City Sunday

Mysuru’s own start-up man Jayanth Sharma

Jayanth Sharma is co-founder and CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Toehold – India’s numero-uno travel and photography company that provides photography and photography-oriented travel services in India. He is responsible for managing international photography tours, camera rentals and the marketing and finance verticals of the company.

Born and raised in Mysore city, Jayanth had been introduced to the world of photography quite early in life by his father, Dr Nagaraja Sharma –a reputed historian and photographer. Upon graduating from high school, Jayanth earned his degree in mechanical engineering (tool and die making) from GTTC (Government Tool Room and Training Centre) and later went on to obtain a diploma in Information Technology.

Jayanth commenced his professional journey as a web designer in Mysuru. In 2003, he moved to Bengaluru, where he worked with Accenture as a media analyst. To further hone his skills, the ambitious photographer-businessman has also undergone training under IIM Bengaluru’s Finance-for-Decision-Making programme for non-finance managers.

The 36-year-old has had an impressive career, which includes stints in reputed organisations like America Online and MSC Software, and conducting photography workshops as a freelancer. He eventually turned an entrepreneur and incepted Toehold in 2010.

Jayanth is one of the well-known names in Indian wildlife photography. He has been invited to many lectures and seminars, including TED-X talks and symposiums held across the country. Besides, he has also judged many photography-competitions and won several awards. For his contributions to the field of photography, Jayanth has been granted the prestigious ‘Associate of the Royal Photographic Society (ARPS)’ title as well.

A team player, Jayanth feels that employees contribute immensely to the growth of a company. He considers his business partner and COO, Sachin Rai (who’s an ace photographer himself), an excellent mentor, instrumental in handling Toehold’s India Photography Tours business.

Jayanth is a trained vocalist in Carnatic classical music and has performed in many regional and national shows. When not working, he prefers to travel solo and explore new places. -NGB


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