Offbeat: Sahil Chopra – The childhood bully who could be a motivational speaker

Adgully’s special feature section – ‘Offbeat’ – seeks to give a glimpse of the lesser known facets of our very well-known industry leaders. We present, in the industry leaders’ own words, an interesting read on areas that are not usually highlighted in regular media coverage – be it about their childhood days, secret skills that they possess, how they unwind from their hectic schedules, and much more. 

Sahil Chopra is the CEO and Founder of iCubesWire, a digital marketing solutions company which help brands acquire and retain clients through web, mobile, email, Videos, Rich Media and so on. He is a highly motivated and adaptive digital marketing professional and Internet evangelist with an expertise in Internet Strategy development and execution. Chopra has over 9 years of experience in digital marketing across multiple traditional and emerging channels. 

Chopra completed his engineering from PTU and pursued an MBA from Symbiosis. Thereafter, he started his career with NIIT – Global E-learning Services, where he was exposed to the concept of digital marketing. Prior to joining iCubesWire, Chopra was associated with Hong Kong Tourism as Head - Digital Marketing. 

He is a fitness enthusiast and is passionate about cycling and driving. He believes that whatever one does, one should do it with a lot of passion and ethics. 

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How were you as a child, and which childhood trait do you still possess?
My childhood was like a typical notorious next-door boy, who is touted as the ‘don’ in the neighbourhood. The ideal among the kids and a bully in the eyes of the elders! If you came visiting me during school, I would either be standing outside the class for creating ruckus or would be found bunking with my friends. Besides the fact that my teachers hated me, I was born with the bug of curiosity and was an inquisitive child. These qualities have very much stayed with me over the years and are a part of my personality even now. 

Which superhero did you look up to as a kid and why? Which superhero power you wish you possessed?
Honestly, I wasn’t a superhero admirer. Unlike, the other kids of my age, I didn’t idealise any fictional character. In fact, what inspired me were qualities of real people, whom I encountered in my day to day life. I was a non-serious person who was clueless about the future and would love to get invisible like Mr India and do anything that I would like to. 

What is your biggest fear and how do you face it?
I am extremely close to my family and friends. Just like many of us, I fear losing them from my life. I dread the hollowness and void that will be created when a situation like this occurs and I wish to not face it ever. 

A skill you possess that no one knows about?
I have a strong sixth sense to be able to read people’s character. I can judge people basis their body language, way of talking, etc., and touchwood! I’ve always been correct regarding my judgement. This skill is positive in many aspects, but you certainly miss out on the surprise elements which are revealed about a person over time. 

What would one find in your playlist?
It would be a playlist of extremes. On the one hand, there would be gym songs that’ll pump me up and boost my mind with enthusiasm and boundless energy, while on the other hand, there are slow songs of Lucky Ali and Jagjit Singh that are soothing for the mind and relaxing for the soul. 

Which is your go-to activity to relax?
I am an ardent sportsperson who’ll play golf, squash and visit a gym at least six days in a week and that is exactly my favourite pick for relaxing as well. Besides sweating it out at the gym, I like to irritate my wife and my six-and-a-half-year-old kid with lame jokes, vicious laughter and nonsensical talks. (Somewhere down the line, I think they like it too!) 

What is the greatest lesson that you have learnt from life so far?
There is one thing that I firmly believe in, which is, whatever we think is difficult, is actually not. You know what the most difficult part is? Convincing your mind that it isn’t difficult. There is a certain notion we build in our minds and if we can overcome the hurdle of the mind, the task is already half done. 

Another truth of life is nothing is permanent. It is a vicious cycle of on-going change and we tend to move from where we were. 

What is that one social cause that you are most passionate about?
Frankly, there isn’t one to be named. I believe in giving away to the best of my abilities whenever and wherever I can. Besides being active in giving away charity at orphanage, old age homes, etc., I like to extend a helping and give away gratitude to anyone, be it my house help, colleagues, strangers, friends and likewise. 

What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself?
My drastically escalating levels of OCD. I am sceptical about the timings, extremely particular about the cleanliness and tidiness of things around me. Under the garb of being organised and structured, I tend to become over-structured all the time, which becomes uncontrollable and embarrassing for the people to bear with. 

If not the CEO and Founder of iCubesWire, what would you have been?
I’d say a motivational speaker. I have a knack of giving gyaan to people and thankfully, have received praises for it. I don’t give boring lengthy speeches, instead relate every bit of what I speak to my personal instances and club it with a few jokes. This technique is highly appreciated by the others. So, yes, I would’ve loved to be a motivational speaker whom the audience would love in return. 

What are the three apps on your mobile that you couldn’t live without?
While there are too many of these, 3 of the primary ones would be, Zomato - for my anytime Punjabi hunger pangs, Make My Trip – for helping me plan my next trip which is every now and then, and of course, my Outlook – a new age professional can’t do without it. Right? 

What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?
‘Motu Patlu’ cartoon. Surprised? The credit goes to my son who loves watching it all the time. The interesting thing is when he is watching it, all of papa’s gifts conveniently take a backseat and it’s like a curfew situation at home. (It’s not just him; even I remember all the episodes by heart now). 

Two things about this industry that you don’t like or don’t understand?
I don’t think there is anything that I particularly dislike or don’t understand. There are nice things about this industry, like it is youth-driven. It is an industry of young people bursting with contagious energy and brimming with brilliant ideas and that is what I love about it. Everyone is out there hoping to grab a bigger share of the pie, making it competent and raising the bar every time. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
My first choice would be Lucerne, the beauty of which cannot be described in words. Each time I visit Lucerne, I am left spellbound with the serene surroundings, picturesque mountains, and sumptuous eateries. (Checks MMT for another trip right away!) Another place would be London, my brother’s home-town. My brother and I share the deepest bond and I would be delighted to stay with him in London.

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