Shruti Singh is the Business Group Head at MediaCom Communications , where she is responsible for handling the P&G account. Prior to MediaCom, she handled the same account at Madison India.
In conversation with exchange4media, Singh talks about her journey, her love for her work and her six years’ experience of handling the P&G account.
Q. What made you choose planning and client servicing as a career option?
Belonging to a family who has always been in business, being employed was unheard to my family. As a management student, marketing was my core subject and always pulled my attention compared to other subjects as it gave opportunities to explore my creative and logical side. In marketing we had media planning as a special subject. I was so impressed that I even did my university project based on it. I was clear on choosing that as my career path. However, the real media world is far more different as described in the books and much more interesting.
Q. What are your likes and dislikes about your work?
There are more likes as compared to dislikes.
Every day brings a new challenge and experience which never lets me get bored at what I am doing. I love interacting with new people. Being in a client servicing job gives me the opportunity to talk to various individuals at various levels within the client firm and with channel partners. Catering to a client like P&G for the last six years has enriched my knowledge in the industry .Working at Mediacom gives me freedom to maximise my potential and simultaneously maintain my work and personal life balance.
On the flip side, media world can be erratic. The client requires change in real time. Weekends sometimes are spent on calls to close last minute campaigns. But having said that, I take it as a part of the game and I do not let this bog me down on any aspect.
Q. Handling P&G account, what are some of the things that you have learnt in your career?
I have noticed it is a very process driven company. They need results in a very process driven way, most of the time that is a very big challenge. P & G is very professional and has taught me how to deal with other partners and achieve end results. This challenging life not only helps me learn but also grow as a professional. Because of their worldwide reach, it gives me opportunities to explore not only the Indian market, but also foreign markets.
Q. How does your work day look like?
My day typically starts at 9:00 am; needless to say there cannot be an end time for the day. It would start with a cup of coffee for the caffeine kick needed for the day ahead in store. Every day brings in a new challenge in hand. There will be days I am in channel partner meetings for deal negotiation and closures, whereas other days will be with the client, strategizing the way forward. There are day long meetings where I close contracts with legal teams, there are days when I am working on brand innovations dealing with production houses and celebrity issues. These different challenges just keep me going and always look forward to my day at work .
Q. Which project would you consider your favourite?
Shave India Movement and Oral B launch have to be on the top of the list for me.
They have been very challenging and interesting to work on. Shave India movement won many accolades for us at Cannes, Emvies, Goafest to name a few. Oral B toothpaste launch was one of the biggest launches for P&G in the last six years and the results are seen for quite visible. Product awareness has been stupendous.
Q. What are your favourite brands that you love to be a part of in some way?
Maybe I cannot pick and choose between P&G brands as all of them are big and challenging in their own way and I love to be associated with all of them. Each brand brings a new learning which I am always looking for at work.
Q. What is your attitude towards work?
I take every day as it comes as a new challenge and new opportunity to grow. I tend not to look at what has gone by. This is the mantra that keeps me live at work.
Q. Who is that one person you look up to?
Sam Balsara has been my mentor from day one. He is absolutely down to earth and approachable for any employee in the company. I remember my first interaction with him was during my first year in the company and that interaction has always stayed with me. He has great clarity and keeps things simple at the same time. He knows what to achieve and that's a quality any leader needs to have. He is a very humble person and I am sure every employee working under him can say this about him.
Q. Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
I have grown with the company in the past six years and keeping this flow with my work life, I can see myself as one of the buying heads in the next five years or even sooner. In the coming years I plan to explore digital and would like to take things in my stride as and when opportunities are presented to me.