For this segment of Women In Marketing, we had a chat with Barnali Bharali who is the Country Marketing Manager for Wolters Kluwer in India. A team player and excellent marketeer, Barnali also volunteers her time towards the betterment of animals. Let’s learn more about her story
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
I was born and brought up in Guwahati, Assam, a state in northeastern part of India, known for its wildlife, silk, archaeological sites, and tea plantations. Though I moved for my further studies to Delhi, my family continues to live there.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FONDEST MEMORIES?
Dinner time with family without smartphones and TV and long family holidays.
SHOW OFF TO OUR READERS. ANY HIDDEN TALENTS YOU CAN SHARE WITH US? A CLARINET STAR IN THE MAKING PERHAPS?
Volunteering is something I enjoy. Especially when I’m volunteering for the betterment of animals that can help give them the good life that they deserve. I love the idea of gardening as that helps to keep me grounded. It has huge learning opportunities for children and adults, and I have inculcated it up from my Mom!
WE WOULD ALL LOVE TO WIN THE LOTTERY RIGHT? IF YOU WON $10 MILLION TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
I would donate to animal protection groups, ensuring my funds are channelled towards providing the best possible care for the animals to live out their lives. Would also love to offer financial aid for poor cancer patients and help them fund treatment and give them a chance to fight.
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
I am devoted to coffee!!
JOB HOPPING IS A COMMON PHENOMENA ESPECIALLY IN THE DYNAMIC WORLD OF ADVERTISING AND MARKETING. WHAT’S YOUR OPINION ON JOB HOPPING? DOES IT HURT OR AID ONE’S CAREER?
I would say, it is a personal choice.
Every individual switches his job for some kind of growth, professionally, financially and personal growth as well. Most of the time it helps in boosting your career, it only hurts if the switch you make does not give you professional satisfaction. Sometimes, it can also raise a red flag for the employer and frequent switches might influence his hiring decision. Also, a recent cycle of layoffs has made it less of a deal-breaker to have short job tenures.
It is easy and advisable to do more job-hopping in the earlier part of the career when they’re still exploring career options. Professionals at mid or senior level should not make frequent switches as it does not go well with the employers.
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL IN THE WORLD, WHAT ANIMAL WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
Being a team player, I would prefer to be a Dolphin. I find them as one of the most intelligent creatures in the world and using communication with their peers to help lead them through the dark waters.
WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T LEARN FROM YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE ALONE?
The Mask of Motherhood changed everything about me, nobody can feel the joy of being a child’s mother until a woman herself conceives.
While I was in college it broadened my spectrum of interests in various subjects and helped me to grow in my chosen field of study. So, did getting married taught me how to live in-tune with another human being. But being a mom has helped me organize and problem-solve faster than I could before. When you have a little ball of chaos constantly threatening order you learn to identify the key factors, take variables into account and execute more quickly.
FOR OUR INTERVIEW WITH YAEL TAMAR FROM SOLIDBLOCK, SHE REMARKED THAT WOMEN ARE MOST LIKELY TO OCCUPY THE CMO ROLE AS COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. WITH WOMEN CONTROLLING OVER $20 TRILLION IN GLOBAL SPENDING, WHY HAS IT BECOME INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT TO HAVE FEMALE CMOS IN YOUR OPINION?
The world needs great leaders and women are great leaders. It has seen that women have a strategic way of thinking. Recruiting women at leadership roles in the company may also improve the firm’s financial performance as they have great negotiation skills.
Research shows that Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women on boards financially outperform companies with the lowest representation of women on boards. Many businesses are waking up to the reality that women in leadership not only bring important benefits but that they are an invaluable and indispensable resource in the office, hence hiring more women in senior management.
SYSTEMS AROUND REMOTE WORK AND VIDEO CONFERENCING ARE INCREASINGLY BECOMING STAPLE IN MOST ORGANISATIONS. ACCORDING TO VISUAL CAPITALIST, ZOOM IS NOW WORTH MORE THAN THE 7 BIGGEST AIRLINES IN THE WORLD AT A WHOPPING MARKET CAPITALIZATION OF JUST OVER $40BN. SUFFICE TO SAY, REMOTE WORKING IS AN ASPECT OF MODERN-DAY WORK THAT HAS BEEN LONG OVERDUE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY HAVE MOST ORGANISATIONS STRUGGLED TO CONVERT TO THIS WAY OF WORK?
I guess it’s human nature until something is forced upon us, we do not wish to embrace it.
Though there are quite a lot of organizations, which followed the work-from-home model primarily it was weekly / monthly / emergency basis. But with the current situation, we are not left with choices. In my opinion, companies have always worked with the thought of creating an environment where productivity can be achieved, discussions can take place, ideas bloom.
Therefore, the WFH was not followed by many organizations. Even when the lockdown had begun, people were struggling to adjust in the new system, trying to manage work and home chores together were quite exhausting.
But with time, everyone eventually got settled in this way of working. As I mentioned, this pandemic has left us with no choice, even when the physical offices resume, it is being said that the entire workforce will not be coming together, hence work from home has become a reality after all.
REMOTE WORK HAS COME WITH ITS OWN SET OF CHALLENGES, PARAMOUNT TO THIS IS THE FACT THAT EMPLOYEES ARE NOW ‘ALWAYS ON’ WITH WORK CARRYING OVER EVEN BEYOND WORKING HOURS. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS MANAGE THIS BETTER TO PROTECT THE WELLBEING OF THEIR EMPLOYEES?
Work gets carried on post working hours either due to increased deliverables or when employees are unaware of the importance of ‘time management’ which is the key to effectively managing work from home.
Time management is a simple process where employees consciously control the time spent on specific tasks by working with fewer efforts but more effective strategies. Hence, in my opinion, organizations should conduct online training sessions on time management skills that can help individuals meet their targets keeping work and personal life balance in mind.
Planning and maintaining a diary with a to-do list can help employees prioritize assignments and complete deliverables efficiently. Organizational skills are necessary for an employee to avoid wasting time while attempting a task. For example, in a disorganized work from home set up, one can lose an item which might result in late arrival to a meeting or a missed deadline.
SHERYL SANDBERG MADE AN INTERESTING REMARK IN HER KICK-ASS BIOGRAPHY ‘LEAN IN: WOMEN, WORK, AND THE WILL TO LEAD’ THAT “SEARCHING FOR A MENTOR HAS BECOME THE PROFESSIONAL EQUIVALENT OF WAITING FOR PRINCE CHARMING”. SHE IS ILLUSTRATING THE NOTION OF WOMEN HAVING TO SEEK APPROVAL OR VALIDATION, ESPECIALLY FROM MEN WHO ARE AT MOST TIMES THE MENTORS. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON MENTORSHIP?
I believe having a mentor for career progression cannot be ignored as the knowledge of a more experienced person can guide you to avoid mistakes. Of course, it is unfortunate that in India, fewer women are hired than men which leads to only one in five senior employees being a woman.
As a result of this, women mostly have a man to seek approval or validation. However, regardless of the gender, having the guidance, support and encouragement of a mentor can help an individual on both personal and professional front. As per a survey, 86% of women prefer consulting a mentor to navigate workplace challenges.
Right mentorship exposes an employee to new ideas and ways of thinking, helps in overcoming weaknesses and allows developing new skills. Therefore, according to me, mentoring is critical for an individual’s professional growth.
BCG PUBLISHED ITS INNOVATION REPORT FOR 2020 AND AT THE CORE OF ITS SELECTION CRITERIA ARE COMPANIES THAT HAVE SUCCESSFULLY MARRIED ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THEIR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES. ACCORDING TO YOU, WHAT MAKES SOMETHING INNOVATIVE? HOW DO YOU DEFINE INNOVATION AT Wolters Kluwer?
Wolters Kluwer has witnessed a tremendous change over the years, with our 180 plus-year legacy and portfolio that represent thousands of customers worldwide some things have remained constant, these are – our business values, deep domain expertise, evidence-based knowledge, innovation in technology and keeping the customer at the center of every initiative.
Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Robotics, and Internet of Things are already helping our customers and their clients for decades now. Wolters Kluwer believes in innovating technologies that save lives and benefit customers to the fullest.
For example, one of our core products is a Clinical Decision Support system called “UpToDate®” that helps patients and doctors get information about more than 25 healthcare specialties. It guides doctors to take decisions at the point of care. With the right information basis the diagnosis of any patient, the CDS systems have helped healthcare professionals in providing personalized lines of treatment with quality care.
During the COVID pandemic, it is being used over a million number of times to treat the patient at the point of care and save lives.
AT THE TIME OF PUBLISHING, THE DIGITAL MARKETING INSTITUTE ESTIMATED THAT THE INFLUENCER MARKETING INDUSTRY WILL HIT THE $10BN MARK BY 2020. WHETHER B2B OR B2C, IT’S EVIDENT THAT BRANDS AND ORGANISATIONS HAVE HAD THEIR SUCCESS WITH THIS MODEL OF MARKETING. HOW WILL THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC AFFECT THIS INDUSTRY GOING FORWARD AND DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS STILL A PLACE FOR INFLUENCER MARKETING?
COVID 19 has limited the scope for everyone and even marketers who were forced to cancel their marketing activities. However, the situation has pushed several brands to shift their brand campaigns to the digital world through influencer marketing route.
More and more marketers are now realizing the importance of this trendy marketing method where influencers post relatable and authentic content to engage with their followers and in the process, they develop a very strong bonding which is based on trust. And therefore, when brands collaborate with relevant influencers to share about their product or service it instantly receives positive traction with their followers.
So, amidst the pandemic, advertisers have found that influencer marketing is a potent tool to reach the target audience especially when people are spending their time at homes glued to their phones. So, not only influencer marketing is helping marketers achieve their objectives even during the pandemic, it is an effective marketing route and is here to stay.
HOW DO YOU LEVERAGE DATA TO INFORM YOUR DECISION-MAKING?
It is correct to say that data is said to be the new currency for the future. Digital behaviors of everyone can be easily mapped and recorded today and could prove to be the gold mine for many companies. Analyzing the data available to any company helps in gaining better insights about the business and the target group.
Using this data empowers the decision-making process and helps in achieving a much better result. Moreover, data-based business decisions are often less risky. Data is empowering businesses, professional across sectors. Even in healthcare, studies have proved that data collection allows healthcare organizations to derive newer insights that enable personalized treatments and improved patient outcomes.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS SOME OF THE MAJOR TRENDS IN DIGITAL IN THE NEXT 12 TO 18 MONTHS?
We have already entered a new phase where the boundaries between physical and digital are getting blurred.
Businesses across sectors are embracing digital transformation trends to gain a competitive advantage. Digital marketing, which is an evolving stream of marketing has been throwing up interesting options to marketers across the sectors. Some of the interesting trends for 2020 would be influencer marketing, vlogging, AI-driven advertisements, interactive video content, chatbots among others.
Quality of the content is the essence of any tool being used for marketing; therefore, it should be given emphasis. A successful marketing campaign would mean conventional and modern marketing tools with a large focus on evolving digital platforms which helps in achieving desired business objectives.