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World Cancer Day : How Ranjeet Kumar, Co-Founder & CEO, Team Pumpkin survived cancer and built a business

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A story of grit and determination, Ranjeet Kumar, Co-Founder & CEO, Team Pumpkin, has beaten cancer twice and is an inspiration to others.

On 25th August 2012 Ranjeet Kumar, and Swati Nathani met and conceptualized Team Pumpkin and on 14th February 2013, Team Pumpkin was launched. In about a month, precisely on 23rd March 2013, Ranjeet was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. So, did Team Pumpkin close before it took off? Well, on the contrary, a digital marketing and PR agency with around 150 people across offices in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore today is going strong under his leadership.

Looking back at 2013, it was a double whammy for Swati whose mother had been diagnosed with Stage 2 Uterine Cancer. And then, it was all about looking for the best doctors in India and frantically scour the Internet for the best treatment.

At party, a few days before he started falling ill
At party, a few days before he started falling ill

Moving to Mumbai in April 2013, Ranjeet started his first set of chemotherapy treatment and admits all he wanted at his physically weak moments was just to go out and see a movie or a dinner. What he got was a lot of unsolicited advice and health tips while he yearned to be treated like a normal person. However, he soon decided to take matters in his hand and focus on Team Pumpkin with Swati and started setting up their Mumbai office. Soon the first batch of employees on board and they had an office space and signed new clients. And while things were looking good, he had a relapse in Oct 2013 when he was told he may have just a few months more to live.

A news that dealt a big blow to his family and Swati and that is when Ranjeet made the choice to “Live” even if it meant for a few months. Despite the daily struggle to wake and feel weak he made it a point to attend client meetings. He once took 90 minutes to walk to the 8th floor as the lift was not working. It was his batchmates at XLRI and NIFT who helped contribute to his treatment and one of them sourced a medicine which was not available in India that miraculously worked.

Swati & Ranjeet At their Delhi office
Swati & Ranjeet At their Delhi office

Today Team Pumpkin is a 100+ Members across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore working with clients like Axis Bank, Big Bazaar, Big Basket, ITC, Coca-Cola and many more and is now a 360 degrees integrated Marketing agency making TV Ads, Videos, Marketing Campaigns, PR, SEO, SEM, ORM, Social Media Management, Influencer Marketing, Media Buying and a whole lot more. An inclusive space, they have pregnant women, members of LGBT community, drop-outs and many others to give all an equal opportunity.

While his story is an inspiration to others, here is what he advices:

  • Never take your life insurance and Mediclaim lightly. Insure.
  • Be thankful for daily food, daily routine and daily nuances.
  • I survived because I decided to live every day.
  • Every one’s body is different; and no information can make you understand in advance what you will be going through.

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