Ishaan Prakash. Truly one man up. Stoic. Brooding. With a quiet sense of purpose… till he opens up! And then he is just a whole lot of fun. A barrel of laughs and yes! He’s got a few moves for the ladies but I am going to let the single ladies discover those for themselves 😉
For the young men out there he has just the tricks for you too to be One ManUP. And lucky for you, he is happy to share!
I met Ishaan at the Beach House Project in march last month at an idyllic week long residency in Fort Kochi. You can read about that trip here. One week together can get a bunch of people quite close quite fast. And that is exactly what happened. The next in the series of Effortless Friendships is my friend Ishaan. Read on to find out more about him.
What did you study in college?
I studied Architecture at the University of Liverpool in the UK.
What made you pick architecture?
Architecture struck me like lightning post reading Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead. I was always inclined towards the creative arts since childhood – be it sketching, painting or constructing make-believe structures out of lego.
What made you give up architecture?
The amount of creative liberty we were predisposed to in the UK brought along with it quite a work culture shock when I decided to work in India. Sitting for 12 hours in an office, in front of a computer and taking orders from someone I didn’t know, was most definitely something I wasn’t built for.
What led to ‘One ManUP’?
Post quitting jobs at two of the best firms in India, Chapman Taylor and Archohm I realized something obviously wasn’t right. I resigned myself to a month of introspection (amidst all the chaos of fulfilling my “ supposed “ duties, I never got the time to stop and think). I decided to play on my strengths, which were not contrived and something I would happily do 24/7/365 days of the year. Those were – writing and speaking – essentially communicating.
I started writing a manuscript with an idea that had been tossing around in my head for a while – I completed the book in 1 month and 18 days. I named it ‘One ManUP’. It was a fictional piece about the evolution of a male protagonist over the course of 30 years. Next thing I know I had built my own website for Men’s Styling, and I was operating it like a machine with new content day in and day out. Before I knew it, ‘One ManUP’ very organically turned into India’s first Men’s Styling Service.
How did you come up with the company name – One ManUP?
As controversial as it may sound along with the immense scope it carries to be misused, the idea behind One ManUP was pretty straight forward. It stood for men wanting to level their game up in any area of their lives. When they had done the needful and put in their due diligence to level up, they had evolved into a Man higher than their former self. Hence, One ManUP.
What is the objective of One ManUP?
The primary objective of One ManUP is to make fashion, looking good, and self care accessible to the average man. By average I don’t mean bad. I’m average. But the endeavor to want more is something that makes us extraordinary. Fashion & Self care as an industry is still very much considered for the elitist. I am going to change that. You don’t have to break your wallet or give up 2 months of your life to improve yourself – but you do have to put in the work to see what life has to offer you – so much more than you see right now.
What is the main issue facing young men you think?
Lack of awareness. I would love to be proved wrong, but men are either too careless when it comes to themselves or too cautious of it. One ManUP doesn’t strive to just improve you aesthetically, it challenges your core beliefs and way of operating.
What services does your company provide?
We’re a Men’s Styling Service. Depending on your need, we make over your wardrobe accordingly, tailoring it to your fit, needs and budget. We also specialize in Fitness, Grooming and Lifestyle for Men – each segment is led by their respective experts. They deal with a range of issues – right from obesity, endurance training and bodybuilding; to functioning and making an impression on everyone you meet in a social setting and to overcoming anxiety.
How do you handle issues of privacy?
We have a confidentiality clause when clients sign up for a service. Their privacy is of utmost importance to us. For the purposes of a Client Testimonial, we only use clients who want their examples to be used.
What is the next step you see for your business?
Lots actually ! We are in the middle of tie ups with brands ranging from retail to designer. We’re working with MNC’s and Study Abroad Consultants on providing Styling and Grooming Seminars for their employees and students respectively, to minimize the culture shock and maximize their capabilities.
What about expansion plans?
Like I said, my endeavor is to make sure not a single strata of man are left behind. Be it a boy studying to give his engineering entrance in Tamil Nadu, or a graduate adjusting to a new job in New Delhi, a working professional looking to improve his dating life in Mumbai, or a grandfather celebrating his golden anniversary in Gujarat. Now it’s all about whatever it takes to getting there – and doing it.
You favorite drink/ movie/book/go to place?
Favorite Drink – Black Coffee
Favorite Movie – Too many to name – Home Alone, Rocky series, Dil Se, Swades, Lootera, Karan Arjun, Cast Away, The Terminal, You’ve Got Mail. List can go on and on.. I’m a proper Cinephile.
Favorite Book – Currently I’m reading the Immortals of Meluha – GEM of a book !
Apart from that I read Jackie Chan’s Autobiography a few years back. It’s a must read even if you aren’t a fan.
Favorite Go To Place – Perch , a Wine and Coffee Bar in Khan Market, with really good music.