Golftrade catches up with author Mahul just after the launch of his book Decoding Luxe. He speaks on the book, his other pursuits, and new-love, golf.
Mahul is an author, a luxury commentator, an actor, a former Senior Editor and head of corporate communications and branding in a Tata Group company mjunction. He has won Ecommerce Communication Leader of the Year Award and Certificate of Excellence in Communications in 2017 and Young Achiever Award in National Award for Excellence in Communication in 2016. His debut film as an actor was selected and screened at 69th Cannes Film Festival.
He has just begun his journey in golf.
You have just taken up golf. What prompted you?
I have been following golf since my early days at St Xavier’s College -- mostly through sports channels and on weekends from the terrace of my old residence, which had a great view of a course.
When I was a journalist I was primarily based out of Mumbai. The sheer demand of the city as well of the profession, doesn’t really give you much time to follow your passions. And naturally the burn out rate is very high.
For golf, a very important element necessary for someone to take that plunge -- a culture of playing golf. I am lucky that this City of Joy and the Tata group have kept that that culture alive and thriving.
And last but not the least, thanks to golfers like Indrajit (Bhalotia) who have dedicated their life to the game, inspiring thousands like me to take up the game.The credit goes to him that my decade-old plan will finally tee off.
How has been the experience?
I am very happy that finally, after all these years, I am actually playing golf. I also must tell you that it is a new challenge every time you hit the course or the driving range. The game is very dynamic. It keeps on changing. A great performance the previous day doesn’t mean anything the next day. You start afresh every day. I won’t deny that sometimes it takes a toll on you, but that is precisely the challenge. It is a mind game. As Indrajit tells me that I should always remember that it is not about the highs but how you can better your lows.
Your debut book Decoding Luxe is published. Tell us something about the journey.
Being the brand custodian and communications head for the largest B2B e-commerce company is a very demanding job. So after work, whatever time I had was dedicated primarily to my debut book Decoding Luxe. It essentially explores various facets of luxury brands, which used to be a niche market, but only till some time back. As the realms of luxury and affordability fuse with common people, this book takes a strategic, behavioural, historical, experiential, demographical, psychological, dynamic, mechanical, and also a philosophical look at what constitutes luxe or dazzle.
It is a definitive guide to luxury brands in India for all stakeholders of luxury brands – owner, custodian, retailer, connoisseur as well as student – helping them understand and formulate, with a historical perspective, an effective strategy for conceiving, positioning, placing, promoting and pricing these luxury products. Decoding Luxe takes you on a quest through dreams, aspirations, contradictions, myths, royalty, and realities that shroud this very mysterious element called luxury.
The book has been well-received and praised by Mr Ratan N Tata, Mr Bibek Debroy, Mr D Shivakumar (PepsiCo India), Mr Sanjiv Goenka (RP-SG), Mr Harshavardhan Neotia (Ambuja Neotia), Mr Hemant Kanoria (SREI) and Mr Nirvik Singh (GREY), among others. The media has been very kind in its interviews and reviews as well.
Now that the book is published I have promised to dedicate that entire mindspace to learn and better my game.
Tell us a little about your Cannes Film Festival experience.
Cannes was a dream come true. For your maiden effort as an actor to be recognised by no less than Cannes Film Festival is an award by itself. I got an opportunity to briefly interact with Marion Cotillard and she was very sweet and happy that I was showcasing a regional film at Cannes. The best thing about the festival is how it has managed to cater to the glitz and glamour of the red carpet (Palais des Festivals) as well as to the films like our’sthat had no glamour (Court Metrage), and also to the purely business side of films (Marché du Film). It was a great learning experience and I look forward to my next opportunity to attend the festival with my next project.
Where do you see yourself one year from now – in golf and in your other endeavours?
A year from now, I plan to complete my second book, next film, executive MBA and PhD in Economics.
One year from now I see myself as a better player, getting into the rhythm of golf. Golf has become a journey for life, my good friend.