Sowmya Iyer is the founder and CEO of Clarity Communication, a public relations (PR) agency, and Bell Jar, an education and training firm. With more than 23 years of experience in the PR industry, she has contributed significantly to her diverse clientele in a highly competitive environment. Throughout her career, Sowmya noticed a recurring gap between what PR agencies promised and what they delivered to clients. To bridge this gap and provide a better understanding of clients’ needs and deliverables, she established Clarity PR.
Sowmya’s journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur was not without its challenges. During her senior year of high school, she decided to pursue arts major, which surprised everyone around her. Despite low expectations, she excelled in her board exams and even achieved first place. Her impressive performance secured her a spot at Miranda House, where she was exposed to the elitist crowd of Delhi University. It was a significant change, and Sowmya struggled to adjust, but this experience helped shape her personality.
In the years that followed, Sowmya worked various jobs, including selling credit cards and working for Child Relief and You. It wasn’t until she met one of her neighbors in Bangalore’s bustling market that she stumbled into the world of PR. Her neighbor ran a PR agency and offered Sowmya a job, which she eagerly accepted. From there, Sowmya moved from one PR agency to another, climbing the corporate ladder and gaining valuable insight into the business. She learned what needed improvement to satisfy clients and understood the elements of the industry.
However, despite her success in the corporate world, Sowmya felt unfulfilled. She noticed favoritism and lobbyism, and despite her hard work, she always felt lacking in the eyes of her superiors. Sowmya believed she was squandering her potential and decided to take a risk and become a freelancer.
Choosing entrepreneurship was a challenging decision, especially since Sowmya had no support system. “There was absolutely no reference point or anyone to look up to. I had to start literally from scratch – financially and mentally. People I spoke to at the time dissuaded me from taking this step and nobody had an encouraging word. My undying spirit was in no mood to listen to the naysayers and I decided to hear my inner voice. I took a plunge just like that only because I had immense belief in myself, and was willing to take a risk. Today I will say that the gamble has paid off and I have only bigger dreams to scale now,” tells Sowmya remembering the start.
Sowmya’s undying spirit and belief in herself paid off. She has successfully established Clarity PR and Bell Jar, and her work has helped her maintain long-term relationships with her clients. Her relentlessness in producing high-quality work has set her apart from her competitors, and her entrepreneurial success has become an inspiration for women who aspire to become entrepreneurs.
In the four years since starting her business, Sowmya has taken significant steps to be a beacon of hope for women aspiring to make their mark in the business world. Her journey showcases the importance of believing in oneself, taking risks, and pursuing one’s dreams, even in the face of discouragement.