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Brand Strategist | Nonprofit Consultant | Writer | nikhilvaish.com | @nikhil_vaish
(Image: Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash)

Pardon my French, but as someone about to reach their fiftieth year on the planet, I need to put to rest a backward notion that exists in the corporate mindset, that anyone over fifty years of age has reached an arbitrary professional expiration date.

Age discrimination is pervasive and real, as evidenced by the fact that colleagues and friends have been asking me to shave my salt and pepper beard prior to a job interview. Some have even urged me to start dressing again like a twenty-something.

Much ink has been spilled about gender, racial and cultural biases in the…


Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

“You have an amazing amount of experience but they are looking for someone with exactly the right experience” said the recruiter. If I had a penny for every time I have heard those words, I might have retired by now.

Over the last few years job descriptions in most industries, particularly in marketing and advertising seem to have gotten increasingly narrow and specific. …


Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash

I recently took an improv class because I felt the urge to shed some of the adult layers I have accumulated over the last forty plus years, or maybe it was to deal with a mid-life crisis as my wife says. Either way I was keen to get back in touch with my inner child and rekindle the fearlessness and curiosity I had as a kid. …


After reading and hearing great things about the Dell XPS 13 laptop, I bought one a few years ago and have been pleased with the performance. This year when I needed to upgrade, against the advice of everyone, I decided to stay loyal to Dell.

Girl, do I regret my decision.

My new and improved XPS 13 laptop which cost over $1500, arrived with a defective earphone jack. …


An immigrant family arriving at Ellis Island in New York, 1925 (Image: wethepeople.com)

There is a debate raging among New Yorkers who don’t need to worry about their next paycheque, paying the rent or feeding their children. Naturally, being human we need to find something to fret and argue about — in this case it happens to be a debate on the future of New York City.

On one side are naysayers like James, a comedy club owner who has jumped ship and moved to Florida, but not before penning a LinkedIn post predicting the demise of New York.


Vaish Photography

In the last century few brands would have had the courage or permission to wade into highly charged social and political issues, but today consumers across generations are demanding that the companies they do business with raise their voices, by using their financial power to tangibly support issues they care about.

This past week dozens of companies from Apple to Zoom have come out and made bold public statements, many using the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, saying to black people that “we see you, and we are here for you” and expressing a commitment to fight systemic racism in our society.

While…


Image: Mother Jones

I have always admired and respected Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, for the way in which he built a great global company. One that espouses purpose and giving back as things that are not just words in some corporate manifesto, but in tangible ways that impact lives of employees and people within the communities they serve. Starbucks under his leadership has never just talked the talk.

So I was excited when he announced that he was exploring running as an independent candidate for President United Sates of America. I have written why I believe that an independent candidate…


I was barely twenty-two years old and about three or four months into my first job at a highly reputed advertising agency in India. In those days you needed an MBA to get a job at an ad agency and because I only had an undergraduate degree I was designated a trainee, which was lower than the entry level designation of Junior Account Executive. This meant that I needed to prove my worth, sans MBA, during my first year just to be promoted to the entry level position.

In those days advertising was also still trapped in its mad men…


Image: Vaish Photography ©

The planet is not in peril.

“The earth has suffered mass volcanic explosions, floods, meteor impacts, mountain formation, and all manner of other abuses greater than anything people could inflict, and it’s still here. It’s a survivor.” — Robert Laughlin, Stanford physicist and Nobel Laureate

The planet will survive no matter what happens. It is human beings who will not survive.

Our children are in peril.

This is no longer some abstract threat that will happen in the distant future. Pollution killed more than 2.5 million people in India in 2015 and more than 9 million people, globally.

To put…


Howard Schultz on 60 Minutes (Image: CBS)

Howard Schultz, the former CEO of Starbucks, appeared on CBS 60 minutes recently and declared that he was considering running for President of United States of America, as an independent. The rebuke from the left was swift, predictable and harsh.

The New York Times ran an opinion piece calling Mr. Schultz irresponsible and self-centered. Vice wrote that whilst he was not the first billionaire to run for President, he was “the most disconnected from reality.” There were also public threats to boycott Starbucks.

The boycott threat was led by Neera Tandon, a longtime Clinton acolyte, who served as Mrs. Clinton’s…

Nikhil Vaish

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