#WomenDisruptors: Create a culture of motivation & Bheja Fry sessions

We, at Adgully, have always saluted and honoured women managers and leaders across diverse fields. Women Disruptors is Adgully’s special initiative to bring to the fore some remarkable women achievers in M&E, Advertising, Marketing, Communications industries, how they think, how they manage things, how they lead from the front and much more.  

Nisha Singhania, Co-Founder & Director, Infectious Advertising, comes with a rich experience of over two decades after having cut her teeth with various leading advertising agencies. After completing her post-graduation from NMIMS, she was straight away hired from the campus to join Trikaya Grey. At Trikaya, she was instrumental in several important launches for P&G and Marico. She was the rising star at Trikaya and was nominated to attend an international training programme in Bangkok in 2001. After Trikaya Grey, for the next few years she worked with some of the leading agencies like Ambience, Publicis, Rediffusion, Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, holding various leadership roles in these organisations. In 2013, she was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and she co-founded Infectious Advertising along with her partner Ramanuj Shastri. Today, Infectious is 7 years old, 40+ people strong and works with clients like Future Group, Tata, Intercontinental Hotels Group, UltraTech Cement, Reliance Jio, Inorbit Malls, and Tribhovandas Bhimji Zaveri. 

How do you inspire and motivate your employees as a leader of your organisation? 
The culture you create impacts the motivation of your employees, which is why it is critical for organisations to focus on it. These are some of the things we do at Infectious, which we believe motivates and inspires them:

  • Empower people by giving them responsibility, trust them and allow them to fail.
  • A no stress, fun work place with zero politics helps people focus on their work and thrive.
  • An environment that encourages thinking and creativity. 

Your three valuable guidelines to become a winning leader?
These are some pointers which I think are critical for a successful leader:

  • Be brave and take risks
  • Don’t compromise on your ethics
  • Create a team of passionate believers  

Any role model that you can connect to be a great leader to follow?
I have always been inspired by Ricardo Semler and the unorthodox ethos of Semco. In the words of Ricardo Semler, “Let’s give these people a company where we take away all the boarding school aspects of, this is when you arrive, this is how you dress, this is how you go to meetings, this is what you say, this is what you don’t say, and let’s see what’s left. And so, the question we were asking was – how can we be taking care of people? People are the only thing we have.” 

At Infectious, we are doing exactly that. We don’t have rules. We believe people are responsible adults and if we empower them they won’t let you down. So, we don’t monitor their timings or the number of holidays they take. We encourage people to do other things besides their work, follow their passion and take time off. Of course, they all have responsibilities, but how and when they do it is on them. 

How do you carefully nurture your people to become a leader?
By empowering people to do more than their job. People can take charge of aspects or projects they enjoy doing, and they become the leaders of that function. 

We also have regular ‘Bheja Fry’ sessions. ‘Bheja Fry’ is an internal and external training program at Infectious, where we get industry leaders to come and talk to us and share their experiences and stories. 

What would be your approach to manage crises as a leader?
In a crisis situation, a leader needs to lead by example, as everyone is watching you. They are waiting for you to react so that they can follow suit. If you panic, they panic. If you lose it, there is pandemonium. Hence, not getting stressed and being in control is key to getting everyone to rally together to solve the problem. In a crisis situation, one also needs to do proper planning and it has to be followed step by step to achieve the end results.


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