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Summary of Experience

I am a communication, PR & marketing expert & specialise in transforming the way companies and brands interact with and are perceived by consumers. In the past 10 + years, I have experience working in industries like FMCG, consumer products,  and business & consumer technology companies ,for India as well as other Asia Pacific markets like Bangladesh, Singapore, Vietnam, MENA.

  1. Highly experienced in managing business & corporate communication for market leader & highly valued companies. Also developed differentiated business reputation programs with key stakeholders like Investors, Media etc.
  2. Launched new brands and new products for established public companies like Marico, global companies like Kellogg's and for high valued start-ups like Practo
  3. Helped transition & grow brands and businesses to new categories for a brands like Saffola, Practo  by readying the market & consumers to create need & change habits through different communications & PR programs
  4. Created effective & long-term positioning  traditional & Online Influencer programs to drive positive influence , testimonials and growth in reputation for new and established companies
  5. Developed & executed successful online & social media strategy & campaigns
  6. Developed long-term brand assets (traditional media & digital) & drive content marketing campaigns to grow categories & brand reputations
  7. Developed & leveraged long-term media & stakeholders relations which resulted in 3X-5X growth for positive reputation & earned media worth millions
  8. Worked with several product teams & business units to identify gaps in the markets, improve products, change positioning, re-brand, drive communication & PR campaigns etc. to drive growth
  9. Helped in developing thought leadership & advocacy for organisations partnering with govt. bodies & other organisations to drive 'expertise' and differentiate from any other brand
  10. Developed community relations, CSR  & Sustainability programs & communication campaigns to develop social equity for companies
  11. Helped develop Employer branding for different organisations to attract the right talent  

I took a short sabbatical 7 months ago to follow my passion for food and started a platform for 'immersive culinary experiences' called Lébu Suppers. I also launched a content platform on food, travel & slow living called www.lebujournal.com.

I am currently consulting  with start-ups and help them in their communication journey to build credibility in the market. I am also a guest lecturer at MBA institutes. 

Work experience

June '18Present

Owner

Eat Local Travel More (brand name: Lébu)

www.lebujournal.com 

Following my deep passion for food I took a sabbatical & started 'Eat Local Travel More' which is a property, which through immersive culinary & food based experiences (called Lébu Suppers) attempts to make people try & appreciate a new cuisine and/or local indigenous ingredients, where dishes are often inspired from travels, in a contemporary format.

To know more :
https://www.lebujournal.com/past-lebu-suppers/ 
https://www.lebujournal.com/book-the-next-lebu-supper/

It also, through content aims to inspire people to cook more with local & sustainable ingredients. It also attempts to make inspiring people to be sensitised travellers, make deeper connections with culture & people and gain new perspective about self while traveling. We also publish food stories, recipes & guides to make people appreciate & form deeper connection with food, cuisines , culture & places

See here: https://www.lebujournal.com/ 

- Created successful paid ,food based curated 'events' and products to bring forth new cuisines & innovative plated food experiences 

- Successfully executed the food events, creating the menu, cooking & presenting. Created memorable experiences which resulted in a top alcohol brand sponsoring the same 

-Created a communication strategy for customer acquisition ,received more than 50% participation than the advertised capacity for each event with increasing participation from a food lovers community. 

-Gained experience in running my own venture for the first time, also gained experience in marketing & positioning a new concept with limited budgets

Nov'16May'18

Head-Communications & PR

Practo

www.practo.com 

I was heading the corporate communication, Public relations & stakeholders relationships mandate for one of the most funded (Sequoia, Tencent, Thrive etc.) & promising health-tech start-ups in the world.

I helped in shaping the 500 million USD valued start-up to build its brand positioning as an integrated health platform in India & Singapore.

I also guided the leadership to drive the reputation agenda & positioning with key stakeholders including Media, Investors & the healthcare community

I designed the business communication & reputation strategy including a process to manage crisis & issues for the next growth stage of the start up , guided the company for building positioning through latest rounds of funding , new product launches and building thought leadership and worked closely with product teams & business units to create influence for individual products categories and to constantly navigate the company as a innovator and disruptor in healthcare through effective comms. & PR campaigns, media relationships, social media, digital marketing and creating brand assets.

Some key projects:

1. Conceptualised and guided the company through recent business changes & helped build company's vision as the go-to integrated healthcare platform through PR & comms. campaigns

https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/16/practo-raises-55-million-series-d-led-bytencent/

http://www.huffingtonpost.in/2017/01/17/practo-bets-big-on-artificial-intelligenceinhealthcare-with-la_a_21656393/

http://www.forbesindia.com/article/special/practo-raises-$55-million-in-series-d-fundingledby-tencent/45457/1

2.Helped in creating positioning as an 'Expert in healthcare' through brand assets(white papers , surveys, reports), & social media campaigns like the Practo healthcare map & creating visibility through PR & earned media coverage:

http://www.businessinsider.in/HealthcareMap-of-India-6-cities-that-are-plagued-with-chronicailments/articleshow/57081123.cms

https://blog.practo.com/practo-healthcare-map-reveals-chronic-diseases-rise-urban-india/

https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ani/chronic-non-communicablediseaseson-the-rise-in-urban-india-117021000076_1.html

3.As part of the larger business strategy , for entering new sub-categories & launching new products; designed & executed multi-channel communication including Product PR & a digital campaigns, adding to Practo's innovation in healthcare . eg: Product launch campaigns like 'Practo trinity' a healthcare technology insurance platform

https://www.fortuneindia.com/people/practo-makes-health-insurance-paperless/101777

https://gadgets.ndtv.com/apps/news/practo-adds-insurance-processing-with-icicilombardon-new-platform-practo-trinity-1804277

https://yourstory.com/2018/01/practo-partners-icici-lombard-launch-insurance-appiltakecare/

4. Guided the company through a re-branding process & campaign to showcase growth in business

https://yourstory.com/2017/04/practo-rebranding/

https://www.livemint.com/Companies/11zpmjFQ1mtoGcQL1BlsxK/Practo-to-partnerinsurance-pharma-firms-to-grow-business.html

5. Worked with govt. organisations & created partnerships to create advocacy for the company

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/policy-trends/niti-aayog-invitesapplicationsfor-mentor-india/articleshow/60208507.cms

http://bwdisrupt.businessworld.in/article/NITI-Aayog-Invites-Applications-for-AtalInnovationMission-s-Mentor-India-/24-08-2017-124682/ 

Aug'15Nov'16

Manager-Corporate Communications & PR(including brand communications, Brand PR & CSR)

Kellogg's

www.kelloggs.in

I was responsible for growing the reputation through driving an External & Internal Communications agenda including brand marketing, CSR & Sustainability projects  for Kellogg India which is the leader in the breakfast category in India & one of the world's most valuable consumer brands .

I helped shape the ready-to -eat cereal category relevance in India  & managed the perception as the brand launched products with local ingredients. Also,managed different brand campaigns to create affinity towards the category of products, create advocacy for the breakfasts category & to affect eating habits in the country. I also collaborated regularly with other communication teams for global projects in the U.S. & APAC region

Some key projects:

1.Set up the process and systems for the department in India & worked closely with global & APAC Comms. team to tailor  Kellogg's global communication messaging for India , develop CSR , community development programs in India, and provided high value to the business and the growth strategy- https://bit.ly/2JtRA0j

  1. Managed all external communications & PR for Kellogg's corporate brand in India. One of the key results area of my role was to successfully help strengthen the relevance of breakfast & create affinity & advocacy for ready-to-eat cereals in the country  https://bit.ly/2ysYgYn
  2. I ran a key part of Kelloggs' efforts  to build the relevance of breakfast with the Brand Campaign ( https://bit.ly/2HCsYUv )to drive the importance of the key category.  Helped in developing content properties & brand assets and helped launch an award winning  IMC campaign which included a digital communications strategy ( https://bit.ly/2JvdFvk )

4.Introduced & built a robust system and strategy;to create engagement for new launches, category creation & building brands through integrated marketing campaigns using PR, traditional and digital & social media platforms , influencer marketing, native mktg., search mktg., use of experts & celebrities to create affinity

-Conceptualised & executed a long -term program to create awareness for the category of  the product Muesli (https://bit.ly/2QF55wj )which was the brand leader at the time. Developed a social media content strategy for owned properties & driving influencer mktg.  to drive a native marketing campaign that garnered strong engagement for the brand & helped grow the category

5. Led internal communication & Employer Branding in the organisation . Helped drive employee engagement and impactful change management initiatives & to shape culture for both India & APAC teams.

6.I also drove the India equivalent of the global 'Breakfast for Better Days' CSR program

( https://bit.ly/2CzdP4r ) . The same was done through partnerships with NGOs & schools and also involving employees

Jan'12Aug'15

Associate Manager- Corporate Communications , PR & Brand Communications

Marico Ltd.

www.marico.com

I managed the corporate brand reputation for the publicly listed $ 700 million company & was responsible for telling the story to media, investors & other stakeholders through corporate & business PR & effective media relations. I was also responsible for managing the brand strategy & communications for top product brands like Saffola & Parachute. I also helped develop the Employer brand & managed internal communications using digital initiatives. I also managed corporate & brand communications in other markets like Bangladesh, Vietnam etc.

I managed CSR for Marico Bangladesh and PR & communications for the CSR non-profit arm, Marico Innovation Foundation

Relavent Sample Projects:

  1. Helped build the corporate brand for Marico & manage the same at every stakeholder interaction- Investors, Media,consumers for products, key opinion leaders & experts through PR, earned media, events, digital properties, social media, APPs, press meets etc.

-http://www.forbesindia.com/article/boardroom/marico-3.0-from-singlebrand-to-diversifiedconsumer-goods/37958/31

https://www.forbes.com/companies/marico/

-http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/fmcg/marico-to-use-paras-setwet-zatak-and-livon-to-target-youth-market/articleshow/16358127.cms?from=mobile

2.Managed the communications & positioning for the company  through various changes like merger &, acquisitions, change in business strategy etc.

-https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/fmcg/marico-buys-uppersonal-care-brands-of-paras-pharmaceuticals-from-reckittbenckiser/articleshow/11901430.cms

-https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/Why-Marico-shed-its-Kaya-skin/article20576526.ece

3.Designed the crisis communication protocol for the organisation & managed various types of external reputation crisis-product, processes etc.

4.Responsible for Brand Communications for the brand Saffola & influential in the transition of the brand to new categories & new growth strategy  for the business. Also, to develop expertise for the brand in 'heart health' through various brand assets

-I was a lead in the transition & positioning of the $ 150 million product brand , Saffola & growing the category from a one product brand (cooking oil) brand to a full-fledged health foods brand with multiple products , working with business heads & product teams. Helped in developing a long-term communication & digital marketing strategy to grow the category & launched brand assets to grow the same

https://www.youtube.com/user/SMOtheFITfoodie

- Contributed to build the brand asset 'Saffolalife' to strengthen positioning for 'heart health' for the brand  & used integrated marketing communication, social media, online influencer campaign  & PR to develop expertise for the brand through launching studies, influencers mktg., and earned media. The program resulted in earned media coverage worth 10 million & winning multiple awards, also the communications model is now a brand asset. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-A42q3BUDg  , https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/Women-as-prone-to-heart-diseases-as-men-Study/articleshow/43418030.cms

5.Built a 360° successful external and internal communications strategy for Employer Branding to drive thought leadership 'as an innovative & empowered organisation' working with the HR team to build Marico as a successful emerging market MNC and an ‘employer of choice ‘

6.Responsible for, devising the strategy, manage press conferences,managing quarterly investor communications & crafting the business messaging for high value placements in print & electronic media as well as announcements internally

7.Set up the external communications policy for the listed entity of Marico in Bangladesh & provided strategic counsel for all media and crisis communication

8.Created a charter for media training & messaging for 8 spokespersons in the organisation & positioned the MD & CEO as the business leader & profiled function experts successfully

9.Led internal communications for over 3000+ employees; conceptualised & launched an interactive digital platform .Launched the program 'innovation jam'(to encourage a culture of innovation across the organisation)

10.Helped set up an Online reputation management process  which helped track the brands' conversations real time on social media , manage reputation & mitigate crisis

11. Designed, developed & launched the  CSR strategy for Marico Bangladesh.I was also responsible for managing the PR & digital communications agenda for Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF) (a not-for-profit) & the Innovation for India Awards (IIA)

 

July'10Dec'11

Marketing Communications & PR Executive

Wagh Bakri Tea Pvt. Ltd

www.waghbakritea.com

I set up the Communications department  at Wagh Bakri Tea (WBT) Group & managed the launch (including developing the menu) & customer acquisition for the product & brand experiential café- Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge. Also, helped in brand positioning in Tier-II,III markets (https://bit.ly/2IgcMoA ).

Dec'08Jun'10

Marketing & Brand Consultant

DY Works

www.dyworks.in

I was associated with DY Works- as a brand design consultant providing brand design thinking and strategies for various clients like Pepsico, Big Bazaar Pvt. Label food brands etc. on New Brand Development, Brand Rejuvenation, Brand Visibility ,Packaging Design, Brand Architecture and point of purchase Experience Design. Also, applied semiotics to unearth deep rooted consumer motivations and desires, to decode consumers through symbolism in culture for various brand design projects.

Sept'18Sept'18

Volunteer & Mentor

Spiti Ecosphere

www.spitiecosphere.com 

I worked as a volunteer for a not-for-profit organisation which works towards development of the community & conservation of natural resources in the trans Himalayan region of Spiti, Himachal Pradesh.

I spent time there developing a program which highlights the local produce & indigenously grown ingredients in the Himalayas. All proceeds from the café go towards various projects to develop the community & for conservation of the environment.  a.Helped the local ingredients gain popularity & b. become more marketable with an international audience and c.to induce more sale for raw ingredients . The same will also contribute to encourage farmers to not stop growing indigenous crops.Also, created a CSR model for the organisation to receive funds from various sources & design projects that can associate with business & sustainability purposes for corporates.

Education

201818

Indian School of Business & Google Digital certification

Indian School of Business

Digital Marketing

200708

Post Graduate Diploma in Communications Studies

Xavier Institute of Communications, Mumbai

Majored in Marketing & Advertising 

200407

Bachelors in Commerce

Gujarat University

Majored in Adv. Accountancy & Adv. Statistics