excited.

I am a cautious shopper

I am an essential part of any shopping routine, purely to hold the bags. I am a reformed husband now. With time, I have learnt to like shopping. I value need and don't go in for anything which is not necessary. I mostly prefer branded stuff.

Hidden secrets

I love photography and sketching to a great extent. The last sketch I made was of my wife and my son, when my son was very young. I used to play the violin when I was young, but its been over 10 years since I even touched the instrument.

I always wanted to learn different languages and my dad's transferable job helped me in that. Urdu is one language I want to learn at length. I wish to read my dad's Ghalib collection.

Something that makes me go green with envy is the word "Dr" that precedes Simran's name. So, it is my dream to do a PHD in communication and have the "Dr" tag too.

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