Sourabh Sharma is the Paradigmatic Entrepreneur of the New Decade

by Thomas Herd

Eudaimonia is an ancient Greek term originated by Epictetus and popularized by Aristotle. This concept connotes a deep holistic sense of fulfilled happiness, not merely a multitude of sensory pleasures. Eudaimonia describes the type of flourishing someone can only experience after they have spent ample time cultivating their various passions and unifying them under one ruling principle.

Sourabh Sharma is the paradigm of this ideal, in life and in business, precisely because of his comprehensive emphasis on finding the perfect mélange of passion and perseverance. While Sharma puts a high premium on hard work, he puts an equally high premium on nurturing his interests; Sharma does not believe that non-stop labor equates to boring drudgery. In fact, he knows from experience that, with a little self-awareness, grinding and doing what you love are not mutually exclusive.

In his personal life, as well as in his many professional undertakings, Sharma’s passion for poetic living compels him to find and embody Eudaimonia. Sharma settles for nothing short of excellence in each and every aspect of his life, but this is not what sets him apart from all of the other entrepreneurs who have high standards. Sharma’s success is unique because it was not fully intended; he follows his passions, reinforces his interests, and invests in himself as opposed to looking for the next best endeavor.

As counterintuitive as it may seem to the uneducated eye, Sharma did not actually set out to have a plethora of projects in the fashion, apparel, perfume, travel, food,digital marketing, and journalism spaces. Sharma was able to become successful in multiple industries that interest him precisely because he followed his dreams, instead of chasing status and success. Through a true mix of skill, wit, and self-awareness, Sharma has found himself in the position he is now. His life is less a result of a carefully calculated plan and more a serendipitous happenstance of honest inquiry, timing, and an ability to provide value at all stages of a project.

As the founder and CEO of an abundance of companies, all in distinct industries, Sharma’s joie de vivre epitomizes the Eudaimonic project. By following his heart and looking to live a complete life, Sharma found himself in the position to work on endeavors that align with his personal passions. His holistic enthusiasm for life is so strong, one could almost describe it as soif de vivre.

Throughout his childhood, Sharma lived in eight countries, including but not limited to the USA, the Netherlands, France, Italy, India, the UK, and Tanzania, his place of birth, which he shares with Simba of the Lion King, amassing plenty of worldly tastes. Having boarded a plane before his senses had even formed at 2 months, perhaps breathing plane air and the scents of duty-free perfumes and spirited lounges were his kryptonite to fuel an addiction to travel. Being privy to a plethora of global experiences at an early age, Sharma easily garnered a wide array of distinct interests of an international flare.

From being a toddler who knew the word decadent while his peers were still mumbling ‘yummy,’  Sharma’s penchant for food was obvious to many, even if he was oblivious to it. Perhaps his family’s joys of blending pomegranates into veggie burgers or taking Turkish daal recipes and adapting them to Indian lentil soups made his palette privy to experimentation. Topped with growing up in multiple cities, it was not uncommon for Sharma to start the day with a breakfast of rice cakes and black beans in Tanzania and to finish the day with a dinner of sizzling cottage cheese in whiskey tomato sauce in India. This led him to eventually channel a creator’s spirit with food pornography and a food blog as a side passion from his corporate avatar; Sharma would go on to freelance with Bon Appetit briefly before breaking into his own as a food critic. This still includes reviewing Michelin star bites, introducing the likes of superfoods such as moringas, turmerics, and dragonfruits into mainstay dishes, or trying that one authentic biryani from a small shop in Dubai, almost lost in the glitz of the modern world. The desire will take him there, with a vicarious appetite to wander and wonder.

An institutional staple at the prime fashion weeks of the world, namely New York Fashion Week (NYFW) — as well as its less couture but more effervescent counterpart New York Men’s Fashion Week (NYFWM) — Paris, London,  and Milan, all of which were former brief residences, Sharma’s air mileage often reads like a phone number. Sharma captures these escapades on his fashion Instagram with a keen observation of style, and the vibrant energy of the sought after after-parties. With a capacity to still maintain skincare regimens and impeccably styled wardrobes, the curious creatures with elaborate bowties, polka dotted sunglasses, and rawsilk leggings perched atop metallic sneakers, all spurred a dormant design aesthetic in him. This led him to being on the founding team of Print All Over Me (Instagram), a print on demand business which now boasts of over 100 silhouettes in edgy new designs.

His early experiences in different countries with varied traditions sparked his love for alluring aromas, captivating cities, and cultural cuisines. If Sharma was asked of his favorite senses, he would undeniably say taste, what with a penchant for having pop rocks and wasabi in ice cream. This is however followed by smell. Notwithstanding an allergy to gossip and superficiality, he often picks up on subtle notes of clove and chocolate, or patchouli leaves with dew drops. Which eventually led him into dabbling with the fragrance world with a perfume brand. His foray into fragrance with Histoires de Parfums (Instagram), licensed for distribution and growth in North America, grew further with Europerfumes. He now spearheads a plethora of different brands giving them a distinct voice, feel, and penultimately driving their commerce to viability in a market that is catching up with the niche perfume experts of Europe.

Travel is integral to Sharma’s soif de vivre and what led to him to founding Dot & Pin (Instagram) an influencer powered travel recommendation service. He was inspired to start this service simply because he did not have the bandwidth to respond to all of his friends asking him for specific things like the best ramen in the Lower East Side or the finest vegan matcha in West Hollywood. The platform, as such, curates these lists and more for travelers who are seeking illustrious experiences versus overpopulated touristy ones that are prevalent on the likes of Yelp, Tripadvisor, and such. Adding his personal touch, as Sharma always does, he still spends time as a freelance travel and lifestyle influencer, primarily for luxury hotels. With a multitude of interesting stories to tell and valuable advice to give, Sharma started his blog where he writes about his experiences, the lessons he has learned, and the state of the world.

The consultative nature of his ability to impact a variety of verticals, Sharma has always had a natural ability to be in sync with the pulse of Gen Z and millennials. In yet another starkly distinct world, corporate life, Sharma has often been praised for his ability to understand and market to the customer. As such, he has several white papers published about ethical beautysustainabilityemotional intelligencetravel, and influencer marketing as well as has been a keynote and presented at corporate conferences to inform companies, large and small, about content marketing, marketing to and targeting millennials and gen zsustainability, and the responsibility of influence. The demand for his insight, harnessed from his corporate experience at agencies, but with clients ranging from the large Unilevers to startups and midsize E-commerce businesses trying to cut the clutter, led him to build FIG or out (Instagram) (a pun on “Figure It Out”). All the way from influencer marketing to social promotions, this uses the analytics of algorithmic digital marketing to measure the success of and conversions from marketing campaigns. His rather controversial and challenging views on why ‘experiential marketing is dead‘ and the pet peeves of Gen Z, which are a 180 degree turn from traditional marketing, have been met with much acclaim.

While many people feel trapped between the lesser of two evils of selling their soul to the corporate world or following their passion at the expense of economic security, Sharma welded the best of these two options together. Any aspiring entrepreneur would do well to emulate Sharma’s motto of “follow your heart, but take your brain with you” as well as his overall approach to a Eudaimonic lifestyle. We are excited to see what 2021 has in store for Sourabh Sharma.

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