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Released on:June 30th 2022

Gaurav Prakash

Partner Universal Booksellers | State Co-Chairperson (UP), CIMSME | State Chairperson (MSME Growth), CIMSME | State Director (UP), Global Council for the Promotion of International Trade | Former Co Chairman PHD Chairman Uttar Pradesh | Founder Chair Young Business Leaders Forum Uttar Pradesh | Founder Chair Young Indians , Confederation of Indian Industry ,Uttar Pradesh | Entrepreneur I Social & Growth Leader

Talk us through your background and your journey as an individual and entrepreneur.

Lucknow’s pride!!!!! Gaurav Prakash ‘Gaurav,’ as his Hindi name suggests, is a source of pride not only for his family, but also for Lucknow as a whole. According to a poll done by the Hindustan Times, he’s been named the city’s youthful star as well as a “male fashionista” with a spate of trophies under his credit. Whether it’s releasing a book or promoting the women’s powerline 1090, greeting celebrities or raising awareness for ‘say no to polythene,’ cycling across Lucknow or assisting’s heroes,’ an acid attack victim-run cafe, Gaurav does it all. He is a source of inspiration in every manner.

Gaurav, an entrepreneur by profession and a member of one of Lucknow’s oldest and most illustrious families, grew up in a warm yet sophisticated environment. Lamartiniere Boys College and Sherwood College were his schools. For him, as the youngest in the family, the sky was the limit. It would have been a piece of cake for him to go abroad, get an MBA, and settle down in a beautiful part of the world, but he opted not to. After completing his formal education, he decided to strengthen his family’s business, “The Universal Booksellers,” as a responsible son and a family man. His family needed him, and he was more than willing to help. He is leading from the front today, together with other members of his family. His presence at the bookstore adds to its allure.

If you had to start over would you choose a corporate career or being an entrepreneur and why?
Entrepreneurship is the way to go!! Who says tiny towns don’t have a job market? Gaurav, who could easily have vouched for a successful career, is a local star. He follows his numerous interests and hobbies in addition to properly running his family business. He is a Lucknow native who enjoys launching new ventures in the city. He takes time out of his busy schedule as the Founder Chair of CII-Young Indians and now the Founder Chair of PHD –Young Business Leaders Forum Uttar Pradesh, presiding over all meetings and initiating conferences and important sessions for the benefit of the people of Lucknow. His initiatives and interactive sessions, which he organises, cover a wide range of themes, and the citizens have praised them. As a social crusader, he is a frequent visitor at municipal events and has received a number of major honours. He recently received the Lucknow Management Association’s ‘young achiever award’ at the smart city convention, the Swami Vivekananda Award for his contributions to youth development, and the Gaurav Samman Award for his exemplary work in the social sector.

Tell us about your social initiatives?
With his many colours, it’s also worth noting how he represents the poor and needy. Any form of assistance is required, and Gaurav is the first to reply whenever contacted. He recently participated in a ‘tea seva’ push with a non-profit organisation. We all know how cold winters can be, so on one particularly frigid night, Gaurav and a group of volunteers from the NGO went out to distribute tea and cookies to individuals freezing on the sidewalks and along the roadside. It was such a thoughtful gesture. Gaurav encourages learning by hosting a variety of courses and book reading sessions. He supports budding writers and gives them a forum to follow their dreams. He is the busiest person in the room, but he still has time for you. Everyone and everything. He has that never say ‘no’ attitude, from doing “tea seva” to assisting acid attack victim survivors by walking the fashion runway, from being the brand ambassador of cuddling, an initiative for children suffering from cancer, to promoting art and culture in the city. Though he, like everyone else, only has 24 hours in a day, he knows how to make the most of it. In any given situation, he pursues his dreams and aspirations while also performing his daily responsibilities.

One special Quote/message for all communities/brands.
My message for everybody out there is the quote by Robert Frost “The woods are lovely, dark and deep But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep And miles to go Before I sleep …”  

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