Why political consultancy?
"It became my dream and I took it very seriously."
Standing on the stage while debating about a particular issue, left an indelible impression on Deepish. From a young age, he was aware of this inclination that never really left his side.
Even though this ambition was crystal clear, he had to take some time off to pursue his degree in engineering. In the little free time he had, his hustle continued in the form of blogs, articles, on-campus activities and immersive political readings.
“But I felt that my voice was not being heard and I wanted to change that. So I quit my job in Bangalore and started following my dream.”
He started preparing for UPSC thereafter. In this duration, he was awarded and recognised as top 10 essay writers in India by Quint. Another feather to his cap was added when he was offered a scholarship to pursue the Young India Fellowship (YIF) program at Ashoka university.
Surrounded by the creme-de-la-creme of India, YIF gave him the inspiration to work harder to pursue my passion and create an impact through politics. According to Deepish, YIF’s world-class faculty and brand presence is really valued in this field. It paved the way for his entry point into political consulting. He is now working with Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) full-time.
In the following section, he highlights the recruitment experience at I-PAC and shares his recommendations for cracking it.
Recruitment experience at I-PAC and navigating the job search
“We are not changing the way politics is done. We are just making the process more efficient and more fluid.”
He reflects on the importance of engineering in his current role. Being an engineer he was able to bring efficiency in the system while organizing processes and managing multiple tasks, thereby aiding his on-ground work at I-PAC.
At I-PAC, career trajectory has the potential to be very steep.
“If you are really passionate and driven about politics, wish to understand people’s concern at grassroots level and work towards it, then not just getting into I-PAC but also growth in I-PAC is much easier”.
I-PAC invites applications from all types of academic backgrounds without any restrictions. “Political consultancy is new to India. So, finding skilled people remains a challenge.” However, tier 1 and tier 2 colleges are given a preference along with deep interest in politics.
PS- He contacted multiple political consultancies, organizations and individuals, over LinkedIn and explored his options before joining I-PAC.
Impact at I-PAC:
It is often in politics that the citizens expectations remain unmet. I-PAC plays a crucial role in forcing the political parties to act on these expectations and promises. This may take the form of a more inclusive and representative manifesto and thereby make the political parties more responsible for executing them.
Additional resource if you are applying to I-PAC:
1. A basic understanding of the state's political history - past CMs, current parties and their Presidents and existing alliance in the state.
2. Analyse the latest election results in such a way you have an answer to the question on why party X won or why part Y lost. Prannoy Roy's analysis of election results is a good place to start. The Hindu also usually has a very detailed election analysis coverage. Watching more TV interview analysis would definitely help, according to me.
3. Get to know about your constituency's political history really well (very important) and contrast the recent elections in your constituency with the state/ country
4. Read up the manifesto of the big political parties and watch TV interviews that discussed them
5. Read up about I-PAC's client (the political party) and formulate manifesto points they could use in the upcoming elections. You'd have to have a thorough understanding of the party's recent history and everything for which they've made headlines.
6. Read up about any major policy that has been brought in by the state government.
7. Being aware of basic business strategies will help too. A basic level understanding of how to approach a market entry case study or how an early stage startup would try to use networking, could help.
[This section was written by Jishnu Mohan who had prepared for the I-PAC interview]