Born: Madras, India
Worked in: India, Singapore, Tokyo
Why do people see you as an innovator? Clients tell me that I bring energy and healthy discussion to a meeting. I am very client-centric. I operate on the principle that clients should love my team for being passionate, committed and challenging to ensure that the consumer and the brand are central to every discussion To innovate today, one must be creative enough to solve a business issue and proactive enough to keep a client’s interest at heart.
Describe something about your background that enables you to innovate today. I have worked across many functional disciplines in the communication business — rare for an agency executive. My roles have included strategic planning, media research, developing media systems, client servicing director, media director, establishing econometric modeling to measure ROI, running a digital division, building a hot creative agency, building Proximity as the interactive and direct marketing division, and managing BBDO Singapore to achieve strong growth.
All this experience has resulted in a cross-functional approach that enables me to “cut through the crap” and help to integrate skill sets for the best interest of the brand.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? The “silo mindset” and the territorial nature of agency disciplines are limits to innovation. Today’s emphasis on accountability can cause hiding behind research facts and jargon. I often recall a quote from Wired magazine’s Kevin Kelly, “Wealth is not created by optimizing the known. But wealth is created by imperfectly seizing the unknown.” What better way to remind ourselves that we should move away from the comfort zone and embrace innovation?