I am pretty sure, you all must have seen and have heard stories about rich kids who live a fantastic life and doesn’t have any struggles. However, not every kid with a silver spoon in the mouth is blessed as others; there are few kids who choose to go all out by themselves and make their career the way they want.
This time, I got in touch with one of the most humble personalities I have ever known. He is one of those who chose not to rely on his family, rather, chose to hustle and overcome every single barrier in his life.
Riches To Rags And To Riches
Born and brought up in a small town in Assam, Bokakhat, Raktim belongs to an orthodox family who is into hardcore business since the pre-independence of India. Even though Raktim was from a very rich family, his childhood was completely different.
“I was born in a rich family. My Dad is one of the most educated people in my hometown and has a great reputation. It’s not just the business but we also had huge farms spread across acres of land. Things were really going well until the family partition happened . My dad was in his mid-40’s and he had to start a new journey from scratch again. That phase was really tough; we were not a wealthy family anymore. I saw my mother keeping account of every single penny to run the family.
I was a kid, and I was confused. The only thing I knew was that all the privileges we used to get before the family partition wasn’t there anymore. I wasn’t used to that budgeted and cost-cutting lifestyle. Everything was gone at the blink of an eye.
But when I saw my dad working day in and day out to build his kingdom again, I was pumped. Even though I was apart from my cousins, and other family members, I was learning to face the hardships life throws at us. I am grateful to my parents for this; the way they made me strong to overcome hurdles is just incredible. That phase taught me a lot.”
It wasn’t just the family hardship that Raktim was going through; he didn’t have a great school life too. He was an average student and not an important one in any group or activity — be it studies or sports. However, Raktim has moved past all of that and today, he is living his millennial dream. And this time he is not blessed; just like his parents, he has also worked unabatingly to do something remarkable.
Raktim co-owns a unisex clothing store in Guwahati — “This&That” and he is also a co-founder of Hanghatik North East, Mumbai, a creative organisation which works on social issues related to North-East people, promote events, and artists across India.
The Ignition Phase
A commerce graduate from the Guwahati University, Raktim was little sceptical about pursuing a career in commerce. Rather, he was more interested in the world of media and entertainment. “I had this tiny creative soul inside me and I used to question myself what I am doing and what exactly I want to do,” said Raktim.
Raktim is also a hardcore music lover and during his initial days of graduation, he got an opportunity to explore that world of DJing. “I love music. Especially, musical gadgets and electronic instruments; they always make me drool,” said Raktim.
Being such a music lover, Raktim decided to take DJing lessons alongside his studies. But it was not something he wanted to have as a career, rather it was a start of something which later took him one step closer to his zone of work — media, music, films, and events.
Upon completing his graduation, Raktim moved to Mumbai to study Film, Music, and Media production “It was hard for me to convince my parents to let me pursue my further studies in Media, as we are a family who means only business or a government job. But my parents later understood my urge of going for this,” Raktim added.
“Surviving in a city like Mumbai was really hard. I had a minimum monthly budget which used to gets over by 2 weeks. The struggle was real.”
As time passed and as soon as Raktim finished his studies, he started working in a studio in Mumbai as an Asst. Sound Engineer and Events Coordinator. His life was taking a significant turn. He worked on/with some of the reputed companies, biggest brands, and projects till 2014 in Mumbai.
“The ignition moment for me was when I was working for an International artist who was touring India for one of the biggest music festivals. When I saw how the entire thing of even management works, I was intrigued and realized that Event Management is my thing,” said Raktim.
In 2009, he co-founded Hanghatik Northeast Mumbai. Hanghatik Mumbai over the years not only curated events in Mumbai to promote the artists and talents of Northeast India but also created a whole ecosystem where people from Northeast and Mumbai came along together and bonded. Also, Hanghatik has been voluntarily working to offer active assistance to the people of North-East India in Mumbai.
We all know that nothing good in this world comes without struggle or hurdle; every person has to go through a tough time, and Raktim was no exception. By the end of 2014, his father was facing some major health issues, and he had to pack and leave Mumbai. But Raktim had some real staying power — he was still working day in and out on what he started back in Mumbai.
And today, he is the Head of Events and Program of prestigious and biggest events like North East India Festival — Bangkok; North East Festival — Delhi; Colours of Northeast — Mumbai; and Rongali — Guwahati. That is not all, he also manages many renown national and international artists under the banner of Hanghatik.
My driving force is that tough phase of my childhood and my parents. I want to achieve things through real struggle. Easy money never influenced me.
My brother, Siddhant actively handles my business — This&That, the unisex clothing store. And I am really grateful to him. It is because of his support, I am able to travel and work around the country and abroad.
Also, I have started a business with him and a friend where we rent out equipment for events.
A Korero With Raktim
Tell me about the current scenario of the Events and Entertainment Industry in India?
Events and Entertainment Industry has a lot of opportunities and contributes to the economy especially in metros like Mumbai and Delhi. But when we talk about North East India, even though we have the talents, equipment, manpower, the industry is not booming. And it is not only because of the economy but also the mindset of not giving much importance to this region. The budgets are low as the recovery of the budget is a huge task; not everybody wants to buy tickets and attend an event.
However, many young talents from the North East work in Mumbai, making North East India proud; be it in sound, film production, fashion, animation, VFX, the talent from North East India is making a huge impact. I would like to urge the youths of North East to explore this zone if you have any interest in Media Events and Films. It has a great future.
How challenging it is for you to manage all your ventures
I work 10–12 hours, every day! After my daily office hours, I handle my clothing and other work engagements. I have literally invested almost everything that I have earned in Mumbai on my clothing outlet and we have been working really hard for this. Also, I travel almost every month to 4–5 cities for my own projects. It’s a huge challenge to work in an office and handle business.
However, I still manage to go through my day with a smile because the workplace is like a family. The leading couple, Mr Shyamkanu Mahanta & Mrs Anita Deka Mahanta are the heart soul of the company. I would like to thank both of them for giving me an opportunity to work for the mega projects and allowing me to grow as an individual. I have learnt and still learning from them. I am also grateful to a few of my friends and loved ones, who played a great role, supporting me throughout my journey.
Do with think amid all the ventures your personal life is getting hampered?
Trust me this is where I am failing! Lately, I have realized that I am not able to balance my professional and personal life quite well. My parents keep complaining that I am not giving time to them. And I accept that! But this phase is crucial because I am doing all of these only for them.
Where does Raktim see himself a couple of years from now?
On a beach bed in Honolulu, sipping coconut water without having work stress! Trust me on this; I do crave for it sometimes!
A Word Of Advice To All Young And Aspiring Entrepreneurs
Don’t run behind money, don’t drool over easy money, respect everyone, stay humble, and hustle hard!