“My time at FLAME taught me to be fearless, chase what I believe in and be myself, unapologetically,” says alumna Pranjali Kulkarni, who is a sum of all those parts and then some. A Business Development Executive with one of India’s top digital firms (FoxyMoron), a writer who is making her mark with readers through her handle ‘The Story Uncut’, someone who is at ease when closing deals with luxury car brands as she is working on projects with transgender sex workers and volunteering with an NGO that inspires budding women entrepreneurs (Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Karnataka); here’s Pranjali’s story uncut.
Pranjali’s passion for writing began early as she penned poems and realized the power words had to connect with people. For her, writing was also an honest way of expressing herself. “It made me observant to cues that people don’t express in words but through body language. It also enabled me to be more empathetic towards myself and people around me,” she says thoughtfully. Today she has realized that the benefits of writing spill over in her professional sphere as well. According to her, marketing is the art of connecting with people through something they need or aspire to in life. Its connections she builds, as a writer too, through her handle - The Story Uncut.
Pranjali started her Instagram page to archive her thoughts and feelings without censoring or hiding the difficult and uncomfortable narratives. Voicing her feelings fearlessly is something she has been doing since her time at FLAME University where she pursued her BBA (Marketing). While she was specialization topper for the Class of 2018, it was her Minor in Journalism that drew her to the program. “The fact that I could study journalism along with other subjects was a huge motivation. It also allowed me to intern with the Times of India and get several stories published. It inspired me to start my Insta handle,” she says.
But there’s one project Pranjali undertook at her university that left an indelible mark and sparked much introspection. “My team of all girls began exploring stories of Transgender sex workers in Budhwar Peth, Pune. Before we entered the space, we were excited about doing something different and courageous. But soon we were humbled by their stories, fascinated by their hospitality, and realized the privileges we have through their struggles,” she adds emotionally. Her internship with Nightingales Medical Trust when she was chosen Youth Representative on World Elder’s Abuse Awareness Day was another eye-opening experience.
Learning from each of these experiences, Pranjali has grown to be an assured individual and professional, who follows her heart. After her BBA, she pursued her MSc in International Business from the University of Warwick but turned down a job offer in the UK because she believed it wasn’t the right one for her. “I am happy with the path I have chosen for myself. As a Business Development Executive, you have to be at your A-game with every piece of communication. It is a demanding, challenging role where you need a lot of self-discipline. I follow my fitness routine in the morning and work on my book before going to bed every day. Your career is your journey and only you can decide how you want it to go. Make your own mistakes but take your own decisions and build your path to success,” she ends with poignant words of advice.