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My Father, My Hero - What ad honchos taught their children about handling adversity

While mothers take the prime spot when it comes to being an emotional anchor, fathers are the superheroes who can take care of anything that comes in our way.

Over the years, we have reached out to numerous industry honchos on the occasion of Father’s Day to share their enduring memories and lessons learnt from their fathers. This Father’s Day, we decided to do things a bit differently and instead, got the sons and daughters of some of the leading names in Indian advertising to talk about their bonding with their famous fathers and what they learnt from them about handling challenges and adversities.

Lara Balsara Vajifdar, Executive Director, Madison World on her father, industry veteran Sam Balsara, Chairman & Managing Director, Madison World:In Madison’s 30-odd years journey, we have faced several challenges and adversities and each time we have come out of them stronger. In dealing with adversity, I have learnt from my father, a combination of keeping your nose close to the ground, and at the same time keeping the larger picture in mind. Also, the need to continuously evolve and change our business strategy. The phrase tough times don’t last, tough people do, is very apt as we go through these challenging times.”

Dhruv Sinha, son of Shashi Sinha, CEO, IPG Mediabrands India: “The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest example of adversity in all our lives at this moment. I think the one thing that has stood out especially during the lockdown is to have a positive mindset no matter what the situation.

Businesses from most sectors and economies of most countries have been impacted by the lockdown and anxiety is at its peak. Keeping a positive mindset has been the norm at home. The manifestation for having a positive mindset has been to focus on personal health and development through activities such as cooking, reading, learning a new language and eating healthy to name a few examples. Lastly, other than having a positive mindset, the key learning has been to help people in general and help people in need emotionally through empathy.”

Abhinay Bhasin, Director, Data Sciences, Dentsu Aegis Network - South Asia, son of Ashish Bhasin: “Two of the greatest life lessons I’ve learnt from my father in facing adversity are: ‘Devotion to Duty Determines One’s Destiny’ and that ‘one must embrace adversity as a chance for opportunity’. These two pearls of wisdom have, in many ways, been a lighthouse in guiding me through several storms and keeping me focused on my chosen path.”

This is what Carol Goyal, who joined her father Dr Sandeep Goyal at Mogaé Media three years ago, has to say, “My father came from a small town. He was highly qualified, but faced a lot of obstacles on his way up, but was never deterred in his journey to success. The most important thing that I have imbibed from him is the ‘never say die’ spirit. To my father, it is never over till it is actually over. Over the many years of his professional life, he says he came precariously close to losing a deal or getting sidelined, but even if there was ever a 1% chance, he would not give up. I have learnt that from him and whatever be the odds, I give it my best shot to ensure that I end up on the winning side.

My father also says, ‘you never win silver, you lose gold’. So, losing is not an option that you start any project with. Once you are committed to doing something, there can be no half measures. There is no such thing as a finalist. Only winners count.

My father has also always believed in ‘you lose 100% of the shots you don’t take’. Why don’t you take those shots? Because of fear, because of adversity? What I have learnt is that even if the aperture of opportunity is tiny, if you have the grit, the determination and the hard work in place, you can overcome any challenge in life.”

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