IN CONVERSATION WITH GREESHMA THAMPI, INDIA’S LEADING IMAGE CONSULTANT
Image management in India is still at a very nascent stage and that is why not understood completely. Nevertheless, the power of image management cannot be denied. More and more corporates are availing this service for their employees esp. senior management as they realize how important it is for their people to project a winning image which is so essential in this cut-throat world. Not only corporates, but individuals too are becoming aware of the need to manage one’s image to have a better pesonal, professional and social life.
Today, we speak with Greeshma Thampi, one of India’s leading Image Consultants who has experience in providing her service across industries like banking & finance, education, media, healthcare, manufacturing and consulting. She tells us about her current projects while also giving us dressing tips for this summer.
Over to her…
How would you describe what you do?
As an Image Consultant I help people present and conduct themselves to the best of their ability. We work on the ABC of Personal Branding i.e. Appearance – Dressing and Grooming, Behaviour and Etiquette, Communication and Body Language. Given that each person is unique, image management takes into account individuals goals, roles, personal style, physical attributes, personality and values. I am an MBA with 3 years of Corporate experience in Human Resources. As an extension to my management education, work experience and people skills I am extensively focusing on Corporate and Group Training Programs. I conduct “Executive Presence” Workshops across industries helping companies develop their “Employee Brand”
What education, schooling or skills are needed to do this?
Since Image Management is a science, one needs to go through extensive training in the subject. There are programs available in India and abroad. I highly recommend getting certified in Image Management if one wishes to pursue this career path.
Where did you train?
I am trained at the Image Consulting Business Institute (ICBI) under the curriculum of Ms. Judith Rasband who is one of the senior most Image Consultants in the world.
What is a common misconception people have about what you do?
When I started my company close to 4 years back, people were absolutely unaware of the concept of “Image Management”. Therefore, I always had to explain to them what I do. The awareness has increased over the years.
How is image consulting different from styling?
Image Consulting is about the individual. The individual’s roles, goals, lifestyle, personal style, body shape and colour suitability. As Image Consultants, we look at the bigger picture. We use resources like clothing, grooming, communication skills, etc. to help individuals reach their potential and achieve their goals. They are able to do so by presenting and conducting themselves to the best of their ability .
What is the most common mistake Indian men and women make with their wardrobes?
I think one of the most common mistakes I see around is people following trends without realising that it may not be appropriate for their body shape. For Example: Indian women are known to be heavier on their lower body. Still I see a lot of Indian Women wearing anarkali’s , stretch and skinny denim as well as hosiery churidaars with short kurta’s. Similarly Indian men with heavy midriffs have been opting for slim fit shirts and low waist trousers that are not meant for their body shape.
What is the one key item we should all be investing in this summer?
- A comfortable and flowy maxi dress is my favourite pick for the summers.
Who all do you provide training do? Tell us a bit about your current projects.
In the past 3 years I have been fortunate to work with some of the best names across industries like Banking and Finance, Education, Media, Healthcare, Manufacturing and Consulting. I have conducted programs for all levels of employees for companies like Reliance, Deloitte, Oberoi Group, Religare, Tata Group, Crompton Greaves, to name a few. I am also associated as Master Trainer with Femina Believe Learning Academy (Times of India Initiative) I am Faculty with the Image Consulting Business Institute (ICBI)
How do you see professionals in India being more conscious about their image? What do you think is the reason for this change?
There is a growing consciousness among professionals about their Image. Main reasons are as follows:
- Increase in competition – With India being the youngest country in the world, there is growing competition at every front. One needs to stand out and hence can leverage by managing their image
- Globalisation – With the world shrinking we are interacting with people across the globe. Hence we need to be more professional in our approach. We need to make our mark felt across geographies.
Do you offer image consultation services to aspiring actors and models? How does it help them?
Yes we have consulted actors in the past. We have helped them perfect their screen tests, to communication skills, body language as well as consulted them on the appropriate styling.
What’s next for you?
I am focussing on corporate and group training programs. And I hope to create a niche in the space of consulting and training for Companies in India and abroad. Since this industry is at such a nascent stage, one never knows what opportunities may unfold. So I am open to any other interesting opportunities.
We wish Greeshma good luck for all her future plans and we’re sure, with such a strong persoanlity and focussed mind she will be absoloutely rocking !