'Women bring higher EQ and better creativity in their communication approach'
Nikky Gupta, Co-Founder & Director Teamwork Communications Group speaks to us about her decade-long journey as an entrepreneur, her thoughts about female leadership, her future plans and more
Nikky Gupta, the Co-Founder & Director of Teamwork Communications Group, was recently honoured as the "CEO of the Year" at the exchange4media Public Relations and Communications Women Achievers Awards. An entrepreneur, health advocate and a mother of two, Gupta was acknowledged for her steadfast leadership and her valuable contributions to the industry. Today she speaks to us about her decade-long journey as an entrepreneur, her thoughts about female leadership, her future plans and more.
How do you feel being the winner of the Women Achievers initiative?
Of course, it is highly gratifying and satisfying to be acknowledged by a prestigious forum for the hard work you have been putting. It feels like your hard work has been recognized and rewarded. Being an entrepreneur and leader of an organization is an extremely demanding task in today’s competitive world. However, moments like these strengthen your belief in yourself and motivate you to continue on your path with greater vigour. This year has been particularly challenging when it comes to retaining businesses and acquiring new projects given the economic fallout of COVID 19. Yet, thanks to our focused approach and planning, we have succeeded in keeping our business profitable and thriving. The Women Achiever’s award could not have come at a better time for me.
What are the attributes/qualities required to be a leader in the communication industry?
The field of communication is very dynamic and so are its demands. Not only you need to be aware of all the latest developments but also have the ability to respond to them quickly. Ability to think and act fast is very critical to success. As an individual leading an organization in the field, you have to ensure that your team adapts with the rapidly changing needs and knows how to take fast action. The qualities needed I would say include a highly alert mind, very good PR skills, ability to nurture strong relationships, a knack for spotting and grooming the right talent and of course good communication skills – both verbal and written.
What role have women played in the restructuring of the industry and how has the communications industry changed over the years for the women workforce?
Women have played a leading role in the evolution of the communications industry. In fact, it is one of the industries where women professionals are at the forefront and are also in active leadership positions. A Survey in the US found that women make up 63 per cent of public relations “specialists,” and 59 per cent of all PR managers were women. While we do not have any such data for India, anecdotal evidence tells us that women PR professionals are high in numbers. Even my organization Teamwork Communications Group is dominated by women. I believe women bring a greater personal touch, greater EQ and better ability to connect and communicate. They are also more creative in their communication approaches. However, there is still much scope for a greater role of women in leadership positions in the industry.
Why do we need to have more leaders at the helm of organizations in today's scenario and what value women bring to the table?
As mentioned above, women bring higher EQs and good communication skills to the table. They are also good finishers, as in, they finish projects to perfection. Yes, we need more women in leadership roles because women leaders are also more resilient and better connected to their teams emotionally. However, it is not just in the PR and communications industry, we need more women leaders in all industries for them to become truly representative of their populations. A better balance of genders and greater diversity is a boon for the workforce, it brings a wide variety of ideas and problem-solving skills to the table. Not just in terms of gender but workforce diversity is also very important in terms of background, color and even age.
What are your future goals? What initiative would you like to take as a responsible woman leader for the industry/society?
Over the coming half a decade, Teamwork will be strengthening and expanding the service offering spectrum so that our patrons can get integrated and omnichannel communication supports for fast-emerging communication requirements and dynamic business environment. This will also involve expanding the talent pool and resources. We are already operating in over 65 cities of India through a network with direct offices in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. We aim to set up offices in all six metros over the next two years and then add on other emerging cities such as Pune, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow, and Indore after it. As far as the industry is concerned, I would like to promote and help more young women to rise up the managerial ranks in the field.
How do you see the PR and the corp comm industry shaping up in the years to come and your message to the future women leaders?
The field as I said earlier is very dynamic and changes very fast. If we compare the PR industry of today with that of 10 years back, we already see massive changes. Digital media has emerged as a major player; social media has become a major influencer unlike 10 years back when traditional media held 90% of the communication space. This change will continue in the coming years and we may see a greater personalization or customization of content targeted at different users. We are also likely to see more creativity in the space. My advice to all women is that they should not let anyone tell them that they are not worthy of being leaders. Often, women are held back not because they lack capability but because society has subconsciously ingrained it in their mind that they are not competitive enough as compared to men. This mindset and thought process need to be changed.
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