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.



he ultimate dream for many people is being able to turn your hobby into a career. In many ways, this dream has led to the passion economy, the latest rage in the Silicon Valley and among creative freelancers across the world. Monetising a skill allows creators to turn their passions into viable ventures, while consumers get access to a wider variety and more creative products.

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!

Share this post:


Be kind to yourself. Don't over think things, just do. Work with people who bring a skill to the table that you don't yet have.

Rajat Mendhi


Chat with Ada, our AI powered bot

Adaptiv People: Adithya Shreshti
A firm believer in building one's niche by specialising in something 100%, Adithya Shresthi shares his amazing journey from finance to being a pioneer in India's No-Code Makers and Creators community.
Adaptiv People: Ryan Chadha
Ryan Chadha shares his career path from investment, trading and cryptocurrency to pre-school education, which might seem unusual to most, but is the perfect example of a future-ready professional.
Adaptiv People: Rajat Girhotra
From Electronics to Product Design, Rajat Girhotra’s journey is unique, yet not so different from those who find themselves leaving one career, for something in which they have no formal training.