Adaptiv People: Rajat Mendhi
Rajat Mendhi, once an advertising executive tells us how he went from juggling meetings in the corporate world, to following his passion and hosting gorgeous picnics with a unique menu created by him.
Rajat Mendhi is a brand strategist who ditched his career in advertising to follow his love for food.
Armed with a degree in Mathematics and an MBA, Rajat initially chose the 9-to-5 model and worked for over a decade for leading advertising agencies in Bombay, before taking a step back to reevaluate his career and life.
What made you change your career and choose this new career path?
When I was growing up, I overheard a conversation my dad was having with my older cousin about work and career paths. He, I think, was quoting Confucius, when he said :
“Most of us have two options: we can either do work that helps pay for the things we love doing or do the thing we love and never feel like we’ve worked a day.”
At that time, I did not quite understand what this meant. I knew I loved food, cooking and feeding people, but I also thought it was a hobby. And how do you make a hobby a career? (Note: It was the 90’s!)
Cut to January 2015, I had been working for 11 years in advertising and achieved reasonable success. I still loved food, cooking and feeding people, but this love just felt deeper now. Over the years, every time I thought about food, cooked it, fed friends and family, I felt like I was in love with something that I never gave myself a chance to pursue. And what my dad had said all those years ago, suddenly made sense.
Instagram and Social Media made it harder for me to avoid facing it, because I saw all these incredible people doing incredible things with food and their love for it. This just made it harder to not give my love a chance.
Did you go through any training before you made the change?
In June 2015, I took a break from work and went to Le Cordon Bleu, London to study and deepen my understanding of food. I knew it was a place where I wanted to study, from all the books I had read and conversations with friends. The course for me was not just training in the culinary arts, but also a test to see whether this was something I was serious about. And it was..!
Bombay Picnics, a food venture focused on serving tasty childhood memories, was born in 2019.
From pop-ups at events across the city, to regular picnics and curated events, Bombay Picnics was soon quite a rage in the city.
Even though the pandemic has thrown a spanner in the works, and slowed down the F&B industry, Rajat has no regrets. An eternal optimist, he has used these slow months to experiment in his kitchen and come up with a host of new recipes, while successfully running Bombay Picnics from his cloud kitchen.
Any last words…?
Rajat strongly urges people to follow their passions, but not without ensuring a sufficient financial runway!