Ad land’s Young Guns: Swathi Srinivasan, Isobar

Swathi Srinivasan is Group Head - Media, at Isobar. She has been recognised as the Emerging Leader of the Year 2018 within 3 months of joining the organisation. She leads one of the key media accounts in Mumbai - Estee Lauder Companies, with over 9 brands under the entity. She drives smart media solutions, insights based media strategy & decision making, promoting relevant integrations as and when applicable across brands. She was instrumental during the pitch strategy for the Estee Lauder Companies account from the presentation stage to the final transition. 

Apart from ELC, Srinivasan also handles key accounts such as Godrej securities solution (first brand to launch voice-enabled banner for their Mother’s Day campaign), Jet Privilege, Siyaram’s Oxemberg and Forevermark Diamonds (which received best in class results for awareness and consideration lift during its Valentine’s Day campaign). 

How did you get into the role you are serving?
While growing up, I was majorly exposed to traditional media. However, while starting my career, the world of new media – as it was called then – was at a nascent stage. But the scope to learn and apply the cases of reaching out to individuals was limitless. That is what attracted me to step into this world. I was keen to see how I could add to campaigns, add my creativity to help brands amplify their narrative, how they influence individuals. This freedom of endless possibilities is what excites me the most. 

From then on, it was a very natural progression. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
While mobile media helped me unleash my creative best, and the fact that opportunities are limitless, I believe I use these opportunities (at Isobar) well to explore uncommon, out-of-the-box thinking. 

Being an accounting finance graduate, I particularly like to crunch numbers. Given a set of data points, I find it exciting and challenging to analyse and make constructive decisions based on it. 

Interpersonal skills – the fact that I love meeting and talking to people helps me to understand the team, the brand team better. I always try to balance between what the brand wants, understand it - to connect brand to platform, people to ideas and  build a larger ecosystem of media solutions. 

How did Isobar come about?
In my earlier years, I realised that digital media demands unique ways of working every day, to make a difference in the approach to the medium, essential platform support with right tools is imperative. Isobar being a key leader in digital innovation in the country, offers a great backbone to drive media solutions to business problems. This is what excited and drove me to join this agile team. 

My journey in Isobar has been very challenging and exciting at the same time. Every business proposition we come across demands a different, alternative version of me. For me to offer and learn more, this is the ideal opportunity to pilot different innovative solutions. 

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
From our industry, I look up to Mr Madan Sanglikar aka Maddy – the man who is known for his humility, which reflects in the spirit of his team. 

I think it is important to have an example outside the industry too, I admire the maestro AR Rahman’s work and his way of life – rooted, yet so diverse, which reflects in his work. 

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?

  • Mediate for 30 minutes after my alarm rings everyday… Jokes apart, I love my 8 hours of sleep
  • I listen to fusion, classical music every day, no matter what
  • Upbeat with news and current affairs
  • I keep adding to my list in such a way that I can knock off by end of day
  • No matter what the situation, I try to remain cool so my team remains cool

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Yes, I do because the digital space is so dynamic, it provides a steep learning curve, and it helps me evolve as a person, not just as a professional. I totally see myself staying here and being part of this industry in the long run. 

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Constantly reinventing yourself. It is the only way you can learn, unlearn and relearn with new technologies, new solutions and new way of thinking. 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Love what you do, so you rarely feel demotivated to go to work, which eventually pushes you to give your 100 per cent in every task. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I would be having a farm house at Pondicherry and you guys should be flying down to meet me! 

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
If I have to think about this right now, I already feel I am on the right track. Having worked here for over 11 months, Isobar has given me the scope to channelise all efforts and energies to use it to grow businesses better.


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