93 – Vaccine and Symptoms Covid-19.

Coronavirus which started way back in December in Wuhan province of China and now spread across the world. Except some of the countries which restricted the virus and implemented Train, Test, Isolate method, is the only one who succeeded.

Doctors, M.D, Virologist, researchers are still not able to learn everything about the virus, its mutation, and how to cure it. The world is still relying on the data which China is providing but what’s alarming is some people who recovered after battling the coronavirus are still facing some of the severe symptoms.

Various studies on different patients from different countries suggest that recovering from the Covid19 won’t be enough, as the story gets more complicated and recovered patients might going to face some long term complications. Many hospitalized patients experiencing blood clots, strokes, lung scarring, and heart damage, One study from Wuhan in January found that 12 percent of Covid-19 patients had signs of cardiovascular damage. 

New researches may reveal new complications, and the government should support and fund them because the more we learn about the virus, the better it will be to fight against it. Things aren’t going to get better anytime soon until we found a vaccine.

92 – Futuregazing: What will the new normal look like.

The economy is on a brink to collapse, unprecedented times are ahead, from travel and tourism to the construction industry most of the businesses are facing huge disruption, while the whole world is debating about the post COVID scenario and discussing what will be the new normal. We got an opportunity to be a part of a webinar.

Futuregazing: What will the new normal look like, this webinar is organized by the School of Communications and Reputation, on the panel were Babita Baruah, Head of WPP GTB India, Barun Jha, National Editor, PTI, Dilip Cherian, Founder, Perfect Relation, and Reema Kundnani, Marketer, Oberoi Realty. The session was moderated by Rajyasree Sen, Columnist.

Rajyasree Sen initiated the discussion by asking the panelists what do they think, how the new normal will affect the communication industry.

Babita Baruah explained, because of the lockdown spends of the consumers is limited, they can’t step out on a shopping spree. Some business is trying to survive and some are just trying to sustain at the moment there is no demand no supply and no distribution. Agencies must look at themselves as a growth partner, not just as a communication partner.

Dilip Cherian shared his insights on why companies and brands must communicate the right message right now, he explained marketing and communication budgets should not go towards chest-thumping CSR activities, pushing product sales, and anything which isn’t innovative.

Barun Jha pointed out that employees will help companies to survive in the new normal, at times like these every company has a critical role to play. In the future, we will be relying more on digital tools

Reema Kundnani talked about why companies need to reinvent themselves, she explained how the work from home is the new normal, companies are adapting it. The post-COVID world will be all about survival of the fastest, not the fittest. Corporate communication needs to focus on online reputation management, SEO, and standing for whatever brand is going to do in the post-COVID arena. We need to lean toward artificial intelligence and Digital channels.

Covid19 leads to Rising of digital media and OTT industry, they discussed brands will rely more on digital marketing and advertising channels. Brands can leverage these opportunities.

When panelists were asked about what future PR professionals can learn and focus on to stand out from the crowd, they recommended being honest and kind, and to upskill yourself this is what the time demands.

In the concluding remark, panelists advised everyone to stay positive and safe. Be optimistic, because every crisis is an opportunity to learn and grow.

#CommSpeak -Sameer Bajaj in conversation with Amith Prabhu

Hi, welcome to this episode of CommSpeak on founder India. Today we have a guest with us who’s a veteran of communications for close to two decades. We have with us Sameer Bajaj head of corporate communications CSR and Corporate Affairs at Discovery networks. Thank you, Samir, and welcome to CommSpeak.

Samir – Thanks so much. pleasure being here. 

Amith – So we’ll start by asking you about how you got into PR. I know you began as a sales officer at Jet Airways, an airline which most Indians who traveled loved at one point of time, sadly, we don’t have that airline today, weathers, you began at jet and then you move to public relations consulting. Tell us about your journey and the start of your story in the world of work.

Sameer – So basically, I think I spent about a year and a half at Jet corporate sales

fun job.

You know, because Jet was then the emerging airline and everybody, like you said, wanting to travel by jet. But what I realized in my tenure was that the job wasn’t challenging enough and I was, you know, I was always wondering, What will I do next week? And I started exploring what I should do from here on, you know, in the sense I had always interesting communications. And I think met a lot of people and then finally applied at I-Pan.

And that’s how my journey for PR corpcomm started. 

Amith – And did you miss your Jet Airways job when you began at I – Pan or you were completely fine and you began to go with the flow?

Sameer – I think I think I took PR

I took to PR like a duck to water, never missed.

 Amith – We’ll catch two years later. So we spent a year year and a half at I-Pan, another year at PR. And then moved into the world of corporate communications on the client side with ESPN, which then became a ESPN Star Sports in Star Sports. Tell us about that. How it happen. How do you move at a young age with this two years of PR experience back in the late 90s, early 2000s, to a corporate communications job.

Sameer – So I’m a cricket nerd, a cricket maniac, I can consume any kind of cricket. So therefore, you know, there’s a natural repository, which builds up of knowledge. And so my, you know, my senior at I-Pan, Meenu met with the Corpcom head of ESPN, and they actually requested for an PR individual who’s mad about cricket. So I was a natural name given by Meenu. That’s how I got into it.

Amith – Right, and then you spent almost a decade, the company changed its avatar in different ways. So tell us about your close to 10 years in the ESPN Star Sports family. How did that go about? Tell us about your various interesting things you did there as a corporate communications leader.

Sameer – You know, ESPN and you know in that era, again, India’s number one sports broadcaster cable TV industry was booming. We practically had all the rights available. So we were in the news, always on the front page, whether for the right reason or for the wrong reason. So it was, you know, it was challenged on a daily basis, which was fun. One of the early learnings for me when I joined when I shifted from the agency side to the in-house comms team was that it’s easy to suggest, but, you know, when you’re sitting internally, you need to implement whatever you’re suggesting the onus lies on you, right? And therefore, the responsibility of whatever you’re suggesting is far deeper. And, you know, it, it was good fun. I mean, being part of a growing organization, which was practically changing the way India consumed cricket. Right, and

we were, you know, looking at skimming, you know, from a cost perspective scanning what ESPN star was trying to do in trying to impress upon the media how and what we’re trying to deliver. So huge, you know, because the money I would say requisition rights escalated the cost escalated over the year and sorted the pressure on assets. So the pressure on different things we’re trying to monetize so did the pressure on us. Because, you know, they were always naysayers in the media saying cricket is gonna go to sell, it has plateaued. nobody’s interested, blah, blah, blah, and you need to bring in your own narrative, you need to convince that this is what is happening on the business side. So I would say ESPN was brought two broad sites to ESPN site, which was one was the corporate narrative from how cricket is doing, how do you control that? The second was, how do you build a particular property? How do you make it fun, for example, and you know, I’ll give you a very interesting example. So the World Cup was happening. After the IPL, right immediately after the IPl in 2011, and there was pressure on us because the media was not talking about right. Everybody was only reporting IPL, and therefore the market was not heating up for exits. So what we did was a press conference, or I would say media reach out, in which we got now Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, Kapil Dev Arjun Ranatunga and sir Vivian Richards, so four key players who played important role in helping their countries when a particular Worldcup all the four and won Worldcup combined, and that was our thesis for this reach out. And in my briefing to the four gentlemen, I just told them one thing I’m nobody to talk to you talk you or teach you cricket, you know, I just wanted to say one line. If there is a query on IPL

just replied back saying we only talk

national cricket

We only talk when teams are representing their countries.

Just stick to this brief and rest whatever you like. It’s Your Game. And, you know that press conference was a major pivot in terms of how the media lapped up and how the coverage altered for the World Cup that year and that helped, you know, the Ad sales to reach out.

Amith – So 10 years in one organization, I know the organization changed its, its name and got acquired and things like that. But 10 years is a long time and operation in today’s time. We don’t see too many people lasting close to 10 years in a corporate communication job and that’s phenomenal. What happened then how did your move from Star Sports to Amway happen? Tell us about that?

Sameer – I think at ESPN star and later at Star

broadly speaking, the job still was supporting marketing. Right. I would say it was I was also reporting into a marketing head right? And I want you to get into an avatar which in which the core of Corpcom comes in crisis

and which is why when I heard of this position at Amway, I lapped up And frankly, God was very nice because the managing director of MBA was arrested within a week of me joining. So, I mean, I landed it practically landed in a crisis, which is what I was actually looking at in my career. So, I mean, I look at that those 35,40 days when the then MD of this organization was under police arrest as, as probably one of the best days of my professional life when I felt sorry for the individual. But if keeping that aside, when the learning side through the experiences that you gain by working in such a crisis, you know, position

practically alter your mindset for life.

Amith – Right. What else were your key learnings both in your first job at Star Sports in Corpcomm and Amway that still stand out for you, we come to talking about your learnings in your current job later. But what were your couple of key learnings in your comm jobs. And if you want to go back to your first years in PR as a consulting, you can share those two or three learnings that really stand out for you in help people watching the show. gather some ideas, insights from those learnings of yours.

Sameer – I think, you know, sometimes we have this optics of looking at stories from a technical perspective. You know, we can do 20, 30,40 seats, 50 stories. But what happens over time I’ve realized is that, you know, there needs to be a strategy.

Right? Because

if you you know, if the strategy is not clear, this tactical interjections don’t help in the long run. So you might be able to achieve a tactical objective by doing a particular story, but it needs to season into a broader framework that you’ve created for the brand that you work for. So a lot of times I’ve realized, people jump straight into stories now I look at everything from a framework perspective, is this story fitting in my framework? If it doesn’t, then can I ignore it? Can I now with social media, there are so many other ways of, you know, leveraging stuff, or communicating your perspective on a particular point. So that that framework setting to me it’s very, very critical that becomes the base for everything you do in life.

Amtith – Right. And then what led to you moving from Amway to discovery.

Sameer – Discovery, again, a very rivard brand, the top most I would say real, real life entertainment brand in the world. It You know, it extends so much of opportunities, you know, the role in itself was bigger here. So I was looking at communications, Corporate affairs and CSR. Discovery lends you the power to influence the future. This power is something I was looking for, you know, because ultimately, you know, when Look at with my gray hairs now, I need to leave something behind for people to remember right and that will not happen with myopic business lead objectives alone, they have to be met Mind you, can you do something deeper? Can you do something for the society? Can you change benchmarks on how businesses are looked at? You know, I mean I look at Discovery as a very purpose-driven brand. Right?

Look at Animal Planet,

you know, just a small data. India is 2.3% of land share in this 2.3% of landshare globally 17.75% of population lives with this population and this explosion of population in India. We still have 10% of global wildlife. India has 70% of tigers, 81% of rhinos, I can go in this beautiful country that we have can make people more aware of their purpose towards wildlife. How can I make people

live their passion? This opportunity is what excited me.

Amith – Nice. Sounds interesting. So over your 15,20 years of working on corp comm jobs your PR jobs, tell us, couple of people who stood out for you as leaders, mentors, people who you learned and what we learn from them as well.

Sameer – Actually, I’ll name three of them and all of them actually in my own formative years because I think that’s when you get to your grind it and you know, how are you shaping up? So at I-Pan my immediate boss, Rakesh Thukral who is now heading Edelman very committed, you know, he would, he would make you think differently. Commitment is something which stood out passion and commitment for occasion, something I deeply indebted to him for that. Meenu Handa now, now with Google,

Meenu again, very, very strong individual strong personality will speak her mind will present a point of view and a very strong point of view, you know, in those age in my, you know, in those initial years, sometimes you reluctant you know, but on the agency side, should I say something which is, which will be could be true, but maybe it’s not not nice to hear. Meenu had the power. She had the gumption and the audacity, and I would say, the respect she earned from the clients that she could say, what she wanted to do, and that, that thing I, I really admired in her and I wanted to, you know, ingrain and it’s something I adopt internally very frequently. I speak my mind. The third person is Vivek Sen Gupta. Again, senior, editorial individual, former editor telecom And you walk into his room with a paper with your draft and he with his red pen will, you know this, come out with the paper looking completely red and in my about year and a half at I-Pan, the first six months, I was always working late because my drafts never approved. So, I learned to start my draft a week early so that I could hit time you know in time, but the power of writing is what he inculcated me the power of detailing He inculcated me. 

Amith – So you were out in Delhi boy born raised went to school college in Delhi, you lived there most of your life. Two things come to mind from that one is typically corp comm has always been a profession that is more Bombay centric and public Public Affairs, Delhi. So in this kind of scenario, how did you I mean, you, you always had interesting jobs realized sports discovery or both TV channels with interesting jobs as and Amway at this interesting controversies. So how have you evolved as a person who has spent years in one city one market Delhi, doing several different things over the years from database, which is a small thing? 

Sameer – It actually doesn’t matter. In these days. I mean, we are so connected. Right?

Right. So I mean, I’m practically in Bombay every second week. And it’s a city I admire Bombay because of you know, the discipline. 

Amith – I asked this question mainly because of your youngsters who asked me this question, which is a better city to start working in PR, really a Mumbai I said, Either is fine, whatever you’re comfortable with, but I think this insight will help them yeah.

Sameer – Either is for me totally. You need to find your standard. You need to find your calling. You need to find what is it you want to do in life? Right? If you’re clear about that, cities don’t matter. True.

Amith – So tell us we’ll just move away from work for a moment. Tell us about what you do to unwind What do you do for leisure time? How do you spend time beyond work?

Sameer – A lot, like I mentioned, cricket is one so cricket, whether India or non? I can do everything. So and then I think the second passion I have in my life is my kids. So my son is himself a cricketer. 10 years a leg spinner. So a lot of time goes into that. I mean, on weekends, I’m always. always busy watching matches, driving him around. My daughter, she’s into music, again, is even trying, trying to make her explore herself more deeply. So primarily this and I do a lot of reading as well.

 Amith – Do you also travel a lot on work within India or outside.

Sameer – Primarily India. Yes, there’s a lot of travel. I mean, and my travel is also very interesting because I handle CSR for discovery. So we have a project called Project cat which is conserving acres for tigers. And we are implementing it in Manas National Park. We are implementing it in Sundarbans. So a long time. I mean, I travel at least two to three times a year to these national parks to oversee what we are doing on the ground and we try and protect our tiger.

Amith – Coming back to your current job discovery. Tell us one or two things that stand out for you as unique initiatives that happened in your tenant int that couple of years in discovery and talk about them as well, please.

Sameer – I think the most important one probably is what we call the TV event of the year. The Bear Grill show with Prime Minister Modi proud to be part of that. I mean,

I thought a very interesting initiative and because I handle Corporate affairs hat as well. So you know, the engagement with the PMO very interesting stuff. I mean, it’s something which I carry for the rest of my life, a lot of learnings to be made.

Amith – Right I mean, that was an event that had a lot of buzz and hype before it was aired on television and then on the days that followed as well I think if you enter that working on an event for awards, I’m sure there are a lot of awards you can win

consider doing that as well. But could anything else that stands out for you in your

current and previous organizations that you work for as campaigns that really made a mark and are cases that people can look up read learn from.

Sameer – So you know it Amway we are setting the CSR wing as well? One of the important considerations I had in my mind was that whatever we do, has to be loved. We will not do CSR for the sake of it. And the orientation has to be how do we deliver impact on the ground and we actually delivered a project

working with an NGO in Missouri, wherein we created a BPO which is run and manned by visually impaired, it’s a profitable BPO still running, making money, and it employs 80. You know, visually impaired, that project gave me a lot of satisfaction, because, I mean, this is what you want to do in life, right? So can you do something which is

self sustainable? Right, and

you’re, you’re empowering people in that sense. So it’s a cycle that BPO has created because these 80 people who work they gain confidence, right, because they support in Tamil language, you know, support for certain telecom players and the native people they gain confidence there. Apply for government jobs, they get a new job in this, the vacancy left behind it filled by another visually impaired. So it’s a cycle, but your cycle that you’ve created, which is self-sustaining, which is so much fun. So, you know, always keen to explore and see how we can do interesting projects on growing.

Amith – So many, many of the guests on this show have been people who have only worked in corp comm jobs. You’re the first one we have, who’s also had a stint couple of stints in a PR consulting in job. So for younger people who, who watch the show and want to make curious and compare, is there a difference or an advantage of having started in PR consulting and then moving to corp comm? Because you’ve done that versus your friends and connections you know who just stayed away from college or some other job move to corp comm? Is there a difference? Does having a PR consulting assignment before your current job have an added edge or advantage in something.

Sameer – It does because I can, I can actually help. I mean I can understand what my team is thinking. So if there is a constraint which is put forward, I know I’ve done it I faced that constraint myself. So it makes me more empathetic in one sense also makes you more analytical because you know that this is something which can be done. Right? This is something which is probably far too far fetched. So, you know, from a team perspective, it gives you that deeper understanding of how to manage, right? And one of my learnings of working being on the agency side initially, they were clients who weren’t as nice so, that learning estate from a team.

Amith – So what are you look for us some images look for in a team member? If you were to hire a couple of people in your team, what are the besides the skill set that they have to bring for sure? What are the things that you look for in terms of attitude and other things in that team member team player?

Sameer – What I look for, very importantly is one never say no, very open attitude towards life and somebody who can accept mistakes Because once you accept your mistakes, you will not repeat it next time. Right. So, you know, but that openness of what I inculcate in my team is speak honest, be abrasive. And let’s, you know, analyze, what are the good things we have done? What are the badthings? we have done. How do we improve? The orientation has to be positive, ultimately, true.

Amith – Thanks. You’ve been observing the PR business in India grow in the last 15,20 years? What do you think in the Indian PR fraternity community do differently do better to evolve to the next level? I mean, like we spoke a little while ago, offline, there are a lot of things that people still do, which is very in the 90s. What can I do to completely evolve to make it more impactful? Make a better impression on clients if you’re a client servicing person on bosses and organizations if you are in houses? Well, please share your thoughts on that.

Sameer – I think we need to, you know, a lot has changed actually, over the last 10 years. I see us I see a major progressive force. Coming into our industry, but a lot, a lot needs to be done still. One only I think in my view, just a media mindset has to change. I look at corp comm as the brand custodian, right? We are somebody who can we provide the third party optics to the management. Right. So the role therefore is very critical. You are the knowledge manager, you are the brand consultant, not from a marketing perspective because marketing looks at from a sales angle. You’re looking at it from a corporate angle, how is my corporate or my plan going to be looked upon by the public signed engagement, the role therefore, you know, it’s much beyond media. I see a lot of times, you know, a lot of focus being given on just purely media, which is something we need to look review and maybe explore other areas. To ensure that we leverage the full power that you know that cop comm gives to you. There is so much we can do.

Amith – Tell us about your childhood and your growing up. Yes, I know you said you cricket was your love, which is one thing we heard tell us about the school you went to the family you grew up with which part of Delhi you grew up in. Tell us more about that as well. 

Sameer – Born and brought up in Delhi, 

the son of a government servant, very, I would say

very ethical, very proud,

common servant. You know, an individual I think I sometimes miss those individuals, the yesteryears, My father is now 85 I really admired him because of his straight forward attitude towards life. And it’s something I, I gained a lot from him.

Amith – I mean, back to today’s time, where do you see yourself five years from now? You’ve been in three interesting companies before the three other PR firms and an airline?

Sameer – I like to explore

myself deeper and see how I can contribute to the society. I think there’s a lot of learning which has gone in the last 20 years. And I want to now see how I can go deeper.

You know, and

I am not keen on doing tactical stuff anymore. It’s about now creating impact and giving, giving it back to the community of work.

Amith Right, If you have one piece of advice for younger viewers, younger professionals getting into the profession of just began their careers. What would that advice be?

Sameer – I think one of the biggest concerns I have is a very I’ll start or very base level, I think,

in a communication professional, I look at things

based on base writing.

Second, media

skills. And when I say media skills, it doesn’t mean necessarily media relationship, that one part of it. It’s about understanding what can be shared in the media, how it is to be pitched, how we need to skin it, and guiding the internal forces, so that they know that this needs to be done to create. So it’s both outward and inward. And once you’ve got a good mix, then you go out, because you cannot go and prepare to the media. Let’s, let’s respect that third pitch. third piece. The third thing is strategy. So, how are you shaping the brand? So read a lot. Read five newspapers every day. And write a lot. Because ultimately, you know what, you know, it’s we are communicators, right? We need to have the power to compel to influence to change the direction of an organization.

Amith – Thank you so much. I mean, it was great chatting with you. Before we end, I want to let you go only after we do a quick rapid fire. I have about seven or eight questions for you. We have three seconds to answer each other’s questions and then we will call it day. Yeah.

Amith – What’s the most trusted brand of yours?

Sameer – Tata

Amith – What’s your favorite book?

Sameer – Abhinav Bindra gold medal chase. 

Amith – What’s your favorite holiday destination?

Sameer – I think any destination you rode probably is better. It’s

part of the world. 

Amith – Name one person in this world who gets communications right, who you think Wow, he or she knows what communications is and gets it right banged on all the time. 

Sameer – You know,

on Twitter, there’s only one corporate individual. I follow

Mahendra and Anand Mahendra. I think he’s not communicating from profit metrics. He’s communicating from an impact metrics. And that is where he is diffrent.

Amith – Describes Sameer Bajaj in three words.

Sameer – Intense, passionate, loving. 

Thank you. I think we’ll end on that note, intense, passionate and loving is very easy to share. Thank you so much for your time, and I hope you enjoyed this as much as well. I’m sure a lot of people will learn new things from you and see your career growth and trajectory in a different light. I mean, I was surprised when I was researching about , you began your career in Jet Airways. Is that our thank you so much for your time and all the rest for what you do. I hope all your dreams keep coming through and you have a great life ahead. Thank you. So thank you. 

Sameer – Thank you. Pleasure being here.

#CommSpeak – Bharatendu Kabi in conversation with Amith Prabhu

Hi, welcome to this episode of CommSpeak. Today we have a very special guest. We have Bharatendu Kabi, the Head of Corporate Communications at Hero Motocorp. Bharatendu is a veteran in communications, who began his career in journalism and then moved into corporate communications. Thanks for coming on board to the show. Bharatendu.

Amith – We’ll start by asking you about how your journey began. Tell us more about how you got into journalism back in the mid 90s. And then we’ll move along to see what you did after that. 

Bharatendu – Well, so immediately after my post-grad from Utkal University in Bhubaneshwar. I was preparing for what was at that time, possibly a national pass time. Preparing for Civil Services. During that time I came across a pre deck by the Press Trust of India, in Delhi, inviting candidates for training journalists. So I applied a couple of written tests and an interview later, I joined as a trainee journalist in the Delhi Bureau, 1st of April 1995. So that’s how I came into journalism and stayed in PTI for close to five years.

Amith – Tell us about that. Why did you quit? What happened? What led you to moving from a journalism job to corporate communications?

Bharatendu -Well, I was not looking to leave journalism. My getting into corporate communication happened purely by chance. I didn’t go out looking for that job. So while being in PTI, one of my senior editors He told me that PepsiCo is looking for somebody from the media side to join their corporate communication team. And if I would be interested to apply. Now, back in 1999, I didn’t know anything about corporate communication, and I was deeply into journalism. I was loving my job. There was absolutely no reason for me to change my profession. But that editor of mine suggested that why don’t I give it a try, which I did again, the same process went through a series of interviews. And, of course, then they offered me the job. When I got the offer, I developed cold feet. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing by leaving a profession while leaving the profession which I love so dearly. So I spoke to a whole lot of people, including my parents, who left the decision on myself. And then my editor called me one day said, hey, it’s getting late. They can’t go on waiting forever. So you have to say either yes or no, but what’s the problem? So I told him, he said you go back home and sleep over it? Take a call tomorrow and let me know. So I, I thought I should give it a try. And that’s how in the month of October 1999 I joined PepsiCo. 

Amith – PepsiCo, and we know that you work with a legendary, Deepak jolly. Tell us more about that. What was it like working with this iconic gentleman super jolly. And what you did in your initial years at PepsiCo?

Bharatendu – As you rightly said, Deepak was my boss when I joined PepsiCo. In one sentence, I can tell you that for any aspiring communication professional, you cannot ask for a better mentor. As I said a little earlier, I do not know anything about corporate communication. I came in from journalism And he did a lot of hand-holding. He practically nurtured me. I learned the ropes under him. He also gave me a lot of freedom.

Amith – Tell us about some of the interesting things you did during PepsiCo stint. Some of the things you learn from there some of the things that you worked on that were not planned for, tell us more about those few years at PepsiCo as well.

Bharatendu – Well, that was my first job as a communication professional, and the learnings that you pick up during those early years, shape, your personality shape, your career path, all those learnings stay with you forever. First and foremost. Expect the unexpected. If you are not prepared for the unexpected for the unforeseen. Then you will be all at sea when that situation hits you does not have to be a crisis. It could be anything you can find yourself In a certain situation, whether you are totally unprepared, that is the first learning. The second being that you have to be always truthful and genuine. You have to build your own credibility. Unless you yourself have that credibility. You cannot help protect the reputation of the brand that you are working for. So, it is absolutely of paramount importance that you are always truthful. You are always genuine, you are always trustworthy. That is when the stakeholder groups that you’re trying to address, they’re going to trust you. They’re going to believe you. And that’s how in turn you protect the reputation of the brand that you’re working for.

Amith – You may be honest and and genuine person in the way you approach things. How does the stakeholder on the other end maybe your boss or senior journalists on the other end, realize that today’s youngsters sometimes find it hard they want to prove a point to their bosses approved to their boss says that they are really genuine and honest because a lot of people have skepticism about the new generation of youngsters coming into the workforce? So how does an youngster who’s 23, 24, 25 year old, prove to his or her boss, that he’s somebody they can trust? I know there are things they can do and demonstrate no doubt, but what are the things one can learn from yesteryears? That can be applied today to prove to the boss that you are a genuine, honest, trustworthy person.

Bharatendu – Okay, let me answer it in this way. And this is not just for youngsters, this is for everybody, right? Whether you are being honest, whether you have that integrity or not, it’s, it gets automatically amplified when you are under pressure. When you are not in pressure when you are working. In a very good environment, there are no challenges. Everybody can be a good man. Everybody can be a good human being. Your true work comes out when you are under pressure. How do you perform under pressure? How do you resist the temptation of going astray, how do you resist the temptation of achieving your objective? by whatever means, that is when you demonstrate it, it does not happen overnight. Again, you know, you build your trust over a period of time.

Amith – So maybe it’s a good thing for youngsters to pray that they have high-pressure jobs sometimes because those challenging times, test them to the hilt, and that helps improve, right?

Bharatendu – Absolutely.

Amith – So talking of pressure, talking of unexpected, I remember reading, I was just out of college than in the early 2000s. On the whole pesticide crisis that the Cola companies face. Tell us more about that and things that you can talk about publicly?

Bharatendu – Well, I think I think, for me, that was

my first exposure to crisis management. And I can tell you, that was, indeed crisis management at its best. We did absolutely the best that we could have done under the circumstances. As I said, that was one example of where, you know, something hit you when you didn’t expect it. And mind you, the the allegations on the quality of your products came from a very credible organization. To counter that, you need to have empirical data, research based data to prove that your products are absolutely safe for human consumption. And we did exactly that. So I think that was one of the examples

or instances where a crisis was managed.

By knowledge driven, fact driven data. It was less on relationship driven crisis management, which is what commonplace for me to be part of the comms team at that point of time. It was a huge learning crop. And and I think we did absolutely the very best In proving to our consumers, that our products are absolutely safe for consumption.

Amith – So there’s broadly two kinds of senior communication folks in this country, at least one of those who stick to a specific sector. They work in tech, or banking and financial services, or healthcare. But you’re one of those few who moved from an FMCG brand. Again, it’s a b2c company, to a completely different world, the auto sector, and you’ve spent a long number of years there as well. So what led to you moving from PepsiCo kind of FMCG company to a two-wheeler company, which you are now part of?

Bharatendu – To be honest, I was not looking out for a change in back in 2005, which is when an opportunity came, and that was purely from one of the search firms. And they spoke to me about an opportunity at Hero Honda.

And the opportunity was to set up the corporate communications department, I thought about it. And I thought, you know, in terms of the organization’s I, if I had to join Hero Honda then I was moving from one market leader to another market leader from a from an American multinational to an Indo Japanese joint venture. So, in terms of moving from one organization to another, I thought it would be seamless, which is what it was. But the bigger call it an opportunity in equal measure and a challenge as well was to set up the corporate communication function. I thought I cannot possibly get a similar opportunity again, if I let go of this. So, 2005 I moved from PepsiCo to Hero Honda in those days, which is now you know, HeroMotocorp.

Amith – Right and next it’ll be 15 years that you’ve been with this company now. 

Bharatendu – Oh, yes, a decade and a half, huh? 

Amith – The cool thing about your carrier graph is you’ve been industry organizations over 25 years. Today, we have people doing almost one job every couple of years and changing in PR proper conditions. There are exceptions, no doubt. But one of the few folks who stuck around 15 years there is about that what goes into sticking around in one place for 15 years in today’s times when there’s some sort of temptation to pick up a new job every few years? I don’t think there are more than 10 names that come to my mind in Indian corporate communications that have been in the Capcom job for more than 10 years, about nine or 10 people I can count on my fingers. Yeah.

Bharatendu – Right. Right. What is the provocation for you to look for a change that has to justify your decision to leave a particular company and go to another for some people, sometimes more, mostly, it’s money could be an upward growth, in terms of moving from a smaller role to a bigger role, etc. But you have to do a trade-off You have to do a trade-off in terms of what do you want out of your work life. how committed you are, how passionate you are about the brands that you are working for. If you want to let go of that level of commitment, that level of passion that drives you day in, day out, and looks for some other gratification, that’s a very personal decision. In my case, as you know, when I joined the company was Hero Honda, the market leader. The mandate was for me to start the function of corporate communication, which was hugely challenging and equally fulfilling as well as a professional. Within a few years, as you know, I’d spent about five to six years when the two partners decided to go their own way. And for Me, again leading the communication mandate. It was a huge opportunity, as I said in PepsiCo being part of the comms team when the cola war was on when the pesticide crisis was on, on hindsight, I look at those situations as absolutely God gifted opportunities for me to learn. Similarly here I think I would absolutely at the right place at the right time when the transition was happening. And to be part of the team to to set up the new brand to establish the new brand. It was a huge opportunity. Immediately after our separation in 2011. We started our global expansion and working with the team led by Dr. Pawan Munjal, as you know, the global expansion in four years or maybe in five years time. The brand hero is today present in close to 40 countries across Asia, Africa, Central America, South America. So every day is a new day. So when you enjoy your job so much, I don’t think there is a reason for you to look elsewhere.

Amith – The other thing I realized talking to you previously was you just don’t sell bikes, you just don’t promote two wheelers. You also do a lot of sports marketing and a lot of sports related activities through the year. Tell us about that. And tell us about one or two of your sports related campaigns that are really stood out for you that you worked on from scratch and have built to make to brand what it is. 

Bharatendu – You are right. Hero Motocorp is arguably the largest corporate promoters of sports around the world. And multiple disciplines. Football hockey, Field Hockey, Cricket, Golf and this has been going on. I mean our association with these multiple disciplines of sports is possibly more than two decades now. Well if you look at football today Hero is possibly the largest promoter of football in the country today all your domestic Football League starting from Hero ISL Hero I-league, Hero I league for women, Hero Supercup, Hero Intercontinental Cup. You are, we are the title of the sponsor of all the domestic leagues in addition to being the sponsor of the Indian national football teams, both men and women across age groups. So, football is where we are promoting this game all across the country. Similarly, I spoke about the Hero World Challenge but if you look at India, the hero has been the title sponsor of the Indian open for both men and women for many years now, which are the National Open Golf in India, and of course, we are also partners of the International Hockey Federation, FIH. So, so these are some of the other platforms that we are associated


Amith – Thanks for sharing those. We’ve done a lot of talking from your professional journey from PTI to PepsiCo to Hero to sports marking. Let’s go back to Ryan cool. I heard from you earlier this morning that you grew up in this town called Rairanpur in Orissa, tell us about your growing up years, your schooling years how you had fun playing with friends and siblings as you grew up and then moved on to college and then to Delhi to work here.

Bharatendu – You touched a very emotional subject, Rairangpur is where I was born. I spent my early years my entire schooling in Rairangpur but I would consider Myself absolutely fortunate to be born in writing, because that town personifies small-town India. Had I not been born there, I would have possibly never known what small-town India is all about.

Amith – Your parents still live there, you keep going back there to see them once in a while?

 Bharatendu – Oh, yes, my parents still live there. Yes, that’s my ancestral house.

Amith – Tell us about how does birth Bharatendu Kabi unwind? What do you do besides being engrossed with work with travel for sports marketing causes and other things. Tell us more about what you do to unwind with

your wife and son, and yourself?

Bharatendu – Yeah. Okay, first of all,

I enjoy my work thoroughly. So I don’t, I don’t think I need to separately unwind. It involves a lot of travel. It involves a lot of interaction with very interesting people from different parts of life. But let me answer your question in a different way. You know, we and you and I grew up in Israel. Integration which I spent a lot of time with books, unlike to the generation where gadgets have replaced books. So that habit has stayed with me. And so, so if you ask me how do I unwind then possibly I can say by reading and listening to music otherwise, I watch a lot of sports on television. Sometimes on my phone when I mobile, sports music books, and of course, as you rightly said, spend time with family and friends.

Amith – One advice you would like to give 21,22 year olds making a choice to get into public relations, corporate communications and this profession? What would that advise be?

Bharatendu – Be grounded, this profession gives you huge opportunities for growth.

But no matter how far you go, no matter how

how much to achieve in life, always stay grounded. This is one profession, which is a great equalizer. As I said a little while back, I was talking about building your trust-building your credibility, your own credibility. It takes years to build that. It takes a minute

to ruin everything. Which is why it’s absolutely paramount for you to always stay grounded to always stay humble. Always keep learning. I don’t think there is any other profession which gives you the kind of exposure, the kind of diverse exposure to different fields of life, different walks of life,

different sectors, as distribution.

Amith – Before we end I’ll do a quick nine to 10 questions with you in a rapid fire mode. I’ll just pick up this set of questions. You have just three seconds to answer and then we move to the next one. 

Amith – Tell us the most trusted brand of yours. 

Bharatendu – Apple.

Amit – The book that is your favorite, all the books you have at home and office ? 

Bharatendu – Weathering heights.

Amith – The best organization you worked so far. 

Bharatendu – All three.

Amith – You want to be safe on that one.

Amith – The boss you admire the most and why the boss you admired the most and why? 

Bharatendu – Dr. Pawan Munjal

because of his vision, because of his farsightedness and because of all the learnings that I have been able to pick up, working with.

Amith – A fellow communicator that inspires you somebody else in corporate communications,

Bharatendu – Deepak Jolly without a doubt.

Amith – Tell me a communications campaign that you wish you had worked on in India globally. That was a company you admire and say, Wow, I wish I was on that campaign as well. One that stands out for you.

Bharatendu – Not a brand campaign in terms of a product launch or anything, but

looking at the way Prime Minister Narendra Modi


reached out to multiple stakeholder groups, whether it’s the electorate, whether it’s investors, whether it’s global investors, global leaders, or even the Diaspora around the world. It’s absolutely phenomenal. Starting from 2014, you had the Madison Square Garden event and then the very recent one at Houston. I think it’s absolutely out of the box and, and I don’t think any other global leader had done this kind of outreach program ever in history before, so for any communicator, I think that’s usually inspirational.

 and learn from Yeah. 

Amith – What’s your favorite holiday destination, the place to love to go back to again and again

Bharatendu – Rairangpur.

Amith -And lastly, how does one describe Bhartendu Kabi in three words? How does Bharatendu describe himself in three words?

Bharatendu – That’s not for me to judge. But if you ask me, I can only say one word, which is grounded.

Thanks you so much Bharatendu, pleasure having you on this show. I look forward to engaging with you be on the show in the future as well. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your insight.

Hi, that was Bharatendu Kabi, the head of Corporate Communications at Hero Motocorp. In a candid conversation with me. We hope to have more such conversations with other comms leaders in the days to come. Thank you.

#CommSpeak – Deepak Jolly in conversation with Amith Prabhu

Hi, welcome to another episode of CommSpeak. Today we have a very different kind of person from those who have heard before. Different because he’s a jolly good fellow. You’ve guessed by now who I’m talking about. But more than that is no more a corporate communications leader he used to be. We have seen in the last 14,15 episodes, corporate communication leaders and now we’re moving to consultancy leaders as well. But Deepak Jolly Our guest today is a very different kind of corporate communications leader and a PR leader. He began as a hotel management trainee moved up the ladder very quickly worked in some of the biggest brands in the country over a 30-year carrier and now is back to doing what he loves best managing a P & L of his own company, Consocia advisory. Welcome, Deepak, and great to have you here on CommSpeak.

Amith – Deepak great to have you here on come speak.

Deepak – Thank you, Amith.

Amith – You are a very fascinating individual and a very, very interesting professional. You are a great storyteller and there are so many people who tell us fascinating stories about you and your amazing career. Tell us about how it all began. How did you get into Corporate Communications and Public Relations way back 30 years ago?

Deepak – Thank you. So, not 30 years, even more. So I started my career in 1984 as a management trainee in ITC, right after PUSA after doing Hotel Management is PUSA and I had a very, very illustrious bad very ambitious batch who all were running to doing something different than life. It was the only management training program at that point of time. So we all decided to join that. But for the journey, I must give due credit to our seniors and the men a then Managing Director Mr. Rajan Jaitley.

Amith – And then from your ITDC days you move to LA Meridien in Delhi as front office manager, you are still not gone into PR and communications tell us a story of how public relations came your way? 

Deepak- This is a very interesting story. My chairman of the hotel in Meridien in Delhi was Mr. Charanjeet Singh a man of pivot, a man of poise, and he really knew how to charm people. But one thing he really got into trouble in those days was the hotel were under huge attack of being given as a hotel property to a politician per se. So when I joined the hotel, I realized that the PR in the hotel or something which he needed the most, and one fine day, my then boss, Miss Jenny bentall came and asked me, Why don’t you do PR Because I had given them some interesting ideas on how to convert many, many Foes into friends. And from the front office, this was an opportunity to move into PR and advertising an area which I had not done before. late 80s. Yeah. So I would say that, you know, when I look back in at those times, lots of learning, were there PR managers there many people know, right? Very few in the country.

Amith – There was this amazing gentleman who is no more Mr. Irfan Khan, Unilever. Tell us about that story. How did that come your way? How did the next job at Unilever happen?

Deepak – Well, that is very interesting.

So way back in 1988, I started getting interview calls from leavers, where, you know, lots of people interviewed me in Delhi. The position was of government affairs and a PR person who can interact with the media in Delhi. Because that was an era where Unileavers was the biggest multinational where the communists used to look at one multinational to really browbeat was the likes of Unilever. And there was Dr. Dutta Samant, someone who used to be leading from the front of movement on labor in the all Uniliever factories. So and he was a member of parliament. So everything got focused on a conversation in Delhi along with the communists so they realized that they had to strengthen that department where a communication led government affairs person was to be hired. And it was chance luck by chance that I fitted the bill. But I must say, the real foundation of PR how to do the things the right way. Some people used to tell me Unilever’s is a cocoon because you know, it was a professional company. It would not behave the way the Indian entrepreneurial companies would behave. But I would say from Irfan to Keiki, Dr. Ganguly I think these all became your role models. And I think you gained so much from them. One thing was, how do you build trust with others? And what is it that you give and take, right and one thing, one last thing, which I learned from them what Whatever you do, let integrity be your Cornerstone and your storytelling should be honest and accurate.

Amith – I think there are very few men or women in this world who have worked in both the cola companies. I don’t know too many people have worked in PepsiCo and Coca Cola at the same time in one career span. You then move to PepsiCo had two stints later with Godfrey Phillips and Bharti Airtel as well and then moved and spent close to a dozen years at Cobo Hall as well. So tell us about your life in the two cola companies PepsiCo first and then the Coca Cola company?

Deepak – So you know, when you are building a company, it’s like, you know, like, getting used to your new wife. It’s beautiful. You know, you have issues on a daily basis, but you resolve them And what’s most important is even today, that Gang of warriors at Pepsi, we all meet.

Amith – What was that one campaign that you think stays with you forever. They’ve clicked on many of those but one that you say is close to your heart you really passionately worked on?

Deepak – Oh, this campaign was nothing official about okay. So what happened was that he came back after doing a bid for the most prestigious cricket event. We couldn’t get it. And, and that event was the World Cup was to happen in India. And we were not the beverage sponsors. We had put all our energies thinking caps and creative ideas that we would do this and we would do that and this is how it will look But, you know, losing a bit is not so easy to digest, especially when you thought you knew cricket better than the competition at that point of time. So we came back, gave it a thought. And we realized the best way to go was guerilla marketing at that time.

It was all about carry your own journey and with your own passion.

And I must tell you something.

And this was something which we were completely kept confidential we were discussing about how should we do it? And when I told this campaign to people,

believe me, there was stunned silence in the room.

Amith – So what was the crux of the campaign? We saw the ad advertising campaign have nothing official about it. What is it crux of the earned media, the PR campaign that you built and worked on?

Deepak – You asked a very, very interesting question, the crux of the campaign, or the thinking behind it was that people, young people in India never liked the word, sorry, or official.

And we came to know that coke would be putting official sponsor of the cup, official beverage of the World Cup on all their packaging at that given time. And so we said, why not attack the word official? I must tell you something very interesting. I’ve forgotten the name of the author. But the sports editor of the London telegraph came to meet me Along with one of the most famous journalists, an old friend and buddy, Pradeep magazine, Pradeep said Deepak, this gentleman has come from London and he says, I want to understand why there’s so much passion in the game of cricket in India. I want to understand what is going right and what is going wrong and why the UK is not being able to sell cricket as in India. So I said okay, so are you writing so No, no, no, no, no, not not in the newspaper. So I presume everything will find. So I gave him about a maybe 45-minute interview telling him about nothing officially. He went back to write a book on the passion of picket in India, which had a 38-page chapter called Nothing Official About it. And it does days, I finally bought a book in bookworm.

These 38 pages were based on my interview.

Amith – So many interesting stories we never hear of thanks for sharing those. Tell us about your long stint in Coca Cola 12 years. One story that you feel is amazing. You’ll tell your friends family for many, many years to come from your coke days. I’m sure there are hundreds of stories, or one that stands out that PR and corp professionals watching this interview will really cherish and say wow, what a story?

Deepak – So there was a TV channel “Pranoy” TV channel, which was, you know, which had come up with a story about how Columbia University in those days had decided not to sell Pepsi because coke was using the Indian water, etc. And then, you know, we realized that that was a very interesting medium to reach out to the people who talked, in a similar way, so 2010 was the beginning of that seep seeding of the idea where from the public point of view was there are dropouts in schools, because of the non-availability of good sanitation facilities and drinking water and other facilities which are required. But at the same time, there are also needs with the schools are unable to provide because the schools, government schools would like to pay their teachers and make sure that attendance of the kids have that. And in six months time after the project had gone over, and both Atul and Dr. Roy both went to the schools and we had a more interesting story to tell the need of the hour was that girl child who wants to educate, had to go back to her house in the village after two or three classes, because of the lack of toilets and sanitation facilities. And if you want the full school attendance, you need to create these assets. And this was our learning in 2010. So support my school was born. And then we said wait a minute, can we be the only charitable people responsible for it? So my boss said, Give a have a good target and I said 100 schools now hundred schools meant at least a minimum of seven to eight crores

to be spent.

So I could galvanize half of it. So how do you galvanize the other? So we said support my school is a coke lead campaign. But it is a campaign for all the others. So Pearson’s came up with libraries, somebody else came up with some other assets, somebody else came up with, you know, I will provide you a different kind of model for furniture.

So, the only thing with marketing did for me, was they funded through their marketing program, some of the DME to build the cabin throughout the year with NDTV. Now, year one saw the completion and 2012 we realize we can go to phase two. The phase two was the year where we said We will take 250 schools more, this is all over India all over and it became Pan India, and phase three, I said bigger targets thousands. Now, when I look back and when I heard the Prime Minister speaking in 2014 from the ramparts of red port, the first speech he gave was that every school in India will get a toilet. And it was so heartening that the seeds that we had sown in 2010 had reached with a very strong communication program and reach to the level of the nation building, which I’m so proud of it today. I’m so proud of it.

Amith – I am not going to spend time talking about the pesticide scam that was issued on the scam that you had Part of at PepsiCo and the Coke Studio campaign at coke as well. But these are memorable for you in different ways good and bad in their own way. They’re going to move to a couple of more things that go beyond your area of work. Tell us about your childhood. Where were you born, where you went to school? How are those days?

Deepak – Sure, I was born in a very small town on the border called Firozpur in Punjab. My grandfather used to be my Nana he was the stationmaster. My mother was again a very passionate teacher, she was awarded many awards from the Delhi government. She became rose to became the principal of the Delhi school. So, as typical of Indian parents, you know, she went back home, and I was born in the nanka family at Firozpur, born and brought up largely born in Firozpur but brought up in Delhi. My father was a journalist. My father rose to the level of Deputy General Manager Press Trust Of India. So my dad was a journalist for 40 years. And then he moved into PR and his later part of the life and I still remember, you know, his eight years stint at DuPont. And I would say I learned a lot from him. He was a great storyteller as well. So, coming back to my younger days, I guess, I started in a school in Delhi, which is called the Springdale school. And then I decided to do my hotel management and from again, made lots of friends over there. Even today, you know, our friendship, which is almost 39 years old, is most cherished. So I would say that, you know, we’ve been living in a time of change and continuous change. And what I’ve learned in life is to adapt to change. I think one of the beauties about PR is that it comes as something which is so natural to us. But, you know, the fact is, if you want to contribute to the business, you have to learn also one side of the art of telling a story to your internal and external stakeholders. So it cannot be that, you know, there is one department which is just telling that story. So, now, when I look back at my number of years, which I spent, I really feel that when I coach people or CEOs on how to tell stories better There’s a lot of comforting factor that you are enriching so many people’s life by telling a better story internally and externally.

Amith – One last question before we end this amazing chat with you and have the rapid fire as well. There are a lot of youngsters getting into public relations today. And you got into other questions without a formal degree in mass communication of PR, even management grad and then we heard your story. What’s the one thing you look for in a youngster you would hire at that Consocia Advisory or in any other job you are in a leadership role? What’s the one thing you look for when you hire some of the smartest guys who do they lead common? big corporations, what was it that you look for in them?

Deepak – So one thing which I look at, you can help him write better, you can help that person to even talk better. But one thing which I really look at is that does he have that passion and drive with him? Now you would say that that is for every job. But the question for us is, this is a specialist job. And if the person doesn’t enjoy that, and always think the grass is greener on the other side, so you will ever make it. Most important thing is that inner drive that, you know, the morning, he wakes up and says, I have to go to work. And I have to do this all six, seven point and I love my work. Show when I interview people, I’ve started looking at these different facets.

Amith – You had a crazy busy life. How did you make time to also balance your time at home with your wife, family children?

Deepak – So one thing which I have done is so sacrosanct is a holiday with my wife, who is my sounding board. And let me tell you, the more holidays we’ve done together, and sometimes the children help me to unwind, and again, come back with fresher ideas because she really comes up with some very, very good ideas, and I try to implement them.

With that we’ll come to this interesting part of the interview, which is the rapid fire. Yeah, nine questions in less than 90 seconds. You have 10 seconds at most. To answer each question. They’re quick and easy. So we’ll start right away. 

Amith – Tell us the brand you trust the most?

Deepak – The brand I trust the most will have to come from the Unilever house. Lux.

Amith – Your favorite book?

Deepak – Plenty of them to pick up.

Let’s not go into one because, I can name seven or eight, my seconds will go. 

Amith – The best boss you ever had.?

Deepak – I mean, so many of them.

Amith – The finest company ever worked for?

Deepak – Without a doubt Unilever.

Amith – The professional role model you look up to or looked up to when you were in your younger days.

Deepak – So it changed from the point of view of general management. It was Sumant Sinha from the point of view of the subject matter I worked. it was Irfan.

Amith – One current Indian communicators that you admire?

Deepak – I would say, I would reserve my comments at this time, but

yes, Well, let me tell you something. You know, all the presidents of United States are great communicators.

Amith – So let’s take your favorite holiday destination. Where you love to go and unwind

Deepak – Abroad its Spain. And in India, I would say Goa. I’m going the day after, again.

Amith – Describe the Deepak Jolly in three words?

Deepak – A bundle of energy, passion, and staying true to himself.

Amith – Thank you, Mr. Jolly. It was fascinating talking to you. It was longer than most interviews we usually do. But this story is very, very mesmerizing as well. That was Deepak jolly, the founder of Consocia Advisory, a person has spent many, many years in the world of corporate communications. And these stories are endless and mind-boggling as well. I’m glad and I hope you enjoyed listening to him during these few minutes. Thank you again, Mr. Deepak jolly, and hope you enjoy doing this as much as I really do.

88 – Masterclass on Public Policy with Berges Malu

On the 1st of May, we got an opportunity to interact with Mr. Berges Malu. He is the Head of Public Policy and Policy Communications at ShareChat. 

In the past, Mr. Berges worked with APCO worldwide which is an independent global public affair and strategic communications firm, in the year 2013, he worked with Mr. Piyush Goyal, who is currently the Railways and Commerce minister of India.

Mr. Berges shared a lot of insightful and informative nuances of public policy and government relations.

Some of the key takeaways are:

  • He predicted that in the post-COVID world government relations will increase as a lot of brands and companies will be looking forward to maintaining a cordial connection with the government.
  • Public policy is the new MBA everyone wants to do, so many aspirants, and very few jobs.
  • Some of the jobs in public policy do pay well and some are personally rewarding as well.
  • Exposure in public policy is phenomenal, as you get an opportunity to meet with senior bureaucrats, government officials, and political leaders.
  • Understanding the key stakeholders is very crucial for any business or company.
  •  Businesses and companies should know the strength and weaknesses of all the stakeholders, civil society groups, bureaucrats.
  • Every day comes with a new challenge and new learnings.
  • It is advisable to be careful about what you are saying or communicating on behalf of a brand or a company. Everything you do or say has serious consequences.
  • When you work in public policy and government relations. The government websites come in handy to know who’s who of the department or ministry, how and where to reach them.

Last but not the least, read a newspaper regularly, you can surprise your clients if you just follow this habit regularly and religiously.

87 – Grim Reality

As the world is battling to fight with coronavirus, not just people around the world but most of the world leaders are also worried about the unprecedented time ahead. Economic activities to run the country is at a halt. Different countries facing different problems and figuring out a cure before they face a worst-case scenario, which we call, recession.

Every industry is facing a grim situation, especially Airline, Tourism, and Hospitality industry, what worrisome for the industries is the migrant workers and labors on which most of the factories and inventories depends, they have moved back to their native places.

China, where it all begins, in the Wuhan province, the government is slowly lifting imposed lock-down restrictions, malls, and public places are opened for the public but citizens are still scared to step out. Shop and restaurant owners have to pay the rent to the owners, and as people no longer prefer so visit restaurants, food vendors offering home delivery just to make some bucks and survive.

The USA, which is the worse affected by covid19, with over 700,000 cases, state governors requesting to stay indoors and maintain social distancing, thousand of protestors, protesting on the streets demanding to re-open the states and lift the lock-down measures.

What future holds for us is no one knows. We just have to wait and watch.

86 – Lock-down

We exploited nature, natural resources, and wildlife. What we have learned in our class is every crisis is an opportunity, this coronavirus pandemic is the time when we need to think beyond and contemplate and let the mother nature heal.

People can no longer buy animals and cage them, because of the coronavirus pandemic which is now the whole world is facing and fighting, we are the one who is now locked down at home and animals are roaming free on the streets and reclaiming their territories. In a Chicago aquarium, zookeepers allowed penguins to wander freely and meet other animals, as humans can no longer visit zoos, zoo animals are enjoying the most, they get to roam freely and visiting each other.

Across the world, animals are venturing out on the street, from wild boars to coyotes wandering around on the empty streets, what this means for nature. Nature is thriving, factories and manufacturing units are off due to Covid19, most of the world is now stuck at home no more vehicle movement and less pollution.

Pollution level is gone down in some of the most polluted cities in the world. What this means for us is we need to respect mother nature and appreciate it instead of destroying it, we need to think not just about us but about the animals who are also part of this world, part of mother nature and not to disturb their territories which we are doing, by cutting down trees and jungles for our greed and building concrete jungles.

85 – Advertising for Results.

Book Review – Advertising for Results.
Author – G.F Brown

In this book, the author explains how to achieve the desired results with the help of advertising, idea creation, how to build a campaign, and frame the campaign.

Gathering – To research and to gather facts and information which will appeal to the audience does seem like a low-level chore, but this Knitty-gritty will make you knowledgeable and could give you the right strategy.

Look through past company materials, read previous marketing campaigns that worked and which didn’t work. Read what is your competition is working on, it will give you a treasure trove of information.

Keep questioning yourself –
• What kind of results do you want?
• What is this ad trying to do?
• What are the priorities for it?
• What is it trying to say?
• How do you want the audience perception to be changed after seeing the ad?
• What’s unique about it?

You are selling – Don’t forget that, you have to sell to the people, think about the plan which will appeal to the audience, then only they will initiate a plan to buy the product or subscribe to the service.

Keep your product in mind, think of an idea behind it, Try to form a connection with it Use the product, know everything about the product, Would you buy your product?
Rule of thumb is to show or demonstrate to the audience that your product or service is a solution to their problems.

Market – If you don’t know the market, you will fail miserably. Know and understand the market, where you will be advertising, understand the cultural nuances, likes dislikes and any inclination of the audience.

Campaign – As the author mentioned in the book. A campaign is “an orchestration of advertisements. The goal is to move people.” Think if it is necessary to launch a campaign or to create an Ad or not, don’t just launch a campaign just for the sake of it?

Emotions – Play with emotions. Feelings can sell every product under the sun as the author mentioned in the book. Think about how your ad can evoke emotion, how your product or service is related to it. Tell stories that connect directly to the audience.

84 – Countries and COVID

It’s going to get worse before it gets better. While the whole world is going through a crisis, we have to keep our faith alive and believe in this line, that things will eventually get better by time.

The situation is grim and dark clouds of Covid19 hovering over the world. Everyone is waiting for a ray of hope, in this blog, I will explain how some of the major countries of the world fighting with the worse pandemic of history.

Novel coronavirus which is now a global crisis dismantled some of the strongest countries, some of the countries still coping up and figuring out how to deal with it and some countries are leading with an example by implementing strict measures to stop the pandemic.

South Korea – WHO advise countries to test, test, and test for coronavirus, some of the effective measure which was taken by the government praised globally. South Korea installed several phone booths at different locations to test people quickly, where people don’t have to wait for so long just to get their tests done. They don’t even have to wait to get their results, health officials send the report directly to their contact number.

The USA – The United stated of America which has now reportedly more cases than any other country, surpassed China, Italy, and Spain, failed to tackle the situation and took things lightly, government officials failed to impose a travel ban on time, which leads to the first case which was reported in Seattle. After six weeks when the first case was reported, officials realized to imposed a travel ban. When the other countries restricted large gatherings and asking citizens to follow social distancing, Officials continued with the spring break festival of Florida were teenagers partied together.

Read more in my next blog.