On this segment of Women In Marketing we chat with Delta Medical’s Marketing Manager, Shriya Narula. She cites her debating skills as one of the reasons why she is persuasive and subsequently managed to carve a career path in marketing. We also find out why, according to her, teamwork is the ultimate productivity hack. Let’s jump in!
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, SHRIYA. LET’S START ON A LIGHTER NOTE. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
I was born in India. I would say the memories closest to my heart would be the fun I used to have with my maternal grandparents and my mom’s brother. I guess it is safe for me to say that being the younger sibling and granddaughter, I was a pampered little brat.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
Oh, I was an obedient student and loved my dancing and crafts a lot. If anyone says they loved studying, that’s a lie. We all do it because we have to do it. In college, I was away from home and in a different country; I would like to believe that II was a tad bit responsible and matured.
IF YOU COULD BE ANY ANIMAL, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?
Dog. They are the best companions for any mood and time of the day and not to forget they are adorable!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MEAL? THAT ONE MEAL YOU WOULD FEEL NO SHAME FOR NOT SHARING!
Has to be the food my mom makes, shamelessly possessive!
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
I would spend mostly on gathering experience in life which requires a lot of money and secondly, donate to lymphoma cancer research as that’s a topic very dear to my heart.
WHAT IS THE ONE INTERESTING THING ABOUT YOU THAT WE WOULDN’T FIND ON YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE? ANY HIDDEN TALENTS PERHAPS? PREVIOUS WOMEN IN MARKETING CANDIDATE, DR. LIEZEL BYGATE SAID THAT SHE IS AN EXPERT HULA-HOOPER!
My family says that I am a good cook and can cook a variety of cuisines of their liking
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
I guess the fact that I have always been a people person That leads to the fact that I was great at getting my way through debates and discussions and from there started my journey of persuasion.
I think I got it from my father and the articulation from my mom’s father. Together I guess it was an ideal combination to set foot into marketing and PR. That’s something even my family noticed and went along with my career choices.
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
DieHard #TEAMCOFFEE for life.
Nothing can get me started, like my morning coffee can. That’s the first thing I get for myself once I reach the office.
HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
I try to go with the flow. I don’t believe in pre-planning as unfortunately that never works for me.
Also, having a partner who helps and understands the importance of your time and work is truly a blessing. I have no shame in admitting that I am blessed with an amazingly supportive husband and I do admit he is greatly responsible for me to be working right now and maintain my home.
YOU OBTAINED YOUR BSC IN EVENT MANAGEMENT & PR FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ARTS IN LONDON. YESSS GIRL! ACCORDING TO CNBC, RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY GLASSDOOR FOUND THAT COMPANIES LIKE APPLE, GOOGLE, AND IBM (AMONGST OTHERS) OFFER WORK-FROM-HOME JOBS THAT DO NOT REQUIRE ANY FORMAL EDUCATION. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN YOUNG WOMEN UTILISE THE INTERNET TO UPSKILL THEIR CAREERS PARTICULARLY IF THEY ARE NOT ABLE TO AFFORD A FORMAL EDUCATION?
Online is the place to be!
I feel we can learn so much from these great websites and study channels these days. It’s amazing to see that knowledge is made freely accessible to people. It’s close to one’s reach and that is the best part of the online world. Everyone, even educated people can learn so much and upgrade their skill sets from the same. So, I recommend doing online courses, gone are those days when we replied on proper degrees as opposed to online degrees.
SABRA MWAURA WAS A FEATURE FOR OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES. SHE MADE A FEW GOOD POINTS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTORSHIP FOR WOMEN. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MENTORSHIP?
I believe that’s a personal choice. You have to be lucky enough to find the right mentor who not only guides you but also drives you to your success and beyond.
WHAT’S YOUR SMARTEST WORK-RELATED SHORTCUT OR PRODUCTIVITY HACK?
Work as a team, communicating, and helping one another can go a long way and get work done a lot sooner than you anticipate.
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 think that again is a personal choice!
As Marketing and Advertising are very dynamic fields and ever-evolving, changing jobs can help individuals grow professionally as well as to learn something new and I think that is good. living in the real world, where constant change makes it tough to get a steady job so easily. So it’s the individual perception I would say, whatever works for one.
FOR IT’S 2019 MOST INFLUENTIAL CMO’S REPORT, FORBES LISTED 31 WOMEN OUT OF 50 CANDIDATES (19 MEN). IT APPEARS THAT MORE WOMEN OCCUPY CMO ROLES COMPARED TO OTHER C-SUITE ROLES. WHY DO YOU THINK THIS IS THE CASE?
Women are more adaptive and responsive if given the opportunity at the correct time and the correct place. I guess now we live in a world where people are noticing this and are making way for female leaders.
REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN IN MARKETING, PARTICULARLY, IN SENIOR ROLES IS ON THE UP. IN YOUR OWN OPINION, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES THAT WOMEN STILL FACE DESPITE THESE CHANGES AND HOW BEST SHOULD THESE BE ADDRESSED?
The daily challenge that I see professionally is when men find it hard to deal with women’s leadership. The easiest way to address this for me has been to be a friend to them rather than a senior. They will appreciate and support you so much more If only you make them feel comfortable in their respective roles.
ONE OF THE LEARNING CURVES FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE PANDEMIC, IS THE SUCCESSFUL IMPLEMENTATION OF DIGITAL INFRASTRUCTURES TO FACILITATE REMOTE WORK. FOR TECH PLAYERS IN SILICON VALLEY THE TRANSITION WAS RELATIVELY SMOOTH WITH THE LIKES OF FACEBOOK AND TWITTER DESIGNING A FUTURE WHERE THEIR STAFF MAY POTENTIALLY WORK REMOTELY FOREVER. THE ARGUMENT THOUGH, IS THAT THIS IS LONG OVERDUE. IN YOUR OPINION, WHY HAVE COMPANIES TAKEN SO LONG TO IMPLEMENT REMOTE WORK OPPORTUNITIES?
In my opinion, until the pandemic, people did not find the need to implement remote work. I would say the pandemic became more like an opportunity thrown at them, which made them design methodology to work Around it remotely and not to forget it has proved to be more productive in many ways.
WORKING FROM HOME IS AWESOME! MOST OF US CAN AGREE. HOWEVER, IT IS NOT WITHOUT IT’S SET OF CHALLENGES. EMPLOYEE WELLNESS HAS TAKEN A SIGNIFICANT STRAIN WITH PEOPLE WORKING LONGER HOURS AS A RESULT OF EMPLOYEES BEING ‘ALWAYS ON‘ AND NOT BEING ABLE TO SWITCH OFF. HOW CAN EMPLOYERS GUARD AGAINST EMPLOYEE BURNOUT OR IN THE WORST EVENT, LOSING THEIR BEST TALENT?
I think employers should prepare a worksheet for employees on their weekly tasks and should only add work to it when required. Doing this can help the employee to divide the time and finish the tasks given to them within the said deadlines. This allows employers to keep a close check on the progress of work as well. Doing extra work is a personal choice if the employee wishes to undertake it and feels up to it then there’s no harm in it.
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?
For me, innovation is adapting to the ideologies that evolve every second.
HEMAL THAKKAR, BRAND MANAGER FOR BURGER KING INDIA IS A RECENT WOMEN IN MARKETING FEATURE. ONE OF THE KEY AREAS SHE IDENTIFIED FOR CONTINUED GROWTH IS THAT OF INFLUENCER MARKETING. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE OF MARKETING LOOK LIKE ACCORDING TO YOU?
The future of marketing in the current scenarios both cost-effective and ideal for that perfect reach is most definitely Influencer Marketing. It is going to be the next big thing, especially for SMEs. It is the perfect way to reach out to your niche target audience and perfect for product endorsements and brand presence in your market. It can go a long way if the correct Influencers are selected as per the brand and product profile.
2020 AND BEYOND
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Take it Easy! Enjoy the moment. Life will happen eventually.
WHAT CHALLENGE IS ON YOUR PLATE?
Given the fact we are living in such difficult times, we never imagined we would experience something like this, at least in our lifetime. It’s not a challenge I guess but It’s more like a difficulty to keep your spirits high and let your guards down.
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
Visit different places that were in the pipeline for me to visit in 2020, but thank you Covid. Can’t wait for the travel restrictions to ease out a little and get back up and away!
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
Currently reading ‘Your Second Life Begins When you Realize you only Have One’ by Raphaelle Giordano.
I can read almost anything and everything. I still am a proud owner of the Harry Potter series.
I think one needs to enjoy reading. I love my traditional paperback books, it’s something to do with the smell of a new book that I choose not to adapt to the E-reader category just as yet but I do understand the ease of the E-readers.
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
I guess I was born to do what I am doing and I so totally love it! So, I would come back as a Marketing Manager or maybe PR Manager.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
Currently watching The Crown.
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
I have not seen my Grandfather for over a year. I sure do hope to see him soon, he for sure is the first person I will visit once the travel restrictions are a little eased out.
WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AMAZING WOMEN IN MARKETING TO PROFILE. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GET IN TOUCH WITH?
Mili Pahwa. She was the brand manager for Bird Retail. She has over 18 years of experience and also happens to be my mentor. She guided me through my thick and thin.
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Firstly, love what you do because if you love something, you will give it your 100% and that will surely lead to great results in anything you aspire to be or do. On a serious note, keep updating your skills.
Remember, there is no age when it comes to learning. Be up to date with the current market trends, functionality, adaptive, and creatively dynamic. The rest will fall through eventually with one’s dedication and passion.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME SHRIYA. WE HOPE THIS INTERVIEW WILL INSPIRE FUTURE LEADERS AND OTHER WOMEN IN MARKETING. HOW CAN PEOPLE FOLLOW YOU AND YOUR COMPANY ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
Here are my personal pages:
My Company is Delta Medical Est. We have different verticals under our umbrella which are a distribution company, pharmacies, and medical centres. I work as the marketing manager for DELTA GROUP in UAE.
Our pharmacy – AL MANARA PHARMACY
For other details contact me directly. Always happy to connect with like-minded people!