Business Today

Relationship manager

Mitra sees a business opportunity in improving interpersonal relationships at organisations.

Print Edition: May 17, 2009

The obvious option for a start-up for Chandradeep Mitra would have been an advertising hot-shop. After all, that’s a sector in which he’s worked for almost two decades. But this IIM Calcutta alumnus reckoned that it was time to push the envelope. “I feel there is a greater social need and scope for original contribution in the field of relationships than (restricting oneself to) advertising,” says Mitra, 44. Result? A venture that is all about coaching and relationship management. “There is a need for organisations to focus on better interpersonal relationships,” elaborates Mitra, who also has his wife, a psychotherapist, involved in the venture.

Mitra’s target audience will be mid-sized companies. His unique selling proposition is that organisational productivity can increase by improving human relationships and making them powerful. Mitra’s argument is that there are different professionals helping us manage or improve various aspects of our lives—like a chartered accountant for tax planning, a wealth manager for investment advice, a doctor for health and a personal trainer for bodybuilding. “But there is no professional support structure in India to help us in managing our interpersonal relationships,” says Mitra. 

Claim to fame: He headed Mudra Max and comes with almost 17 years of experience in advertising

Trigger to start up: In January, after a restructuring at Mudra Max

What’s keeping him busy: Eyeing a venture in coaching and relationship management

To find out whether a business model is viable or not, Mitra does what he calls the “NTPC” check. N stands for a Need in society for such an idea, T stands for the Talent to meet that need, P stands for Passion and C for the Contribution it can make. Mitra believes his venture satisfies all these criteria: There is a huge unmet need to manage relationships in society; he brings in the organisational experience and his wife covers the therapeutic side; the passion is evident on Mitra’s face (“I’ve quit my job to take this seemingly big risk”) and, finally, as he points out: “It gives me added satisfaction that I’ll be able to contribute to society.”

In the meanwhile, Mitra has shifted base from Mumbai to Kolkata to spend 6-8 months on devising content and the programme. And the man, who is waxing eloquent about relationships, is leading by example. “I have twoyear-old twin daughters. I want to be close to them. If I’m talking about relationships, first I must walk the talk.”

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