I am Rakhee Gupta, an Image & Etiquette Consultant. I help people become better versions of themselves through appropriate dressing, body language and etiquette. I conduct programmes on Corporate Etiquette, International Etiquette, Dining Etiquette, Finishing Programmes for adults and Etiquette Programmes for teenagers and children. Along with teaching the social graces, I also help individuals build up confidence and self-esteem, which helps in interpersonal interactions. Once learned properly, good manners become lifelong habits helping shape the personality and assisting in the overall development of the individual.
I started my career as a journalist, in the print and television medium. After working for about 5 years, like most women of my generation, I went on a break and ended up being a stay home mom for about 15 years. The years just flew by while I put in all my energies in my son’s upbringing. When my son was slightly grown up, I had more time on hand and the urge to take up something got into me. I spent about a year exploring various options and Image Consulting caught my fancy. I attended the ICBI in Mumbai and realised that etiquette was what interested me most. After some research, I zeroed in on the IEPAL in London and went to the UK for my etiquette training.
It was an extremely liberating experience to live alone in an alien city without any support, and study etiquette. The education broadened my thinking, and the experience boosted my morale a great deal.
My husband has always motivated me to go out and pursue my dreams. In fact at the birth of my son, instead of the mandatory jewellery, my husband gifted me a PC. He believed it would be my connection to the world while being homebound. Having technology at my disposal enabled me to stay abreast of everything that happened in the outside world and adapt to the changes as well.
It has now been three years of working and applying my learning, helping people adapt and present a better interpretation of themselves to the world. I was invited to the India Kids Fashion Week 2016, to train the children in posture and poise before the ramp walk auditions. I enjoy my work and the fact that every day is a different experience doesn’t let boredom set in.
It is my aim to create an awareness of etiquette. Most people believe etiquette starts and ends with table manners. That is not true. Etiquette impacts every sphere of an individual’s life, right from the way we sit, stand to the way we deal with situations. It is funny that etiquette is often a result of events that have taken place in history.
I also intend to inspire other women to go back to spending time and energy on themselves. I live by the adage that one is never too old to learn. Acquiring knowledge is a lifelong process, one that we can never have enough of. Change is the only constant, and we need to revise our thinking and skills to cope with the changing times.