'We should imbibe changes, pivot fast & engage proactively by listening to consumers'
Panellists Amit Nanchahal, Geetika Bangia, Priya Patankar & Mukesh Kharbanda deliberated on the important qualities of a leader in the comms industry at e4m PR & Corp Comm 40 Under 40 Summit 2020
e4m PR & Corporate Communication 40 Under 40 List 2020 celebrates the new-age communication leaders along with a new approach and strategy of the budding new generation leaders of the industry. Keeping this in mind, e4m PR & Corporate Communication 40 Under 40 Summit organized an insightful session on ‘Who are the next leaders of Communication Industry’ with a panel comprising Geetika Bangia, Lead PR and Corp Comm, Philips India; Amit Nanchahal, Associate Director - Corporate Communication, Pepsico India; Priya Patankar, Head of Communications - Phone Pe along with Mukesh Kharbanda, MD, Fuzion PR as the moderator.
Kharbanda threw open the virtual panel discussion by trying to get insights on whether leaders are born or crafted from his fellow panellists. Nanchahal responded, “You may be a born leader, but you need to be crafted and keep learning. Being a good listener is the core quality required to be a good leader".
Patankar supported the idea by adding that being a leader requires a combination of nature and nurture. Adding about the core quality required to be a good leader, she said, “Walking the talk is really an important quality required in a leader”.
Three important qualities leaders should imbibe are empathy, agility, adaptability, according to Bangia.
Moving the conversation forward, the moderator asked about the changes inherited by the industry due to the pandemic and what alterations do the leaders have to undergo in order to seamlessly mingle in the system. Patankar urged to adapt to work with ambiguity in these unpredictable times. While Nanchahal stressed on smart messaging and right content strategy. He said, "We need to imbibe changes and pivot very fast and need to engage proactively by listening to your consumers".
Bangia highlighted the need to become more data-driven and technologically sound in the new normal world. She also added that the pandemic has elevated the importance of communications and communicators to another level and has brought it to the mainstream.
When asked about if there was any kind of hindrance in becoming a leader, Nanchahal advised focusing on all areas of communications and marketing irrespective of it is your passion or not. Speaking about her experiences, Bangia urged to give the benefit of doubt to fellow team members and to not show resistance to acceptance of mistakes. According to her, bringing of trust, credibility, transparency and acknowledgement of right versus wrong should be promoted at all levels of hierarchy.
Adding about the qualities that need to be present in the new entrants of the industry, Patankar put the spotlight on the need for being data-driven and focusing on the qualitative aspect more than quantitative ones.
To conclude, Kharbanda took views from the panellists on how important are platforms like ‘e4m PR and Corp Comm 40 under 40’ for the industry and ways in which leaders can contribute to the communications industry. Bangia affirmed, “Such recognitions from esteemed platforms like exchange4media help in building confidence, credibility and adds value to individual profiles.” She suggested starting ‘Mentor-Mentee’ programmes for the industry to have dialogues and discussions on skill-building, knowledge and experience sharing with each other.
Patankar too applauding such forums and said that these platforms are a great place to connect and get insights from fellow colleagues in the industry.
“With the transparent jury process and due diligence of the exchange4media team, such platforms are trademarks of authenticity along with boosting the self-confidence of the emerging communication leaders,” concluded Nanchahal.
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