HomeIndiaNewsroomStay agile, open-minded & curious
Facebook iconLinkedIn iconTwitter icon

Stay agile, open-minded & curiousMarch 11, 2022

In today’s edition of ‘Women Achievers 2022’ series, Deepshikha Dharmaraj, CEO, BCW India Group, advises aspiring PR & comm professionals to get the growth mindset & stay above water during bad times

Celebrating the contributions of women this International Women’s Day, exchange4media PR & Corp Comm is running a 'Women Achievers Series'. It will feature the journey, success and achievements of some of the top women leaders from the Public Relations and Corporate Communications fraternity.

Today’s series features Deepshikha Dharmaraj, Chief Executive Officer, BCW India Group. With 27 years of rich and varied experience in public relations and integrated communications, she oversees the business of BCW in India and its growth strategy. Her role is to provide strategic counsel to the firm’s marquee clients and senior client leaders as a trusted advisor in good as well as turbulent times.

Now that the industry is opening up workplaces and resuming operations from the office, what are the initiatives, measures and precautions that should be adapted/ taken to ensure a smooth transition?

When we had to start working from home, the change was sudden. We didn’t get the time to prepare our people for it. We also didn’t know how long it will last. It’s been two years since then and our people have gone through several waves and challenges and become more resilient and agile. The change to hybrid working is fortunately more gradual and we have the time to help our people adapt to it.

There are three aspects to focus on to make this process more seamless: learning, engagement and a growth mindset. As our teams come back to office, helping them upskill to the new ways of working is important. Digital, data analytics, creative content are evolving at a rapid speed and we want our people to stay ahead of that. For all this, our learning programmes have to be on point and comprehensive.

Engaging with the employees is another area where we need to focus. In the two years, many new colleagues have joined and for them, the idea of the office could be intimidating. Showing them that coming back to office is not just safe but also fun will go a long way in making the transition smoother.

And last, but perhaps the most important is to inculcate the culture of a growth mindset among our people — a mindset where we approach everything with curiosity, creativity and a solution-oriented approach. The idea is to enable our people to look ahead and not back. We can’t take away from the fact that we have collectively faced a tough time but if we dwell on it, we can never get out of it. A growth mindset helps us get out of that and look forward to the future with optimism.

get out of that and look forward to the future with optimism.

The last 20 months have been trying for every professional, especially with the hybrid working model. How did you strike a balance between office work and household duties?

My family — my husband and son — and colleagues at work have kept me centred through these challenging months. It is critical to have a strong support system, both at home and at work, because no one can succeed alone. It is important to give and ask for help when required. I have constantly drawn a lot of energy and courage from the resilience of our people.

Women have been carving a niche for themselves and paving the way in the communications industry for the next generation of women leaders to follow. Tell us about your achievements and your contribution to the fraternity.

My biggest and the proudest achievement is to have nurtured talent in the industry. Whether it is as the head of talent for Genesis in the past or as a frequent faculty at various institutions or indeed as a woman leader — I have had the opportunity to identify and hone talent, which is a key requirement for our industry. I am actively involved in industry initiatives for PRCAI, PAFI and unique women-centric programmes like WPP Stella and GWPR. WPP Stella is an exceptional mentoring programme by WPP for women leaders across the world and across communication disciplines and I am part of the core group, which started three years ago in India. GWPR is another aspirational global network for women in PR that connects and supports women in PR and communications and I am a founding board member of the India chapter.

What are the roadblocks that you have had to overcome to reach where you are today? What, according to you, are the makings of a leader?

I have been very fortunate to have had strong women role models at home and work. In Prema Sagar, I found a wonderful mentor who always had more confidence in my abilities and challenged me to explore my full potential. For instance, very early in my career, she tasked me to start our west operations. She also encouraged me to explore all aspects of understanding the business - from managing talent to marketing and new business then eventually playing the role of CEO for the entire business. At every stage, she threw a new challenge at me and asked me to turn it into an opportunity. I think that is what we need — a great mentor, a few challenges and the will and courage to turn those into opportunities. The three things that have worked for me are being open to learning, setting SMART goals and creating a collaborative culture to achieve them.

What would be your advice to the young generation?

This generation has seen the best of times and the worst of times, and so my advice to them is to stay agile, open-minded and curious. In short, get the growth mindset. It will help you make the most of good times and stay above water during the bad times. And most importantly, it teaches you that the only way to do great work is to love what you do and keep improving it.

Source: https://www.exchange4media.com/pr-and-corporate-communication-news/stay-agile-open-minded-curious-deepshikha-dharmaraj-118908.html