Ad Land’s Young Guns: Puneet Bajaj, VP - Strategy, Kinnect
Puneet Bajaj is VP - Strategy at Kinnect. An advertising professional, Bajaj has a long work portfolio that spans across sectors like BFSI, entertainment, automobiles, FMCG, sports and fashion. He has worked on brands like HDFC Bank, Asian Paints, TVS, Intel, Dream GoAir, Reliance Digital, Bausch & Lomb, Maple, Ariel, St India, DBS, Radio Mirchi, among others.
In conversation with adgully, Puneet Bajaj, VP - Strategy, Kinnect, speaks about the icons he looks up to, mantras for being successful, future plans and more.
What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
Having learned multiple roles in my formative years, I am able to bring a unique blend of strategic mindset and creative thinking, which allows me to flow between verticals, viz. strategy seamlessly, media, analytics and creative, from a macro as well as a micro perspective.
How did you join your current organisation?
Icons in this field you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
- Jon Steel for the depth of strategic thinking and demonstrating what it takes to land on a strong insight (‘Got Milk?’, Porsche being the notable ones)
- David Droga, from an advertising journey perspective, his outlook & professional growth
- Jonny Bauer, for the strategic acumen he has ingrained in Droga5’s work over the last few years while he was there
What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
- Getting up early and doing something (mostly reading, sometimes listening to music) before starting work, as opposed to just waking up and getting ready for work
- Setting clear boundaries with regard to what I need to work on, what I need to delegate, what I need to oversee, and how much time do I devote to things on my plate
- Saying No
- Spending time on areas of interest (in my case, I run an Instagram page about lesser-known cricket stories called 90 Overs, so that, besides which I write poetry, do open mics, and make occasional video edits and memes)
- Not spending too much time on my phone
Do you think a career in this field is a viable one in the long term?
Yes, if you are able to find your area of interest (since this ad industry is quite fluid like that) and able to double down on it.
What does it take to succeed in a career?
Being patient & humble, setting personal goals & reviewing them, having a thick skin, and constantly learning to stay ahead of the curve.
What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
In your first few weeks, don’t count your ideas. Use that time to observe and learn. I have seen a lot of new people get obsessed with how many of their ideas made it to the final presentation and getting affected by it, which isn’t healthy or right. There will come a time for it. And it is not your first two months.
Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Successfully leading a career where my time is split between strategy and other passions.
Is there any organisation that you would like to work with in the future?