On this edition of Women In Marketing we chat with Meghna Peer who is the Brand Marketing Head at Newell Brands in India. As the world adjusts to the new normal, Meghna highlights the importance of cloud systems to achieving success in the workplace. Let’s learn more about her
LET’S GET PERSONAL
THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PARTICIPATE IN OUR WOMEN IN MARKETING SERIES, MEGHNA. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR MEMORIES GROWING UP?
I was born in Jammu, India in 1979.
The visible transformation of India, from my days in school to college to work and today is a privilege to be a part of. It looks as if you have lived through centuries, but it has been only three decades.
WHAT WERE YOU LIKE IN YOUR HIGH SCHOOL/COLLEGE YEARS?
I was an outgoing person in my college and high school years. I used to take part in lots of competitions and inter-school/college programs. I was never a sports person; I used to run away from any sports activity.
IMAGINE WAKING UP $10 MILLION RICHER TOMORROW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH YOUR FORTUNE?
I would allocate 3 Mill for safety and security, another 6 Mil towards investments and business and 1 mill for good deeds like Dharma and Charity. This 1 Mil is to serve humanity.
CAREER AND WORKPLACE
WHAT ENCOURAGED YOU TO PURSUE A CAREER IN MARKETING? AFTER ALL, MOST OF US GREW UP WANTING TO BE DOCTORS, RIGHT?
Marketing creates demand. Demand and supply cycles run economies and countries for humanity to prosper. Circulation of money in these circles creates wealth and prosperity for humanity as such. It is a noble human cause that helps development as a concept.
GIVE US A SNEAK PEEK OF HOW YOU TYPICALLY START YOUR DAY. ARE YOU #TEAMCOFFEE OR #TEAMTEA? OR BOTH? YOU BEAUTIFUL REBEL!
Masala tea with ginger is my drink in the morning. It propels me to get started in minimum time.
THE PANDEMIC DISRUPTED OUR ROUTINES AND DAILY COMFORTS. HOW BEST DO YOU MAINTAIN A WORK-LIFE BALANCE?
Humans have a phenomenal ability to adapt with powerful neurons. It is our secret recipe; I am no exception.
YOU HAVE A MBA IN MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONS FROM THE SYMBIOSIS INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT STUDIES. TERTIARY EDUCATION, AS WE KNOW IT, TOOK A DRAMATIC TURN DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. HOW DO YOU FORESEE THE FUTURE OF EDUCATION CONSIDERING THE INCREASING POPULARITY OF ONLINE EDUCATIONAL SITES SUCH AS COURSERA AND GOOGLE SKILLSHOP THAT HAVE DISRUPTED THE TRADITIONAL MODEL OF LEARNING?
Pandemic has changed everything as well as the way markets, clusters and organizations will work in future, as some parts of the change are permanent. I see that cloud-based workgroups and org structures prove themselves to be useful and telecom as a backbone technology for the survival of the human race.
The quest will be how much of it can be leveraged, innovated and enhanced.
WORKING FROM HOME/HYBRID MODEL OF WORKING MAY SOON BECOME A REALITY FOR MOST ORGANISATIONS GLOBALLY. WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON REMOTE WORK AND WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR CHALLENGES AS WELL AS WAYS YOU’VE MITIGATED THESE?
Good telecom connectivity with redundancy will be the key.
What we call hybrid today, will be normal in years to come as it saves time, money and energy. I have seen people travelling for 30 minutes to attend a meeting in Mumbai or even New York. It was seen as okay and normal, which now may not be seen as normal. Remote work is an efficient way of working; physical meetings only will be an OLD school thought. Once we see what has prevailed within our lives today.
ACCORDING TO A REPORT COMPILED BY MCKINSEY, THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS HAD A NEGATIVE EFFECT ON WOMEN IN THE WORKPLACE. THE REPORT FURTHER ILLUSTRATES THAT WOMEN HAVE INCREASINGLY BECOME MORE EXHAUSTED AND SUFFER FROM BURNOUT AS COMPARED TO THEIR MALE COUNTERPARTS. IN YOUR OPINION, HOW CAN ORGANISATIONS PROVIDE THE NECESSARY SUPPORT FOR WOMEN AS WELL AS MOTHERS?
Flexible working hours and reducing the number of online calls, or limiting them to 2-3 hours in a day are the two important things, which can certainly help women to maintain balance.
Women should be provided with an option to choose their week off, in the week, as per their commitments.
In my opinion, this can certainly help women working in organizations to a great extent.
2021 AND BEYOND
ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, HOW HAVE YOU BEEN SINCE THE START OF THE PANDEMIC? ANY PIVOTAL MOMENTS IN YOUR PERSONAL OR PROFESSIONAL LIFE YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
Positive thinking and a positive attitude can be life-savers in the darkest of times. My family and I tested positive for Covid back in April 2021. We accepted it. We braved it and survived through it.
A positive mindset was the key to survival.
KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW TODAY AND IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?
Business contingency planning has an altogether new dimension: we could never imagine cities, countries and the world being shut down all in one go.
It was a nightmare but we lived and survived through it. There cannot be bigger learning than this.
ANY BUCKET LIST ITEMS?
PROFESSIONAL – I want to be associated with products and technologies which can change humanity as such.
PERSONAL – Within a few years, I want to dedicate a certain amount of my time and money to social causes, as this is what I owe to Mother earth, and the great God Almighty!
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR SHEROES?
Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey and Marie Curie.
WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?
I am an EReader. I am reading a Hindu Scripture “Vishnu Puran”.
WHAT IS ON YOUR NETFLIX WATCHLIST?
DESIGNATED SURVIVOR, BLACKLIST, Doc Martin, Sherlock
WHAT WOULD YOU COME BACK AS IN THE NEXT LIFETIME CAREER-WISE? DO YOU THINK YOU MISSED A CALLING?
I didn’t get an opportunity to become a Fighter Pilot, as there were no rules for women, at my time.
I Hope I can come back in my next life as a Women Fighter Pilot.
WE ABSOLUTELY LOVE HOW FORBES CURATES THEIR MARKETING-CENTRIC CONTENT. HAVE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO READ THROUGH THEIR CMO NEXT 2021 FEATURE? WHILST ON THE TOPIC OF GREAT MARKETEERS, WHEN YOU RETIRE ONE DAY, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED AS A PROFESSIONAL?
A professional who created a legacy and improved systems for the greater human good.
WHO HAVEN’T YOU SEEN OR TALKED TO IN A LONG TIME AND HOPE THEY ARE DOING OKAY?
My friends in CYPRUS.
WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR AMAZING WOMEN IN MARKETING TO PROFILE. WHO WOULD YOU LIKE US TO GET IN TOUCH WITH?
A UNIQUE MESSAGE FOR ALL YOUNG PROFESSIONALS IN THE MARKETING INDUSTRY
Nothing is easy. Nothing is impossible. Learn to break the thought barrier.