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Ad land’s Young Guns: Ashish Manchanda, RepIndia

Ashish Manchanda, AVP- Client Strategy at RepIndia, leads a team of client servicing professionals and has worked with 25+ brands across industries in his marketing career of close to 7 years. The Digital Marketing Strategist specialises in storytelling and solving marketing problems. He is one of India’s Top 100 Digital Marketers (Adobe Digi 100) and has been associated with several national and international campaigns like Mobile World Congress (Barcelona), IFA (Berlin), CES, Airtel Satyamev Jayate, Ignis Electronation, Make Way For Ciaz, etc. He is an avid reader and writes articles for several publications. 

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

How did you get into the role you are serving?
I started my career in digital marketing with CRM. How KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is driving the customer journey and taking service to new heights fascinated me. I thought of writing and strategising as one of my key strengths, but soon realised that servicing and sales are the areas I could specialise in. Here, at RepIndia, my role includes both – Servicing and Business Development – and I think it’s a perfect blend I was looking for. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I understand people and their needs. I work with leading conglomerates and keep convincing them that you are above B2B and B2C. At the end of day, we are all catering to the customers (people) and their needs. 

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
I take pride in most campaigns that I have been a part of. We recently did a video-led Independence Day campaign for Adani Group – ‘Bharat Ka Kal’. It’s a story of a 71-year-old ex-Air Force veteran (born in 1947, just like India), going down memory lane and reliving major incidents in India’s history. 

It is about recounting the days of our history while looking forward to an even better and brighter future. The results were fascinating and the client was super happy. 

While working on the creatives how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
The first and foremost thing is to read and understand the brief. Your creative idea should be in-line with the client’s objective. What are your expectations, what do you want to achieve through the campaign should be absolutely clear to you. I believe decoding the brief right is half the job done. 

This is followed by research. I lay strong emphasis on this as research is like creating new knowledge. 

We also make sure we put ourselves in the customer’s shoes before designing and executing the campaign. 

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Piyush Pandey, Prasoon Joshi, and Sonal Dabral. The way these people bring brands to life is amazing. 

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

  • I read the newspaper and articles on marketing and advertising.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast before leaving for work - can't imagine a fruitful day without this. 
  • Discuss the job list with my team
  • Ensure that roads to communication are open
  • Introspect before calling it a day

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Yes! Advertising is for someone who’s passionate and mad about it. It’s so demanding and fast-paced that you will wear yourself out if you are not in it with your heart and soul. 

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Passion, Determination, and Perseverance. Talent is important, but I often say that Vinod Kambli was more talented than Sachin Tendulkar. 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Learn to unlearn, and don’t be afraid to do the unconventional. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I am smitten by the entrepreneurial bug. I see myself running a venture of my own in the next 5 years. 

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
I have worked with six different agencies and would like to test the water at the client’s side someday.

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