Offbeat: Amaresh Godbole – Man of steel
In our constant endeavour to give our readers content that is a little ‘hatke’ from the trade media norm, Adgully has been coming out with Special sections like The W-Suite, Ad Land’s Young Guns, Spirit W and more. Our latest offering is ‘Offbeat’.
Our weekly series ‘Offbeat’ seeks to present the lesser known facets of our very well-known industry leaders. We present, in the industry leaders’ own words, an interesting read on areas that are not usually highlighted in regular media coverage – be it about their childhood days, secret skills that they possess, how they unwind from their hectic schedules, and much more.
Amaresh Godbole, Managing Director, DigitasLBi, India, has spent over 12 years working with network agencies, including Leo Bunett and Bates Asia, with a healthy mix of creative and digital marketing experience, enabling him to have a truly integrated view of any communication task.
He has been part of the core team that built DigitasLBi from a start-up into a leading agency brand in India over the last seven years. He was brought on board as Client Partner in 2009 to help convert a technology offering into an agency business (then LBi). He went on to become Head of Strategy & Account Management, and brought on board large MNC and Indian clients such as Budweiser (ABinBev), Vespa (Piaggio), Hindustan Unilever and Larsen & Toubro, to name a few. He took over as Managing Director for India in February 2015 and has continued to ensure the agency’s continued growth. His strengths lie in a sound understanding of P&L, ensuring that the brand and consumer context is never lost in the chase for digital innovation, and an ability to spot and hone in talent.
How were you as a child and which childhood trait do you still possess?
I was extremely curious and inquisitive by nature. I loved mashing up explosive combinations with my little chemistry set. I think I still retain that curiosity, which drives me to keep learning more and more about things around me, whether it is work related or the world at large, and experiment with my own hypotheses about things.
Which superhero did you look up to as a kid and why? Which superhero power you wish you possessed?
Simple really – Superman. I loved airplanes, gliders and the notion of flying, so he was the obvious choice. Bonus – no airport security procedures involved!
What is your biggest fear and how do you face it?
I love presenting, but I dread public speaking. I recall an old line – Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it’s the ability to face it and move ahead anyway. The only way to get over it is do more of it. Earlier I used to shy away, but in the last couple of years I’ve forced myself accept invites to panels, talks, etc. I think I had a near heart attack preparing for my TedX talk last year, but managing to go on stage and deliver it has made me better for the experience.
A skill you possess that no one knows about?
Challenge me to a game of table-tennis or pool, and you’ll find out.
What would one find in your playlist?
Music helps me focus and I love mixing up genres. It’s a crazy mix of Alternative and classic rock, Jazz, EDM, pop with some Bollywood thrown in for good measure.
Your go-to activity to relax?
Reading – biographies and other non-fiction ranging from philosophy, cognitive biases, the human condition to evolution. Anything that gives me a new perspective or knowledge. With music playing in the background, of course.
What is the greatest lesson that you have learnt from life so far?
If I could pick only one skill to carry with me in life, it would be the ability to truly listen to people. Not just hear, but listen, before forming a response. I think it completely changes the way you interpret and interact with the world.
A social cause that you are most passionate about?
Animal rights and welfare. But I feel I need to do a lot more to contribute to it.
What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself?
I’d like to live a healthier lifestyle.
If not MD at DigitasLBi, what would you have been?
I walked away from being an engineer in a steel industry to explore either advertising or journalism. So, I’d like to believe I’d have been Managing Editor for a digital content publisher in an alternate life.