Published on 7/07/2017 7:06:11 PM | Source: Team

The New age Marketing Mind: An interview with Anish Behera

Anish Behera, Head of Strategy - Digital at Cheil Worldwide is one of the finest Minds, in a candid discussion with our editorial team and sharing his thoughts on multiple topics.

 In the past decade Anish has had opportunity to work in various capacities across creative, digital and media agencies and has helped many brands achieve their ambitions.


Q1. Anish thank you for giving opportunity to talk to you, Exciting times for Marketing & Business leaders with the emergence of digital platform?  How does one balance between traditional medium and digital?

One does not, to balance is to err.

On a daily basis I try to break down the wall of traditional medium versus digital medium, the wall seems to come alive the next day. It’s like The Wall from Game of Thrones.

We marketers, at first, started with a generalist approach in marketing communication, the yester years, then we all broke away into different specialist functions and now again, integration is the new cash machine in the event of digital consumption across by consumers.

In reality we need to see marketing and marketing communication in oneness, I call this singularity. In times to come, evolved clients will have conversation around how one marketing dollar is being invested across the spectrum and the effectiveness of it .

Hence, there is no need to find a balance, what’s needed is tradeoffs between one media/exposure platform vs another basis objective and intent.


Q2. How difficult it is to work with multiple brands simultaneously of diverse genres (FMCG, Finance, Technology etc) and yet help them achieve their ambitions? Each industry and brand will have unique challenges and advantages?

The reason I joined advertising, post doing a masters in Finance is for this very reason, the diversity of category/clients we get to work with; it’s alluring. New day, each day.

It isn’t difficult nor is it a breeze either, but it sure is fulfilling.

Each industry and each client in that industry have their own set of challenges that we turn in to opportunities, weakness that we convert to strengths.

We can do this with a deeper understanding of their businesses and an even deeper understanding of their consumers.

You see, at the core of all the businesses/categories across FMCG, Ecom, Tech, Banking, Airlines, Electronics, Automobile, Alcohol, Pharma are similar, what stays constant is the consumer and our job is to connect with them. Understand their dreams, fear, anxiety, hopes and make brands meaningful to them.


Q3.  How do you see current scenario for startup in India? What would be your advice to startups on building marketing strategy especially when there are limited resources?

Startups is an interesting topic for me. I had predicted that 2016 would be a year of start-downs and it was. I have an outsider POV of the ecosystem, having said that, I believe most of us are getting into this sphere to make quick money. Hence, the Indian startup scene so far is based on valuation and not value. Resources will always be limited and that drives better results on the back of innovation and trying harder.

I did an article on the same on LinkedIn and it went viral, most agreed, that the intent, the core driver needs to be better than what it currently is. You can get the article here “Papa, what did I do wrong?”

Come to think of it, Flipkart’s valuation places it ahead of listed giants such as Indian Oil Corp. Ltd, Tata Motors Ltd and Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd.Snapdeal’s valuation exceeds that of Yes Bank Ltd, Titan Co. Ltd, Vedanta Ltd and Tata Steel Ltd. 

The companies that toiled day and night, did things by the book, created sustainable jobs, made life better, touched its consumers, passed on the baton to generations are now way behind in valuation against fundamentally a delivery company couple of years old; its just beyond me.

What keeps me awake is the butterfly effect of all the money burn happening today, in years to come, jobs might be lesser cause of many start-ups going south, that is worrisome.

Hopefully, 2018 and onwards, we might see a certain sense of maturity in the ecosystem, both form VCs and founders, With individual like Nandan Nilekani and Sanjeev Aggarwal coming in with their bags of money, we MIGHT see rationalized investment on innovation and not cut copy paste models. (And the glorified elevator pitch, should be a thing of the past, hopefully, sensibilities should beget better and wiser investing)

But then, history has a way of repeating itself and I could be wrong.


Q4. Our viewers would like to know that as a successful marketing leader what your mantra is for Success.  What is the key to be a successful leader and also how do you deal with setbacks and failures?

I won’t have a mantra, what I have is a belief.

If you know your customers, if you know people better than they know themselves, you will always stay closer to success at work as a marketer. At the nucleus of everything we do, is people. Get them, get glory.

While the world talks about being at the frontier of change and being abreast with technology, I believe be organic and be open. Newness comes from it.

On failure and dealing with setbacks, this is an emotional one. Earlier, each time I would fail, I would catch myself sulking. It took some years and a certain maturity to realize, failing is chiseling and it’s important we get a taste of it every now and then. Success only beings/breeds arrogance, failure makes you humble. It’s the yin and yang.

My last setback, took me 24 months to get over, I suppose the more emotionally involved you are, the longer the recovery period, but what it made me was a better person and a stronger one.

Count your failures, measure your success.


Q5. Any role models or leaders who have inspired you over the period of time?

Well I just have two souls I really appreciate and I bet a day in their life will be an eternity in mine. These two people inspire me because they are self-ignited, they fought battles as loner until the world took notice, never let self-doubt engulf them and they changed a lot in the usual.


Steve Jobs & Elon Musk.


Q6. In your free time you like to write, would be great if you could share with our viewers about the same.

I have a lot of thoughts in my mind and I usually would share them with my close friends, until this one day at work.

It was a slow day at work, May of last year and I had nothing much to do, so I went on to LinkedIn and wrote an article on Pulse. It was an article that was close to my heart and as soon as I published it, it went viral.

The article was on being a middle class boy, the glory and folly of it all. You can read it here

It was read by over 1.5 Lac people, considering this is LinkedIn and the article was over 10 pages long, I was surprised. When I saw the comments section, I was clear that many of the cob webs I had in my head that I had cleared for me, I could for many other by writing about it.

Ever since, I have been doing a post a month and it’s mostly about everyday life, realties, culture, growing up, world around and similar.


(Above Views are of Author and not of website or editorial team)