Celebrating the contributions of women in the PR sector, exchange4media PR & Corp Comm is running a ‘Women Achievers Series’. It will feature the journey, success and achievements of some of the top women leaders from the Public Relations and Corporate Communications fraternity.
Today’s series features Trupti Vasudev, Director, Actimedia PR & Digital. An experienced professional with over 20 years of demonstrated history of working in media, marketing, public relations, some of her focus areas include corporate communications, brand marketing, sports marketing, retail marketing and market research.
Excerpts from the interview:
Now that the industry is opening up workplaces and resuming operations from the office, what are the initiatives, measures and precautions that should be adapted/ taken to ensure a smooth transition?
People have undergone a tremendous transformation in the last two years – personally and professionally. There has been an evaluation of where they are and what they want from their careers and life. We have to be sensitive to the fact that this means different things for people in different life stages. There are those who prefer work from home because it allows them flexibility and there are those who prefer the energy that being around co-workers gives them. There are also those who are anxious about going to meet someone for the first time even though they have been working remotely together for a while.
The biggest imperative today is to dialogue with teams, understand their differing needs and allow them to ease back into the workplace, to use the workplace to create greater efficiencies while not abruptly disrupting their home-life schedules.
The last 20 months have been trying for every professional, especially with the hybrid working model. How did you strike a balance between office work and household duties?
Perhaps I am blessed or I just have good karma. I have a great family system that has never created the standard pressures of being a daughter, a woman, a wife or a mother that would impede my work or, for that matter, any of my other pursuits. It creates a sense of freedom and balance that is immensely empowering. I managed to work for and earn my karate brown belt during the pandemic, even managed to get a decent vegetable garden going and didn’t have to sacrifice my work or my time with my family.
At work, we have an extremely democratic structure that works on mutual respect. We ensure that we do the simple things right. Do not impose on each other’s personal time, do not run meetings through lunch, provide adequate notice for meetings so that work is enjoyable rather a stress factor.
Actimedia has a fantastic bunch of people. Having a team that is self-motivated, has fun together and enjoys their work allowed for a smooth and easy communication between teams, so all the negative fall-outs of a Zoom office have been totally nullified.
I also think we were incredibly well placed because of our client set. We work with some great partners who have been with us for years and we enjoy a relationship of great trust, so we don’t have typical agency pressures and are instead focused on creating some quality work.
What are the roadblocks that you have had to overcome to reach where you are today?
Wouldn’t call it a roadblock but with the benefit of hindsight and of paying attention to the corporate journeys of both men and women around the world, I feel that perhaps I should have invested in creating a mentorship circle around me in the early days. We had the passion but perhaps not the wisdom that people with experience bring.
Mentors can really unlock potential for young women and help them overcome barriers – both real and perceived.
What, according to you, are the makings of a leader?
Of late, I have been following the management style of Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp and I am so in awe. For a super-achiever himself, dealing with other high-performance athletes is not easy, in a sport that is such high-stakes, that needs a community to rally around the team, it is perhaps one of the toughest leadership mandates.
From setting clear expectations at the time that he took on the role, to building a team slowly and patiently, to now when they are so close to the title Klopp has shown a fantastic leadership. Deeply analytical in his approach, scientific in his signings, highly demanding in terms of results and yet incredibly human as he showed with his decision to bring in back-up goalie Kelleher at a nail-biting juncture in the recent Carabao Cup. He has shown that leaders don’t need to set sentiment aside.
In the chase for glory, Klopp still manages to find space for old-world values such as loyalty, fellowship to the club, and rituals that respect the fans. Leaders build things that are meant to outlast them. They work on building a culture that thrives even when they are not there.
What would be your advice to the young generation?
Be bold, be adventurous but also be socially conscious. Every generation has done great things because they have challenged the old. But every generation also realises that there are some things that are enduring. My advice to the younger generation would be to carefully evaluate what they keep and what they shed. The importance of rigour, of values and of relationships are elements that have stood the test of time over several evolutions of corporate existence.
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