Ad land’s Young Guns: Abhinay Bhasin, Dentsu Aegis Network

As Manager - Data Sciences, Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN), Abhinay Bhasin has been instrumental in developing the Data Sciences Division of the Network in India. He has played a key role in developing DAN proprietary tools used in 19 countries of the network and has also played a key role in building the Network’s relationships with several technology partners and worked on developing proprietary algorithms that enhance client data with third party data providers like Google and Facebook to provide sharper consumer targeting and insights. 

Prior to DAN, Bhasin had worked with Carat, where he was Media Manager. He had done internships at Google, Isobar, The Economist and Deloitte India. 

What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Abhinay Bhasin in his own words... 

How did you get into the role you are serving?
Having completed my Post Graduation in Economics from the top ranking University of Warwick, the leadership of the organisation identified me as an ideal candidate to be one of the initial employees of the newly founded Dentsu Aegis Network Data Sciences Division. Prior to this stint, I was handling Strategic and implementation planning for the Mondelez account under Carat. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Being a Post Graduation in Economics with a passion for Consumer Behaviour Understanding, I bring with me a sound Statistics and Analytics background to model on various intent data, from third party data sources such as Facebook and Google, and provide actionable insights for real time implementation. 

One project that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of?
In my recent role, I am particularly proud of the Audience Study done for Abbott. Using Dentsu Aegis proprietary tools, we were able to provide a see understanding of the brand’s India, Brazil and Colombia audience and provide a split of media budgets by media channel basis audience affinity for various touchpoints. While the initial briefing was just for India, the Global Strategy team of Abbott highly appreciated the outcome and added the Brazil and Colombia markets to the study. 

While working on the project how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
I think understanding the positioning of the brand and their communication has always been key to developing good strategy. Through our partnership with Facebook and Google, we often re-validate the briefs through their APIs to further layer our proprietary Consumer Connection System (CCS) with real-time Audience Insights to develop a more grounded strategy for execution. 

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
A leader who inspires me most in Data Driven Marketing is Gautam Mehra, Chief Data Officer for Dentsu Aegis Network in India. 

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

  • Read Voraciously/ Listen to a talk on one new topic every day.
  • Read Newspapers: this helps me shape my mind to apply my knowledge into real world problems and dabble with scalable data driven solutions.
  • Spending 15 minutes with a colleague from a different line of business: this enables me to gain a better insight into a different line of work. Not only do I improve my understanding of their offerings, but also work on providing unique and scalable solutions for the same.
  • Early Morning Run: I’d say THE most important part of my day is my 6 am run on Marine Drive that really gets the juices flowing. Nothing like the cool morning sea breeze on your face to charge your batteries for the day.
  • Playing with my pet dog Simba after a hard day’s work. Easily one of the best de-stressers and something I actively look forward to when going home, when my one human year old cocker spaniel comes running to the door to greet me and rolls over to coax me into giving him a belly rub. 

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Advertising is a constantly evolving profession. For me, the advertising industry is a barometer of economic growth and progress. Its future in a mobile first India will be driven by data, so I’m betting on its long term success. 

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
My father once said, ‘Devotion to Duty Determines your Destiny’. I think once you’ve got that philosophy right, you’re bound to be a rockstar in any career path. 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Be damn sure this is what you want to do for the next 30 years of your life. Focus on building a career and be agile! 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Most definitely in a senior management position within the organisation. 

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
The popular Economist Lord Keynes once said, “In the Long Run, we’re all dead”. For now, my heart seems settled in my current agency, but who knows what’s in store...


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