Kunika Rathore is a Young Woman Entrepreneur, the CEO, and the Founder of The Unknowns agency. She has years of experience in the Marketing & Advertising industry with top organizations like HogarthWW, Ogilvy, and Grey.
Kunika has served some of the most renowned Fortune 100 & 500 brands in the world like Apple, Bose, Emirates, Unilever, and Google. She is a speaker & mentor at FICCI, The Brood Incubator & Entrepreneurship, Research and Incubation Centre (Delhi University). She also runs a podcast to help people with their basic mental day-to-day issues at – “The KunikaRathore audio show”.
She started The Unknowns Agency with the idea of creating two ways of communication/interaction where the consumers can interact, connect or talk with the brand to learn and share the experience to help them improve for better with the help of technology and creativity.
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Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Kunika Rathore: I am glad to be a part of this.
It’s my father who brought me to this specific career path. I was a professional dancer before entering this industry. The dance company where I worked as a professional dancer, I was also developing their website and taking care of their social media. One day one of my acquaintances saw me working on that and really liked my work.
He told me that there are interviews happening at his workplace and I should go and give the interview. I said no because I was happy with dance and that’s what I wanted to do for all my life but he told my dad as well and he forced me to go for it. So I did and got the job and here I am today.
Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up?
Kunika Rathore: Giving up has never been an option for me because I love what I do and I know there is always a way, it’s just I am unable to see it.
Of course, hard times are the vital part of entrepreneurship from the very beginning and for me, there were plenty of them which included us being new as a company, I being a woman, and with that being young made it a perfect trio. When I enter any room for business, people used to look at me before they listen to me but I was well prepared for all of it. I made sure once they listen to me they end up talking about my skills, knowledge, or what I can bring to the table.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons you learned from that?
Kunika Rathore: Yes, mistakes are always funny when you remember them but not when you make them. So, my mistake was not trusting the people I hired to do the job and trying to do everything on my own or telling them what to do. And it did keep on happening until one of them literally called me out on this because he was my friend.
I mean, of course, I have to tell them what to do but at the same time, I need to let them bring their ideas and creativity to the table and share a different perspective. You never know they might end up with a better idea. They are the experts of that subject or work and that’s why I hired them.
Has the pandemic and transitioning into mostly online shopping affected your company positively or negatively?
Kunika Rathore: There have been more positive than negative effects on our company as we are more into design and advertising which plays a major role for digital and more and more individuals and businesses are turning into digital nowadays.
What Is Leadership Today? Situational Tools to Help Enhance Your Power
What is most important to your organization—mission, vision, or values?
Kunika Rathore: I think all the three are interconnected to each other in some ways. If you have one then you have all of them but I personally give more priority to values as our values are more about our employee’s well-being. Treat your people (i.e. employees) like your family. If you take care of your employees then they will take care of your mission and vision. I believe If you have a good team then you have a growing business.
What do you consider are your strengths when dealing with staff workers, colleagues, senior management, and customers?
Kunika Rathore: I am a people person and it’s something that I know better but I genuinely believe that patience and empathy have been the major strengths for me so far and every leader should have that.
What have you learned about personal branding that you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Kunika Rathore: So, I don’t just talk about the work I do, but also about the mental issues that we face in our day-to-day life. It took me a while to understand that I should share what I learned without thinking about whether someone needs it or not. You see there is always going to be someone who would be standing at the same place where I was, and looking for the answers for a lot of questions that I too had in mind for once. I never had anyone to guide but I have to make sure they have me.
I just need to talk and let people know about my story and how I was able to pull it off all alone with my great team.
How would you define “leadership”?
Kunika Rathore: I define leadership as parenting. I treat my company and my people like my children. I teach them, protect them, love them, sometimes give them some tough love and at the same time sometimes prepare them to fight with the world and make a name for themselves and the company.
What advice would you give to our younger readers that want to become entrepreneurs?
Kunika Rathore: When you enter any room for your business, especially when you are a woman, people will look at you before they listen to you. Make sure once they listen to you they end up talking about your skills and knowledge and what you can bring to the table.
You being young is a power in itself but you need to find what you have that can turn it into a superpower. Be a people person, treat your people (i.e. employees) like your family. If you have a good team then you have a growing business.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Kunika Rathore: It’s a line from a song of Avicii, that is – “One day you will leave this world behind, so live a life you will remember.”
Usually while trying to achieve the goal we often forget about why we are doing this and start to focus on the day we achieve our goal.
This line made me realize it’s not the goal that you should focus on but the journey towards it. Every day is important and you should make it worth living. Just don’t live for that one day but live every day.
Larry Yatch, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Kunika Rathore for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Kunika Rathore or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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