What, according to you, would be the first milestone of
you career, the breakthrough moment?
I imagine you are expecting an answer involving work, but it isn’t.
I had been chugging along, doing rather well at O&M, and then
I joined Trikaya Grey. Two months into that assignment, some of
us went on a weekend trek to Ambavane, where Ravi Gupta was building
a small stone house for his family, before he acquired the farmlands.
That was several years ago, and is now unrecognisable as Amby Valley.
He took me for a two-hour stroll along the pristine clean hillsides,
it was a dewy day in September, and described to me media and values
as I have never thought of them before. Two pieces of advice stood
out – “don’t be afraid to create your own path
and follow it – those who question and criticise the most
will follow it too, later!”, and “your chair is not
you, the day you equate yourself with the chair you occupy, you’re
finished”. That conversation shaped many things about the
way I managed my career, my passions, and my life, since.
all the assignments that you have handled, which is the one work
that you would always cherish as your best work – a lifetime
are no lifetime favourites, and my best work is yet to come. As
a rookie, I enjoyed working most on J&J, and I was at my most
innovative at Trikaya Grey, working with a creative genius like
Chris D’ Rozario, and the strategic brilliance of Ravi Gupta
on Lakme, Bayer, Real Value, etc. At Lintas, the clients we have
worked with have been the most inspiring. Our work years ago on
Britannia, and lately on ITC’s Bingo, the print and digital
innovations for Maruti, the recent MyIdea campaigns, are ones I
feel proud of for my teams.
years ago, I helped develop Owle’s World, our knowledge intranet,
which was different and fun. The creation of the Northpoint postgraduate
programmes based on practical sessions with mentored internships
at Lintas Media Group was also pathbreaking in a way, and dealt
with a different resource – talent.
late, I have truly enjoyed enabling our web-based media management
system, which is a first of its kind in India.
would you say are the challengers for a woman leader for working
in the advertising industry?
most creative and service professions, advertising does employ many
women. Thirty-four per cent of our company’s workforce is
female. However, only 12 per cent of senior managers are women.
I am sure this is true for other agencies as well. This means that
as a profession, we are unable to encourage women to stay in it
and grow in it. Media agencies do better in this aspect, but the
industry is still quite male dominated where it matters, there is
a strong ‘boys network’ that may or may not always be
comfortable to venture into, working hours are long, there is always
the high stress attached to any service business – of not
always being in control of your own time, or your own results, since
we always need to cater to the demands of our clients first.
is the one thing that a woman ad professional can bring to the table
that the male counterpart often lacks?
is no one thing. They say that women tend to be more empathetic,
inclusive, multi-tasking and right brained, and bring a degree of
compassion and honesty to the table. But I have found many men with
all these qualities, and many women without them. It’s difficult
to generalise such things only on the basis of gender. But on the
whole, I do find the average female employee more financially honest,
and the average male employee has more stamina.