“There are certain attributes that define a leader. For me, challenging the status quo is an integral part of my DNA,” states Saumya Rathor, Category Lead, Pepsi Cola, PepsiCo. Rathor believes that a leader needs to be disruptive and not rigid to certain ideas. Agility and curiosity are two other attributes that go hand-in-hand in this context.
Valuing people’s opinions can keep a team grounded and helps in developing ideas that cut through the clutter. “Being curious about the world and surroundings like sports, politics and culture gives a solid foundation of the country and consumer that can be used to develop a strong viewpoint from a brand perspective,” Rathor adds.
Brands As Storytellers
To truly connect with consumers, brands must voice what they believe in and what they stand for because they can take society forward. The opportunity for brands today is to play a role in the consumer’s life, where they can make people’s life better by giving them confidence and adding happiness.
“Can brands help consumers tackle some of their everyday problems? Marketing has a strong role to play in how it provides a narrative to the consumer. Brands that bring value to the consumer will become a more integral part of their lives,” Rathor advises.
India is said to soon become the third-largest economy in the world. It has a huge diaspora, population and young consumers. In this growth story, Brands must think about how they show up in a consumer’s life and write their own growth story alongside.
A New Age
Consumers are becoming tech-savvy and the definition of digital marketing has evolved going through many phases. Earlier there were just websites. Then, social media marketing which was building communities and ecommerce which was accelerating digital shopping came into the picture.
“We are in a very interesting phase where so much exploration is happening in artificial intelligence. It is pushing the frontier in a different direction. We need to have a strong narrative around what we are going to do that will define the future of marketing. It will be a transformative phase for the Indian market,” notes Rathor.
On a more personal note, Rathor’s purpose is to make the community proud of the work she does and be a force to reckon with when it comes to marketing. “I resonate with a Nike tagline ‘we are never done’. Just like that, I want to keep disrupting the work I am doing because I feel there is so much to do in the world that we are in,” Rathor adds.