Meet the boss ladies of the industry who did not let the pandemic deter their spirits and proved that they have what it takes to handle a crisis and come out of it stronger
To be sure, the year 2020 will go down in modern history as the year in which the power of female leadership was brought to the fore. In one of the toughest years that has tested the mettle of everyone, industry’s boss ladies didn’t let pandemic deter their spirits. These women leaders have proved that they have what it takes to handle a crisis and come out of it stronger.
We list out some of these powerful women who have shined even through the storms
Kalli Purie, Vice-Chairperson, India Today Group
It was praise-worthy how Puri went full digital with media house India Today Group, and proved how successful online media could be. No wonder, India Today won a record 25 awards across various categories at News Television Awards 2020. She was also conferred upon the prestigious ‘Impact Most Influential Woman Award’ for the year 2020. Her most successful experiments in the media space include India’s first Hindi news HD channel Aaj Tak HD, and the foray of India’s biggest news brand India Today into television as India Today TV. Among the many hats she wears, she is also the source of inspiration behind some of the biggest IPs like India Today Conclave, Agenda Aaj Tak, Sahitya Aaj Tak and Mindrocks.
Nadia Chauhan, Joint MD & Chief Marketing Officer, Parle Agro
It was amazing how Chauhan launched B-fizz amidst the pandemic, overcoming a plethora of lockdown-led challenges. She reinvented the approach by adopting a lot of different strategies to service retailers. The company invested Rs 40 crore on its mass media campaign across print, digital, television and outdoor for B-Fizz despite the hard times. She recently also announced that Parle Agro will be investing around Rs 50 crore over three years for a PET plastic waste management programme, which is already in action. Parle’s drink business has hit a fresh high due to the launch.
Priya Nair, Executive Director, Hindustan Unilever, and VP – Beauty and Personal Care South Asia
Nair led the company’s efforts to fight the pandemic through a slew of launches and marketing initiatives. The company invested Rs 10 crore (part of the Rs 100 crore commitment) to set up testing and quarantine facilities. The company also worked with public health authorities in UP, Karnataka and other states to upgrade medical facilities for Covid patients, as well as provide them with protective gears and also company’s products.
Hindustan Unilever has also partnered with the BMC to create a public awareness campaign ‘Corona se Mat Darona’, wherein tips on handwashing to prevent the spread of the virus has been shared. Its soap brand Lifebuoy has also been doing campaigns on the importance of handwashing to avoid spread of Covid-19.No wonder, HUL took home the ‘CSR Shining Star Award’ in the Covid category presented by the Governor of Maharashtra.
Sukhleen Aneja, CMO, Marketing Director, RB Hygiene, South Asia
Despite the unprecedented situation, Aneja has created new growth opportunities for RB throughout the pandemic which has led to strong demand for Dettol and Lysol, among others. The constant marketing has driven a greater health awareness. The company was quick to pivot its focus to the communication of evolving health and hygiene needs and how it will continue to be an area of focus for the brand along with ensuring the availability of its products. By focusing more on launching innovative products to suit consumer needs and aggressive marketing strategy to expand its consumer base, the development of e-commerce too proceeded at pace, with record levels of activity through new and existing channels.
Anupriya Acharya, CEO, Publicis Groupe, South Asia
A woman of many firsts, Acharya, who is the only woman leader with a holding company mandate in India, was elected the president of IAA in 2020. She became the first woman to become IAA president.
Acharya was named the CEO of Publicis Groupe South Asia in December 2019. In her 25 years in advertising, Acharya was at the helm of several media agencies from GroupM to Aegis Media, including a regional mandate in Singapore. From leading the company through the crisis to launching an Employee Assistance Program that offers 24X7 counselling and wellness solutions for employees to deal with various work-life challenges during the lockdown, she has managed to shine through.
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Swati Bhattacharya, CCO, India, FCB Ulka
An inspiration for many, Bhattacharya became one of few to be featured in The One Club for Creativity’s new ‘A Creative Perspective’ video series. Through the lockdown, she has conceptualized various viral ads like Horlicks and Project Streedhan that have resonated well with consumers: Through the last three years, FCB India has won the biggest global awards and has been named as the No: 1 creative agency in India by WARC and The One Show Global Creative Rankings. The agency has also won the Grand Prix, an award that celebrates changing the world, not just changing the brand. Over the years, Bhattacharya has delivered award-winning campaigns like Sindoor Khela for the Times of India.
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