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Megha Tata on why the world needs a breather right now

While the physical toll of COVID-19 has been devastating, resulting in over 2.70 deaths as on May 16, 2021, the mental/ emotional toll has been equally heavy. The second wave of COVID-19 – after fresh cases had been tapering off for a few months and people were optimistic about return to normalcy – has left people with a sense of despair and anxiety levels are high as well.

Also read:  Megha Tata’s ode to working mothers – the gutsy crusaders

It’s been over a year since organisations have been working from home. A fatigue factor setting in is inevitable. Amid this scenario, we are also seeing several organisations stepping up to help their employees in various ways – from extending financial help to helping out with healthcare costs, arranging for vaccinations, creating a more friendly and conducive work environment, reducing the work load, shorter work days and more. 

As part of the Adgully4um Knowledge Series, we turned the spotlight on the current work environment and the various issues faced by the work force as well as by the organisations in our webinar on ‘Manpower Resource - How industry needs to show its humane face’, which was held on Friday, May 14, 2021. 

The IAA-India Chapter has rolled out its initiative – ‘The World Needs a Breather’ – which is a move in the right direction, given the sensitive times such as these. By appealing to all sections of the industry – to introspect, stand by their workforce, be more empathetic towards them – and sensitising the leadership to bring in a positive and more supportive work culture, the IAA-India Chapter has laid the groundwork for long-term revival. 

Megha Tata, MD – South Asia, Discovery and President – India Chapter, International Advertising Association (IAA) spoke about #TheWorldNeedsABreather initiative and how important it is for the industry to understand the current situation. 

According to Tata, if ever the world needed good health and happiness, it is now. “To say that we are living in an extraordinary time is actually a cliche as we are living in the most desperate times presently. This is a phase where every one of us has about the grief and fear they are experiencing and we seem to forget that this is just a phase and this too shall pass,” she emphasised. 

Continuing further, she said, “Wise people have advocated less talk of negativity and more of positivity. It is in this spirit of positivity that we at IAA-India Chapter thought that as a responsible industry association we must flag what is needed in our world today and that is empathy, sensitivity and compassion. Not just in India, but around the world, we need to pause and look around mindfully and take a deep breath. That is what our expression is in the now widely acclaimed campaign – #TheWorldNeedsABreather.” 

She further elaborated, “We are all professionals and we understand the imperatives of ROI and the need to perform well. We understand what fine deadlines and fine bottomlines are all about, but all our campaign is saying that ‘this phase won’t last forever, it will pass’ and we will look back to tell our children about what we faced. I wish that we could say that we stood together not only as a boss or employees, not as competitive associations, not as a myopic money center industry, but I really wish we could say that we stood together as friends and as a support system for one another and as visionaries who understood the feelings of others and behaved accordingly, as leaders who confidently whether this term.”

Speaking on the positive reactions received by the campaign, Tata remarked that she was overwhelmed and thanked fellow industry associations like the Indian Society of Advertisers, the Advertising Club and the Advertising Standard Council of India, who stood tall and helped to amplify this message. Speaking about media’s response to the campaign, she said, “Several media houses, including The Indian Express, The Financial Express, Free Press Journal, and Discovery, to name a few, have already put up this campaign on their digital assets. Besides all the trade portals, especially Adgully, have also been very supportive.” 

Tata also thanked Big FM for putting out a national radio burst and for airing an interview with her, where she provided insights into this campaign. 

As President of IAA-India Chapter, Tata is now putting the same campaign out to the various IAA chapters around the world to amplify the #TheWorldNeedsABreather initiative. 

“We at IAA will continue to be the torchbearer of all good things this industry should stand for, the commitment to sustainability, a celebration of creative and marketing excellence and even a harbinger of happiness and hope and that is what we are here for,” Tata concluded.

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