Youth Quotient: "I don't have to go to the news, the news finds me"

Malik Sumrani, Assistant Manager, Social Media, Aspri Spirits is a digital native whose workaday life revolves around keeping users engaged on social media, a job that is his calling

e4m by Abhinna Shreshtha
Updated: Apr 9, 2014 7:48 AM
Youth Quotient: "I don't have to go to the news, the news finds me"

Malik Sumrani’s social media journey began in 2007, when he entered college. His first venture was working for Campus18.com, a TV 18 social media portal as a campus representative. After a stint in PR, he felt he would be better off and happier in social media. Since then, in his words “I have neither stopped breathing new media nor have I stopped thanking Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, for their creations are what keep me busy now.”

His work includes brands like LG Electronics (mobile phones), McDonald’s, Stoli Vodka, Aspri Spirits, The Boston Cupcakery, Buckaroo, Baskin Robbins, AskMe and Gloob.

When not surfing Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, YouTube, etc., he can be found in front of the television screen cheering for Manchester United or catching up on some TV shows. Currently, he works with Aspri Spirits as Assistant Manager – Social Media, where he handles social media for Skyy Vodka, Roberto Cavalli Wines and Vodka, Patron Tequila, Stolichnaya, etc.

What does your typical work day look like?
A regular work day begins with Twitter while I am in bed to see what the world is talking about. Once at work, it’s more about working on content and strategy for the brands I work on. So when Facebook questions "What's on your mind?" , I answer through posts for my brands. When Twitter wants me to tweet something, I try and engage audiences of my brands with something that seems current and relevant on that day. That is what I do each and every day.

What made you take up social media as a profession?
I started my career as a PR professional and I used to handle work for some very popular brands in the entertainment space. I always used to envy the guys who got to surf social media platforms and got paid for it too. Once I realised PR was not where I belonged, I immediately shifted to the digital space and that's how I took up social media as a profession.

Tell us one thing you love and one thing you hate about social platforms.
One thing I love about social media is that I no longer have to go to the news, the news finds me. I have stopped reading newspapers and rather just read up relevant content shared by several others. The one thing I hate is that there are too many critics. Every person on asocial platform has become an opinion maker and most of them don't know what they are saying or instigating others to follow.

Which is that one project you are proud to have associated with?
Without even thinking twice I would say the Lakme Fashion Week. I was handling the social media presence for the Vodka brand Stolichnaya, which was the official sponsor. Right from integrating multiple platforms to managing to over achieving our social targets, we surpassed it all. The vibe of the Lakme Fashion Week is very addictive, and I am truly glad to have had the opportunity to work for that mega event.

If not social media, where do you think you would have been?
If not in social media, I would have been a restaurateur and been a part of the family business. It is something I may still associate myself with maybe 30 years down the line.

So do you use social media to promote the family business?
No, we don't. One of the things most of us have to cometo terms with is the old school of thought. They are yet to come to terms with modern ways of marketing. Brand loyalty is something which we have and thus never felt the need to market the family business over social media.

Where do you see yourself five years down the line?
Five years down the line,I see myself leading a team of social media and digital marketing enthusiasts and asking them where they see themselves five years down the line.

Any particular person who is your role model?
My role model is my mother. Even if I end up becoming 10 per cent of the person she is, it would be a good life! Right from taking interest in my career to keeping me sane amidst all my madness (I can be quite a handful), she has always been there.

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