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Susan is an independent digital communications and user experience strategist. She helps companies discover their brand voice and grow their business.
Shubharthi is currently part of the strategic marketing team at Regalix. His expertise mainly lies in the account-based marketing and programmatic advertising space.
Priscilla is a content writer who has worked for Infosys Technologies and other technology startups in India and abroad.
Moulishree is a freelance journalist with over 7 years of experience, she writes research-based analytical stories on technology and business.
Avanish is a Bangalore-based journalist who writes on business with a specific focus on technology companies.
Priyanka has covered every aspect of the IT industry as a tech journalist since its early days. She is now an independent writer, working on subjects like digital marketing, enterprise technology and high-performance computing, among others.
A freelance content writer, S. Sahu was the former editor of TCS's house magazine at Tata Consultancy Services. He developed tech marketing collateral for the company and helped compile and edit books and journal articles on TCS's technology innovations. He also ghostwrites print and online publications.
Prajwala is a Bangalore-based freelance journalist who writes on social issues, stories of human interest, and art and culture, among others.
Rajesh Nanarpuzha is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at IIM Udaipur. Previously, he has worked as a brand manager in Dabur, and as a business consultant in the retail and consumer goods domains at Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services. Rajesh has an MBA from IIM Indore and a doctorate in marketing from IIM Ahmedabad.
Priyokumar Singh Naorem
He is a passionate UI & UX designer who thrives on creating engaging creative solutions.
A freelance illustrator, artist, graphic novelist and designer. She has designed and illustrated several book covers. Her personal illustrations so far have attempted to seize the fleeting absurdity and mood of places, things and people she encounters in a childlike, intuitive and expressive manner with closure, beauty and innocence – the things that she desires.
She is an artist and an educator who has taught and lectured at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Oxford University, the Victoria and Albert Museum among other institutions. Her installations, paintings, thread work and sculptures have been exhibited in Saatchi Gallery - London, C24 Gallery - New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art – Lyon, among other notable galleries and museums from around the world.
Purna Chandra Mahato
A commerce graduate from Delhi University, Parul pursued a masters in fine arts from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. As an artist, she is interested in line as a subject which has led her to follow architectural lines in built environments. She says she is also interested in how we perceive the environment that we inhabit and what happens when a subtle shift is made in things which we have been used to seeing in a certain way. We present six of her artworks here.
Shweta Malhotra is a graphic artist and designer from Mumbai, based in New Delhi.
After working with ad agencies and design studios for close to 8 years, she branched out on her own and currently works independently.s Her overall design aesthetic is minimal, bold and graphic, a response to the maximalist visual language prevalent in India.
Rithika Merchant (b.1986) received her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from Parsons the New School for Design, New York in 2008. She has exhibited extensively since her graduation. Recent exhibitions include a duo show “Reliquaries: The Remembered Self” at TARQ, Mumbai; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art” at 80WSE Gallery, New York; and group shows at Summerhall, Edinburgh and Artry Gallery, Kochi. Her work has been included in multiple group shows at Stephen Romano Gallery and The Morbid Anatomy Museum, New York. Born in Mumbai, she now divides her time between Mumbai and Barcelona.
Aniruddh Mehta is an artist based out of Mumbai, India. Trained in graphic design from the London College of Communications, Aniruddh is a self-taught illustrator and currently works as an independent freelance designer. He believes in finding the right balance between art and graphic design. He has worked closely in collaboration with Bhavishyavani Future Soundz, Qilla Records, Taxi Fabric, Adidas, Dell and United Colours of Benetton. He also goes by the moniker, ‘thebigfatminimalist’ and his style ranges from bold minimal forms to more intricate pieces exploring patterns and geometry.
Paramesh is an artist who enjoys working in both the realistic and abstract style of painting. He loves working with water color. Featured in this issue are a set of water color works that he has created exclusively for us on the subject of digital transformation.
Based in Mumbai, Chandrashekhar Thakur is a Senior Art Director and Illustrator at Truebil.com and the Founder of HAPPiNESS For You. He loves working with new styles of art and considers illustration to be his forte. Chandrashekhar has completed his BFA from DY Patil College of Applied Art.
Concept and Direction
Head of marketing at Regalix, Nimish drives research in emerging technologies and customer experience, and takes a keen interest in creative arts.
Paramita Bhattacharya is the Chief Marketing Officer at Blurb, a company that provides users with a self-publishing and marketing platform that enables them to design, publish, promote and sell books and magazines in print as well as digital formats. At Blurb, she is responsible for the company’s marketing, communications, customer service and e-commerce/digital sales functions. Prior to joining Blurb in 2020, she held leadership roles at Nokia, Hitachi Vantara and Adobe. Recognized as a Top 50 Woman Leader in SaaS and also a part of the Asian Americans Hall of Fame Top 100, Paramita has a stellar track record in digital transformation, marketing, go-to-market strategies, brand development, customer experience, corporate communications and more.
Interviewed by Ritu Josan
// In a recent research study conducted by Grant Thornton, it was reported that only 29% of senior management positions in companies are occupied by women. What are your thoughts on the gender gap in the corporate world?
In recent years, there has been significant momentum in reducing the gender gap in the corporate world, especially in senior management positions. But with COVID-19 and its impact on women’s careers, I think we will see some regression and losses. It may not be immediately felt but it is likely to have a long-lasting impact. As the corporate world takes stock of the post-COVID environment, companies need to make sustained and deliberate efforts to reduce and help women overcome the challenges posed as a result of this pandemic. It is critical to support women in entry- and mid-level management positions so that they continue to progress and be promoted to senior positions in the coming years. We need to have a continuous, strong pipeline if we want more women in senior management and C-suite positions.
// How can companies change their work culture and processes to enable more women leaders in senior management?
It starts at the top. Company boards and C-suite should have a mandate. They must direct their organizations to create sustainable programs around diversity hiring, access to mentorship within and outside the company, manager training to identify viable promotion paths, and equitable behavior and best practices for women leadership development. This also means managers and supervisors at all levels within the company be monitored, held accountable and even rewarded if successful in their efforts. While the mandate and accountability remain at the top, the culture component is part of the ground as well and must be fostered across the organization in rank and file.
// Have you faced any challenges as a woman in a senior leadership position? How did you overcome them?
Sadly, I am often the only woman at the leadership table and that has its own challenges. The tenor, quality and the diversity of viewpoints are sometimes missing. And just having a voice at the table does not mean I am necessarily always heard and have to make the additional effort. Career advancement is a significant challenge I have faced in my journey. The best way to overcome this has been to constantly advocate for myself as well as build those key organizational relationships that can champion and support me. But what has been missing in these workplace relationships is the ability to bond with similar thinking women or count on women mentors since the pool of women is small at the leadership level. I have learned to overcome that through women’s networks outside of the company and drawn support from others in those networks who are in similar positions and facing similar challenges.
// How has COVID-19 affected your work-life balance?
I would say COVID-19 has brought good and bad aspects to work-life balance. I absolutely love the idea of not having to commute to office, which used to be an hour’s drive each way. But now that time is replaced with longer hours at my home desk, which means I am working longer than I used to. I have also felt more relaxed not having to do business travel either. COVID’s impact has certainly allowed me more time with my family, which I appreciate. I am also fortunate to have a grown-up child and, therefore, do not have to deal with some of the childcare challenges that some of my team members and colleagues have to.
// Has your company’s business strategy changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic? If yes, how?
Certainly. During the early months of the pandemic, we saw a hit in our sales and immediately pivoted our customer engagement strategies to reflect the new reality. As time progressed, we evolved our e-commerce model and product portfolio mix along with new customer acquisition, retention, pricing and customer service plans to deliver greater success, while at the same time being challenged with COVID-related disruption in our physical production plants and shipping/delivery infrastructure. We have remained agile throughout this, with multiple business planning scenarios and building resiliency in our teams so they can implement changes at short notice while maintaining an optimized cost delivery model.
// What are your thoughts on remote work processes in your organization? Will this trend continue even after the pandemic is over?
Remote work has always been a part of our company - similar to other Technology companies here in the San Francisco Bay area. Of course, COVID shifted it to full scale from once/twice a week, and that meant every process, meeting and interaction now had to be managed remotely. We did integrate a few best practices immediately that helped us minimize the scale of this disruption, including having cross-functional 10-minute daily stand-ups for urgent issues, increasing the use of messaging channels to keep the communication flowing and more rigorous check-ins to ensure everyone in the organization was managing well. I fully expect this trend to continue for us and many other companies, especially in the technology industry where remote work is largely successful. However, I do see the need for some groups to work out of the office more often when the world opens up, but not at the level we have seen in the past.
// If you could share one piece of advice with other women in the corporate world, what would it be?
My advice would be: take other women with you. If you are a woman in a leadership position, then champion for other women in whatever possible way you can. Seize the opportunity, be bold and take risks if feasible, look for a sponsor in the organization, find yourself a mentor and, most importantly, don’t take no for an answer. Listen to your self-doubt but don’t let that hold you back. And always advocate for yourself.
Acknowledge the problem and be open to learning
Roopal Shah, Vice President of Distribution Enablement, Salesforce.org
Equality needs to become a pillar of company culture
Michelle Chiantera, Vice President of Americas Growth Marketing, Global Segments and Industries, and Global Partner Marketing, Cisco Systems
Building professional relationships is key to growth
Linda Palus, Former Global Vice President, Digital Marketing & Ecommerce, NewAge Inc.
Facilitating gender equality in the workplace
Lucille DeHart, Former Director (CRM, Marketing Strategy & Business Development), Bed Bath & Beyond
Eliminating gender bias starts with children
Nicole Summitt, Vice President, Field Marketing & Events, Sprinklr
Women need to be forthright about their achievements
Danita Belcher, VP of Global Contact Center Sales, RingCentral. Inc