Neil Merchant

Intern - Assistant to CEO and Research, Trust for Retailers and Retail Associates of India (TRRAIN)
Mumbai, India

About Neil

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Bio

There are many stereotypes that describe me. To start with, an "Engineering student by fluke hoping to switch fields and try his hand at marketing", a "social media enthusiast who had dreamed of starting a social media marketing agency" back in college, even though I'm getting better at it by the day but I am "the Indian guy who fumbles while talking to girls" and the one closest to my heart, a "Gujarati who plans to conquer the world".

Along with tackling engineering problems, I have been a part of the organizing team of 14 events. Having explored various aspects of event organization like conceptualization, planning, publicity, designing, logistics, public relations, human resource, I finally found my calling in fundraising. In the last year, I had the opportunity to lead a team of over 70 college undergraduates and raise funds for three national level events. The team was successful in procuring a record amount for two out of three events, missing the third's highest total by a small margin. The total budget of the 3 events was a little over $ 200,000. Post my tenure as the fundraising head, I have been experimenting with a few aspects of marketing, currently working on product development of a home decor company and I am loving every bit of it.

Life has been an interesting story till now, from having grandpa as my first tennis coach at the age of 4 to assisting father at his workplace, now at the age of 21. Have "lived" four cities and had a slice of a few more. Looking forward for the days to come, the knowledge to gain and experiences to cherish. In the meanwhile, trying to improve the world, in Mumbai's metric for space, "one square feet at a time".

Languages

English, Gujarati, Hindi

An idea worth spreading

Life-long personal growth: One of the major concerns of our times, according to me, is that the learning process has a deadline associated to it, the end of school. The best formulation of this issue is made by the statement popular known as the "Peter Principle", which proposes that "the members of an organization where promotion is based on achievement, success, and merit, will eventually be promoted beyond their level of ability". Self education and hence personal growth is not a distant dream. With the advent of the internet, amazing resources are at our disposal, usually free of charge, like the TED talks. The major problem to address is the attitude, which could possibly be changed for the better if the issue is given a 360 degree solution, covering our schools, our workplaces and even our homes. A lifelong pursuit for knowledge will definitely lead to more fulfilling and productive lives, creating strong foundations for our civilization for the future generations to build upon.

I'm passionate about

Creativity, be it advertising, designing, science, journalism, management, music and even food. To me, it is the pulse of the world, without which, there is no reason to be alive, save love.

Talk to me about

Ideas which make things better. And by things, I don't just mean spacial ones, it can be as simple as lightening up the mood. Hanging out, music, movies, television shows and books often do the trick.

People don't know I'm good at

Singing, well, most of the times. Can give a good fight on the tennis court. Love spending time with family, but more than that, having fights with siblings.

My TED story

I made my acquaintance with TED talks through a niche group of students in college who organize TEDxBITSGoa. Being part of the team for two years was one of the most thrilling experiences I've ever had. It exposed me to on-ground management, be it logistics or marketing(I served as the Marketing Head for a year) and most importantly introduced me to the world of TED. In the beginning, watching TED talks didn't seem to have any visible advantage, a good conversation topic, nothing beyond that. But with it's inclusion in one of the courses (a course on entrepreneurship by a visiting faculty, Dr. Minet Schindehutte), I started seeing their relevance in a new light: self education, leading to personal growth. Since then, I have started utilizing TED talks to supplement my other courses as well, usually giving a deeper insight into the topic and it's relevance in today's world. TED, I feel, is a brilliant initiative and if used more often in schools will change the way we look at education.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

0ab442d311a3a25b2671e6fffe057f112cff0b29 50x50
Neil Merchant
Posted 4 months ago
Barry Schwartz: Our loss of wisdom
A beautiful talk, what the speaker presents is the true challenge, knowing when to make an exception to a rule, finding the balance between rules and freedom to improvise. A talk worth watching at least twice, once to get the idea and the second to make the notes!
0ab442d311a3a25b2671e6fffe057f112cff0b29 50x50
Neil Merchant
Posted 6 months ago
Parul Sehgal: An ode to envy
Well there was definitely something we should ponder over, the only emotion which can perhaps make us overcome envy is admiration. Which is a beautiful suggestion as admiration is a highly positive and constructive emotion to have.
0ab442d311a3a25b2671e6fffe057f112cff0b29 50x50
Neil Merchant
Posted 6 months ago
Imogen Heap: "Wait It Out"
Don't judge her on the basis of this talk, she has a lot of better songs like First Train Home for one. Also, she has done a really good track for The Dewarists (Minds without fear), do check that out.