We were lucky enough to talk to the incredible Akash Mehta, influencer, entrepreneur and co-founder of Fable and Mane. Starting his career at only 22 as the youngest manager at Estee Lauder, then becoming the youngest Senior Global Digital Manager for Dior at 25.
Having had success at a young age, did you always have a defined career plan?
Growing up, I definitely had a narrow-minded approach to my career path, based more or less around the subjects I studied and excelled in. These were a mix between maths, physics and economics, so naturally I ended up going down an Engineering route to fuse all my subjects. It was actually during this time where I went from straight A* grades in school to failing my exams at Imperial. It was really an eye-opener and made me have that crisis moment of what do I want to do with my life? I ended up finishing my degree but then promised myself to spend my life doing what I truly would be passionate about. It was in this time of exploration where I tried a few different jobs that I found my love in both digital marketing and the beauty industry. 7 years later, I haven’t looked back so it’s safe to say my career plan was definitely not planned but for which I’m grateful today.
What’s been one of the biggest challenges to date you have faced across your different roles?
For me, interestingly it was battling against the perception of my young age to my colleagues in corporate. I worked several years in the likes of Estee Lauder Companies and Dior, at pretty senior positions for my age. For example, I was the youngest ever manager worldwide at both brands which definitely led to few internal ‘politics’ and frictions. I found myself struggling to believe why people would focus so much on my age and not instead on the work I was successfully delivering. I had to become quite thick-skinned very early on and learn to not change who I was for anyone else. So my mission was really to change the industry, to me more inclusive - both in diversity but also in age, so that the next me would have a much more enjoyable and easier experience. This was mainly done by educating and inspiring my colleagues as opposed to fight back which I knew wouldn’t be productive.
You are the CEO and Co-founder of Fable and Mane, an amazing brand with a powerful message. Can you talk us through the Fable Fund and why you decided to start it?
Fable and Mane is a modern hair wellness brand of potent plant-based products inspired by ancient Indian beauty secrets that I launched in April 2020 alongside my sister. It’s definitely the biggest joy of my life to date and to see it grow each day is what keeps me motivated every morning. Beyond formulating responsibly, we are very committed to giving back to the wild through our charity called ‘The Fable Fund’ which focuses its efforts on tiger conservation and wildlife education. My dream has always been to help animals and make a lasting impact in this world. So, I decided to do this alongside my business, to ultimately enlarge and accelerate the mission to help big cats thrive in the wild.
You have many projects on the go at the same time, what do you like to do in your down time?
It’s funny cause I find my work truly not work. So often I work on new projects in my down time as it’s so exhilarating and exciting for me. Having said that, I do really enjoy the odd escape room with friends and staying fit is of paramount importance, so bouldering, tennis and boxing are definitely weekly activities for me.
What one piece of advice would you give an aspiring entrepreneur?
My best advice is being authentic always. Do what feels native and right for you. This starts at the core so before even starting your day, listen to your self and be mindful of your wellbeing. On the surface level, of course being hard working, managing your finances, adopting digital marketing, motivating your team – are all important to name a few but don’t do this at the expense of you. I have days where I take unplanned time off or I watch Netflix all day. This is all part of the journey. So, make your own rules, do it your own way, test and learn to see what works best – but always be authentic and true to you.
What does the future hold for Akash?
I definitely see myself staying in the beauty industry and making hopefully a bigger impact. Not just through my brands and podcast I’m building but also in the industry in general. While I’m working on some new beauty brands and also planning the global expansion of Fable & Mane, I do have a strong passion in helping aspiring entrepreneurs. So my current focus right now is brainstorming ways to maybe create an accelerator or mentorship program to make this into an accessible reality worldwide. Stay tuned!