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Offbeat: Mitchelle Carvalho – Powering ahead with a need-to-know spirit

Adgully’s special feature section – ‘Offbeat’ – seeks to give a peek into 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. 

Mitchelle Carvalho, CEO, CogMat Digital Marketing Agency, leads a team of 50+. CogMat today has progressed to providing 360-degree digital solutions, including Social Media Marketing, Online Reputation Management, Search Engine Optimisation, Online Advertising, Affiliate Marketing among Websites and e-commerce design and development. By investing in a strong work ethic and good people, the return on investment on these two are bountiful. 

When now devising digital marketing strategies for her clients, Carvalho likes to read up on body language and human psychology, learning new languages and travelling the world in her spare time. 

A precious childhood trait that you still possess?
Apart from being chief mischief-monger in the family, I was known as “the one with too many questions”. “Why?” was my favourite question for everything. Refusing to follow an order my mother doled out because I needed to know why. Not letting my teacher move on till she answered “the Why” to her point. Even though this trait got me in a lot of trouble, I am glad that it stayed with me. It’s “the Why” that has helped me through a lot of things in my professional life. It’s a question I ask myself every time I venture into something new or work on a client brief with the team and I have much clarity thanks to “the Why”. 

Ever wished you had superhero powers?
My formative years were raised on a regular staple of Mahabharata, Shri Krishna and Chandrakanta, so I didn’t have much of a superhero influence growing up. I did, however, watch quite a lot of ‘Shaktimaan’, but my motion sickness prevented me from doing any of the ghastly things Shaktimaan attempted. Sorry Marvel and DC, DD ruined it for me! 

What is your biggest fear and how do you face it?
Losing anything that you have worked hard for is a constant fear. Like losing clients for whom you’ve given it your all or losing team members whom you thought would see the finish line with you. Such losses, however, are tackled with the sage words of my mother, “The world goes on, whether or not you sulk, get off your bum and get to work”. 

A secret that you have which no one knows about?
Wouldn’t remain a secret anymore now, would it? 

What would one find in your playlist?
My playlist is borrowed from people who are passionate about music, so anything from Andrea Bocelli to Pink Floyd works for me. On a side note, I am always listening to whatever is currently trending on the US and UK charts, just to keep up with the times. 

Your go-to activity to relax?
The time I truly get to relax is on vacation, and my vacation time is spent touring museums, eating local food, drinking local wine and lounging in public gardens watching the world go by. 

What is the greatest lesson that you have learnt from life so far?
I have learnt many a lesson on trust, kindness, empathy, leadership and work ethic, however, I believe my greatest lesson is yet to come. 

A social cause that you are most passionate about?
I am extremely passionate about empowering victims of domestic violence, financially. I am currently working towards the cause by hiring such women for my other venture that manufactures gourmet curry pastes and powders aimed at coastal cuisine in India, named after my mother, ‘Lily Aunty’s Masalas’. 

What’s the one thing you would like to change about yourself?
Being disciplined about my sleep and diet. 

If not in your current designation, what would you have been?
If I was not running CogMat, I think I would have been into performing arts. I was THAT child in the family for the longest time who had to perform a dance number, recite something, enact or sing something on request from eager relatives, while my beaming parents sat in the audience and happily took embarrassing photographs of me. 

What are the three apps on your mobile that you couldn’t live without?
Google Suite, Whatsapp (work) and Twitter (for everything else). 

Any content/ film or book you saw or read recently and why?
Most of my content consumption is through OTT platforms like most folks these days. Since ‘Game of Thrones’ has begun its final season, re-watching seasons 1-7 has been my latest binge-watch. That and scouring Reddit and Quora threads on fan theories. 

Which two organisations outside your own do you know the most people at and why?
CMSS (Cyber Managers Software Services), a sister company of CogMat, is naturally the organisation I know the most people from as that’s the office where we started from 9 years ago, before we moved out into CogMat’s own office, again located on the same premises. 

Although, the organisations known through one’s professional circle are many, nothing beats the details one gets from places where family members work. We owe it to evenings, dinner table conversation and weekends spent on the imperative question – “How was your day?” 

Two things about this industry that you don’t like or don’t understand?
We take ourselves way too seriously. Sometimes we treat our campaigns and ideas as if it were the end of the world. 

We are not finding a cure to cancer, kripaya karke baith jayein

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
Florence, Italy. I have been there a few times and I know I could spend a lifetime living in this beautiful city. Few places in the world celebrate their city’s history like Florence. Imagine getting to visit the Sarcophagi of Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Donatello, Galileo, among the many greats whose names have been etched in history. Seeing ‘David’ in all its glory. Don’t get me started on the art one gets to witness at The Bargello and Uffizi. Walking the cobbled streets, where you see a culmination of the old and the new, the joy of eating simple Tuscan food and the pleasure of being around the nicest locals, who take great pride in their history, is what makes Florence a city that I hope I get to live in one day.

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