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Offbeat: Sahil Vaidya – Witty views and aggressive music

Adgully’s special feature section – ‘Offbeat’ – seeks to give a peek into 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 Vaidya is the co-founder of one of India’s fastest growing design and digital agencies – The Minimalist. Being one of the youngest founders in India, Vaidya co-founded the company along with Chirag Gander during his final year at IIT Bombay and had a tough task at hand balancing both studies and a young, growing business. The Minimalist started as Facebook page that addressed social issues in a witty and thought provoking manner and went on to gain massive recognition on social media in a short span of time. Consequently, The Minimalist started its journey as a design and digital consultancy that has now grown to aid brands in brand building, design and strategy, marketing communication, digital marketing and interaction design. 

An avid writer, Vaidya was known for his humorous and witty content since college. He continues to write on the public platforms like Quora and LinkedIn. In addition to his love for writing, Sahil enjoys playing the drums and is an ardent traveler and public speaker. He is regularly invited to share his thoughts at numerous industry forums and is a 3-time TEDx speaker. 

A precious childhood trait that you still possess?
Since childhood, I was naturally inclined towards making people laugh by being sarcastic and saying things that didn’t make even the slightest bit of sense. I’m glad that hasn’t changed one bit. 

Ever wished you had superhero powers?
Every time I watched a superhero movie in my childhood. Until I got bored of them and finally accepted the ultimate truth of human frailty. 

What is your biggest fear and how do you face it?
...That a lizard will be on my bed when I wake up. There’s really no way to face it other than lining up my house with a million eggshells and reaching out to the Gods every night. 

A secret that you have which no one knows about?
Wish I could use this question to subtly brag about my Water Polo Bronze Medal from 3rd grade, but unfortunately nothing like that has really happened. 

What would one find in your playlist?
30+ GBs of songs from various sub-genres of metal. Basically loud, abrasive and (mostly) aggressive music that my neighbours can complain about till early morning! 

Your go-to activity to relax?
Going for a swim. Or a drink. Or both together, actually. 

What is the greatest lesson that you have learnt from life so far?
That wisdom can be attained only by reading books and not regurgitating banal Steve Jobs quotes throughout the fiscal year. 

A social cause that you are most passionate about?
Educating the masses – I think that’s the only way to awaken the sleeping giant that India is. 

What’s the one thing that you would like to change about yourself?
Probably improve my attention span. Because it’s all too easy to forget about what’s going on and start thinking about possible restaurant options for the evening. 

If not your current designation, what would you have been?
There’s no way I can answer that. It’s just too hypothetical and I was really quite a pleb back in the day. 

What are the three apps on your mobile that you couldn’t live without?
Uber, WhatsApp and LinkedIn. 

A content/ film or book you saw or read recently and why?
I read books regularly. The last one that I read was ‘21 Lessons for the 21st Century’ by Yuval Noah Harari. I’ve been fascinated by his ideas and can’t wait to see how advances in IT and biotechnology are going to create an inflection point in the history of mankind (that is, if I can survive till then). 

Which two organisations outside your own do you know the most people at and why?
One would be GEM Engineering Services, a company that was founded by my father a decade ago and has now grown to over 250 people. The second would be ICICI, since we have been engaged with a lot of their group companies. 

Two things about this industry you don’t like or don’t understand?
The way some companies decide to completely dishonour contractual obligations – it is extremely detrimental to the business ecosystem. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Seems like India for now.

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