An Actor, An Entrepreneur, A Model and a Former CEO Come Together to Break Down the Simplicity Behind Success in the 21st Century

By Vasundhara Dudeja in Events 19/03/2019

Talking about success is in itself a broad term, and when four multi-faceted women come together to derive the meaning out of success, it is bound to left one spellbound from their journeys and take home a deeper enriched meaning of the term success.


Caught at one of the most dynamic panels of ROAR 2019, was a panel discussion that revolved around this very topic of Success with Kubbra Sait, who got recent acclamation for her role of ‘Kuckoo’ in Sacred Games, Gabriella Demetriades, a model who transitioned into an entrepreneur to find her own clothing line DEME, Prerana Langa who has recently stepped down as the CEO of Yes! Foundation and Suhani Parekh, the Founder of MISHO Designs who is also referred to as Designer with a Global Outlook by Forbes India.


Meha Kapoor, Gabriella Demetriades, Kubbra Sait, Prerana Langa and Suhani Parekh


Their journeys started in different circumstances and yet, they all ended up in a path that suited them the most. Delving deeper into their twisted pathways to passion, was Kubbra Sait. Having recently floated into the wide world of fame through Sacred Games, Kubbra revealed the lesser known story on how she landed up where she is. Kubbra’s journey started out in the Corporate world, after a management college. Like most people, her definition of success was simple, you get a good paying job, you pay back your loans for the money that has been invested on you and you get married and move on.


“If you belong to a middle-class family, this is the economy of being successful. There is no emotion to be successful, just the economics to be successful.”


And then something in her triggered and she slowly started adding emotion to her work through Emceeing which later lead her to take a calculated risk; a leap of faith to come to Bombay.  As Kubbra said, “I said to myself, If I move to Bombay, where I don’t know anybody, I am gonna give myself, six months, I am gonna move with savings, and if it does not work out according to my plan, I will go back to working again with a formal company or a corporate job. But thankfully, the emotions and the drive to be successful, to follow your dreams was so high that I didn’t have to go back to another corporate job.”


Kubbra Sait


While Kubbra’s was a calculated risk, Suhani’s passion which led her to ultimately find one of the highest regarded millennial design brands worn by the likes of Kendall Jenner, Rihanna and many more, MISHO Designs, actually began with an accident. What started as a formal education into Art through a toss of a coin, soon became her desire to bring Contemporary Art beyond just study subjects and topics of discussion.


“When it comes to art, there is so much you can talk about, but I wanted to create something that you can live with. I made these tiny little things and weird looking sculptors that I would wear, and every time I would wear the piece people would be like “Oh My God, that’s so cool can you make me one?” And that just kept happening.”


Suhani Parekh for ROAR 2019

Suhani Parekh


On establishing businesses in India, Gabriella Demetriades, transitioned from a model to an entrepreneur to establish her own clothing line DEME by Gabriella. Her initial experience, as opposed to the general air of difficulty in establishing a brand in India, was actually quite the opposite.


Embarking upon the ease of doing business and the ups and downs of facing problems as a woman, Prerana Langa, who was the founding member of YES! Foundation, said, “It is not only being a woman that you get these ups and downs and a lot of downs, but it’s also just a part of life.  everybody says “Wish you happiness” and you assume that your life is only going to be happy and then suddenly when you get the punch you’re like “Why me?”, “Why did I get this?”


Prerana Langa


Prerana started out as a management graduate with high hopes of big brands and big salaries as a pathway to success, however, after many years of experience in her work life, she traces back her steps to the initial days and says, “It is not about big brands and names. It’s the exposure and the experience that you get what you take it and you make the most of it.”

With social media guiding many people’s lives and drowning them into incompetence and loss of regards for their own life, the term success has slowly taken a diverging path.


For a person whose career demands her to be on social media a lot, Gabriella says, “I have seen this trajectory where we live our lives off the expectations of social media, and it is an unrealistic universe that has been created out there and it is very easy to get lost in it.”


The panel proceeded on how though social media has been a great platform for people to glorify their own successes, find more business but in recent times, it has created an undue pressure on people to feel that if they are not achieving something at that point, their lives are not ‘quite there’.


To this Suhani says, “It’s not who you are, it’s what you do. If you achieve something incredible, then great, but if someone else achieves something great as well, you should appreciate them as well, clap for them in the inside. People are not  their Instagram page, they are humans and they are not your competition, they are contemporaries.”

According to Kubbra, her social media is not about the struggle that she is facing but the experiences that life is making her garner. “There is this glory that we put to this world struggle. Why do we put ‘struggle’ on a pedestal? It’s your journey and your journey means you win at something, you lose at something, you fail at something, and everything adds up to the human being you are. Eventually, your career becomes a part of your human existence and your career does not define who you are.”


In the midst of a world that seems to be spinning off its axis in the pursuit of being the most successful, what about mental health?


When Sacred Games happened to Kubbra, the joy, which was her dream, drove her amiss, and that was the time when she spoke of the counsellor.


“When you’re feeling your best, speak to a counsellor because it is proven that 99.9% person counselling works when you’re in a position to appreciate the person trying to help you.”


“Sometimes, when you feel like you need a day off, regardless of how hard it seems, take the day off!” says Suhani on maintaining her sanity.


Maintaining sanity can sometimes mean giving yourself time, to go back to your roots and rejuvenate in the being that you are. As Gabriella says, “My strong characteristic is to not get lost, and keeping my ground on where am I actually. I feel like having to pull back now and then to keep my sanity”

Depression is something that can hit anyone or anybody regardless of their backgrounds, their relationships or their work. Dealing with depression is like dealing with success, it’s just something that comes to you. We are a generation of anxious and worrisome people, and we have to stop to not let that one toxic thought consume us.


Ending it on a note that every millennial in the pursuit of success ought to know was Kubbra with a piece of advice that moved many. “When somebody says they are not up for it, don’t tell them that “It’s gonna be okay”. It will not be okay until it feels okay. At that time the person just wants to hear is “I am there for you and we’ll go through this together”


Vasundhara is an in-house content creator. Other than past experiences of writing including writing as an Intern for The Hindu and various other platforms, she is also an engineer, a dancer, and a bibliophile.

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