Dancer, drummer, teacher, entrepreneur Paul Paul adorns all these feathers with ease. A deep rooted passion for music and dance and an inherent acumen for jewellery business prompted Paul Paul to start his ventures The Paul Paul Academy of Music and Dance and CJ Artisan Boutique. Read about this young achiever and his journey.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before choosing this field?
I was born and brought up in the cultural capital of Kerala, Thrissur completed my school from Hari Sri Vidhya Nidhi, graduated from St. Xavier’s College. Right from my childhood days I had a deep rooted passion for music and dance. I used to learn drums from a very small age and have played for few musical events. This passion for music and dance gave me thoughts to join the prestigious Berklee College of Music, USA. Here I had the opportunity to go to Ghana and learn about African music and dance. After returning from Berklee College I went to do Family Business Management course from S P Jain College Mumbai.
Coming from a business family, the challenges and the opportunities of starting up a venture were not new to me. While in college along with my friends we cofounded Tag Muse a platform for artists to promote themselves. We had won prize for the idea from IIM(A) which was the first round of funding the company acquired. However it had to be dissolved when the partners moved away to bigger responsibilities.
After studies I came back to my hometown and realized the opportunities this town laid in front of me. In order to get a foothold, I joined my dad and started helping him in his jewllery business. I started managing the store and also brought in some innovative trends to our showroom, Chiriyankandath Jewellery.
However the zest to start something in the field I love gave birth to The Paul Paul Academy. Here we teach competitive salsa, drums, fitness dance, hip hop and more. We have several batches of children and adults who have joined us for various classes.
Coming to my second venture, CJ Artisan Boutique is an artistic jewellery store. The concept gives importance to design and makes unique set of ornaments for the customers.
How did you land up doing what you do now?
The Academy sprang just out of my passion for music and dance. I started teaching students dance forms which I was able to master initially. Seeing the response I was thrilled to introduce more classes and dance forms.
I had started The Rhythm and Movement course for children between the age group 4-12 for mind and motor coordination as well as for extrovert and introvert streamlining. This course became one of its kind in Thrissur and even in Kerala. Our salsa classes are the most talked about in town and we have several batches spread across the week. Our students also won accolades at the State and National levels in various Salsa competitions. A noticeable achievement was when Kerala came 2nd in the National Latin Ballroom Championship when 17 of our 20 students won prizes. I am right now planning to organize for the first time a State level All Kerala Championship for students to participate so as to screen them for national level competitions.
The jewellery concept was born when I saw my wife struggling to get designer pieces for the wedding. This made me realize that there is a change in trend in the jewellery business where customers are moving from being price conscious to design centric. This motivated us to open a store to sell unique, handcrafted jewellery pieces to customers who value design and authenticity. My wife is equally involved in it and we have been very happy with this decision of executing it.
What keeps you motivated?
Regarding the academy kids and learning from them always keeps me motivated. You have to be on top and need to upgrade yourself all the time.Regarding the jewellery variety, niche and the culture behind the jewellery business keeps me going.
How do you plan to stay ahead of your competitors?
Find you own niche. Never copy or emulate.
If not the current profession, what would you have been?
I would have never worked under someone for sure. So the only option was to do business.
Was your family supportive of what you are doing? What impact have they had on your life?
Family has been very supportive of the dance school. They were infact my first students.
However dad was skeptical of the jewellery business as he was himself an expert in the field. His generations have been into the traditional jewellery business and was very successful. So my concept of designer boutique for jewellery made him a little wary.
What are your plans for the next 2 years?
With regards to the academy, do what I am doing now. Upgrade and reinvent. No plans of expansion.
For the jewellery venture we plan to take it to the international market and attend as much exhibitions as possible.
What does a typical day at work consist of for you?
During work breaks I travel around to break the monotony. During working days, morning I spent at the jewellery and evening I am occupied with the classes.
Any regrets till now? If yes, will you like to share it with our readers?
Not at all
If you were given a choice of meeting any person you want from your field, who will be that person? What will you ask that person?
The person would be none other than my grandfather. I am so thankful to him for the space where I was able to start both my ventures. I would also like to thank him personally for giving us an amazing foundation and structure financially as well as for a well-knit strong family.
Any message that you want to send to your readers?
Whatever you do, find a niche and work on it. This gives you less competitors and competition and you can spent more time in betterment.
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