Brands make my shopping easy

Written by Banasree Purkayastha | Updated: Aug 13 2013, 07:58am hrs
1The job: To begin with, I love the Tata AIG way of doing business. Very often marketers are expected to concern themselves with spending marketing budgets. While in other places this could come with a implied lack of responsibility for the results, Tata AIGs approach is different. Every marketing dollar spent has to demonstrate a clear return on investment (ROI) impact. This means the job is much more scientific and hence more interesting. Another enjoyable aspect is that if you have a credible business case, you get all the freedom you would need to execute your plans. Senior management involvement, and that too as a team working in a close-knit environment towards improving customer and shareholder value, makes synchronisation of marketing with other functions very smooth.

At the same time, here are some things that all Indian companies could learn from other work cultures. Indian workers could learn time and project discipline and also effective use of workplace humour from western workplaces. Asia-Pacific work cultures place a high premium on detail and accuracy and I think Indian workers could absorb these traits too.

2The weekdays: A typical workday would begin at 9:30 am. I would have normally formed a plan for my day before reaching the office. The first thing that I like doing is catching up with my team members with informal chats about how their evening or weekend was and setting priorities for the week or day. This informal conversation, peppered with humour, is very important for me to have a good day at work. It makes the team want to come to office and also start the day on a pleasant note and with clear intentions to complete tasks or close meetings, discussions. As far as possible, I avoid setting up meetings before 10:30 am and use the early part of the day to clear any pending emails, documents to be written or reviewed, etc. Between meetings, I call for flash reviews of tasks or use the time to work with the team on designing a plan or structuring an activity. If I am not travelling or having any meetings outside, lunch is almost always with the team (and no work is discussed over lunch). As we head to the evening and as all worklists get checked off, the team again has informal interactions about work concerns what we should be doing the next day, week or month. This is the time when I get most suggestions from the team and I promise to mull it over the evening and give them a reply the next day. On Friday evenings, I have a look at my calendar the next week and plan the week in advance.

3The weekend: Saturdays are for loved ones exclusively. This would include going to our favourite eating joint or a movie or driving out of town. Sundays are about housework and catching up

on reading. If I had a golf partner in India, I would have spent most of my Sunday at the driving range and the golf course.

4The toys: By a stroke of chance, I ended up having a Samsung Tab and an iPad at the same time. I ended up spending a lot of time trying to discover the difference between the gadgets and convincing some of the Apple fans that Samsung has got their game right. A new acquisition is a DSLR camera whose intricacies still elude me but I am getting there.

5The logos: Brands make my decision-making process easy. Like many men, I do not enjoy shopping, unless its gadgets, and hence, brands come in handy to ease the process. For my jeans and t-shirts, I stick to Levis. For suits, it is Kachins in Bandra. For shirts, its again Kachins or Zodiac. Ties are always from Satya Paul. For consumer electronics, Croma is now my only destination. I stopped buying consumer electronics on trips abroad as the price and technology differential has become near zero. I am very loyal to some restaurants for Mughlai, it is Karims near Jama Masjid, Oh! Calcutta for fish curries and The Trattoria for Italian cuisine. Baked fish at The California Pizza Kitchen is a new and wonderful discovery.