A leading business magazine to Charu Nathan – Head Strategy & Creative of the marketing agency that has some leading brands in its portfolio.
Media asks: What do you believe is the significant factor for women in the creative agency management arena, and what is the most important aspect of your success, adhering to these fundamentals?
Charu replies: Hmmm, interesting question there and I do see that you want me to address this from a woman’s perspective. However, I would first address this from a ‘gender neutral’ perspective. The significant success mantra for all in our business is, ‘Don’t stagnate. Innovate.’
Now if I may try and address this as a woman I’d say, ‘If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great. And, it is only hard till you’ve done it.’
Media asks: Enlighten us on how you have impacted the modern industry through your expertise in the niche. You run a leading marketing agency after all.
Charu replies: Let’s start by understanding our industry first. It is Marketing! Everyone and anyone in this industry knows that we help organizations launch/market products/services and eventually build them into strong visible brands. My expertise in the area is and will always be Brand Strategy – one that works to create, consolidate or change brand perceptions. Because ultimately, a strong strategy helps get out of the weeds of product features & USPs and open up an understanding on how to ladder up to a bigger benefit and voice for the brand. This helps us as a branding and marketing agency to create more empathetic, personalised and premium associations in the minds of the target audiences.
The result: stronger, more sustainable brands built!
Media asks: What strategies do you implement to promote gender diversity for various leadership positions at your organization?
A diverse and inclusive workplace like a creative agency environment allows for different ideas and creativity which will improve performance, processes, and productivity. I am sure that you want me to write along these lines. But I am sorry, I have another version here. To the world out there, I’d say remove biases, fair play-fair pay and please focus on the results not the person. But my very own personal piece of advice to all women in branding and marketing, ‘of course there will always be parent’s pressure, husband’s needs, children’s demands… and what not. You know how to prioritise all that but not your career? Really? As women we are often marginalized when it comes to career opportunities. Ask yourself, have we not led the world to believe that we aren’t equal and hence need a diverse & inclusive corporate program to fit in? When the question is about who is better for the job, let the comparison be purely on capability… why is the employer forced to think otherwise? Some of us have forced the world to believe that somewhere we will fall short on delivering what it takes. Isn’t it time to prove them wrong? You will find equality if you behave like an equal.
Media asks: What values do you incorporate to enhance the work culture at the marketing agency – your organization to be specific?
Charu replies: I am all about ‘Open House Sessions’. I encourage team members to speak face to face and not behind the back… definitely not to the line managers or the management. If something is bothering you enough to escalate it, resolve it with the person face to face – right there & then. The second value I always stress on is ‘Customer Centricity’. It is a simple concept. It’s a way of working that we use to put our clients at the heart of everything we do.
Media asks: What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders willing to venture into the marketing agency line of work, especially in the niche that you are catering to?
Again, I will say the same thing that hovers on equality, “Firstly, don't approach the marketplace as a woman in business but as a businessperson. Secondly, step up, speak up. Also please be consistent. Don’t overthink. It never helped anyone. Be a stamp. Stick to something if you want to go places. Lastly, take yourself seriously if you want the world to. Honour what you say and stand up for what you do.”