It is your competencies that either make you successful or not: Anupriya Acharya

15 Jul,2012

Anupriya Acharya, Leader, Client Leadership, South Asia at Mindshare Fulcrum brings to table freshness of thought and keen consumer insights. She joined Mindshare Fulcrum as the Head of Affairs in February this year.  She moves in from Singapore, where she was CEO, Aegis Media.


It is a homecoming of sorts for Acharya as she was a part of Mindshare team for almost five years in the past as well – 2000 to 2004.


In this brief conversation with Ritu Midha, Anupriya Acharya speaks about her interesting journey in the world of media, marketing to different target groups and more.


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Let’s begin with your stint in media so far…how has the journey been?

For me, the journey has been very interesting. When I started out, I didn’t have a destination in mind. I am an explorer by nature, and so even on my work, I moved from position to position…different functions…different places…different cities. I have always enjoyed what I do. There is always a sense of freshness in my engagement with my work, and that’s what I particularly enjoy. So for me the journey continues to be interesting.


Has being a woman ever been a barrier, or advantageous for that matter?

As boring as it sounds, neither has it been a barrier, nor has it been of any help. It is basically your competencies, which either make you successful or not. It has nothing to do with, at least in our profession, being a woman or a man.


When I was a child, all the children in my neighborhood were boys, and hence, I usually used to be only girl in that group. In college, again, I went to Roorkee University, which was primarily an engineering college and, I think 90% plus of the crowd were men. I have always been comfortable in such situations. And now I find that, especially in senior positions, there are more men than women. It is important for you to be comfortable with that, which is not that tough for me. But it is equally important, I think, that men should be comfortable with you as well. That is something that helps for sure.


The media industry has always seen women at their working best right from the days of Roda Mehta etc. But that is not the case with most other sectors that are just witnessing the rise of women in the managerial ranks. What would you attribute this behavior to?

Skill sets and competence required is not specific to men or women – which is why opportunities are equal for both guys and girls. But it does help that women like Roda Mehta did exceedingly well so early on. It has definitely led to there being no mindset as to women not doing well, or that they would be experimenting so to say. In some other sectors which are largely male dominated, and there are hardly any women, it might get tough initially for the first round of women.


Talking of women in general, do you think they make different purchase decisions than men?

Women in general are far more multi-dimensional and multi sensorial. They have a higher EQ, and they are more receptive to learning and observing. They are shrewder. So they should be making different decisions as compared to men.


How much does your market strategy depend on the gender you are targeting?

If you are talking about consumer insights and advertising, it is more a function of whether you are relevant to your times or not. Whether you are talking to a kid, a guy or a woman, it is important that you are depicting the current era and not talking the cliched language of years gone by. While there are differences in men and women, even in the way they consume media – they are not so dramatically different.


More of a challenge is picking up the right insight that would strike the right chord for most of the women you are talking to.


Do you think woman’s role as a home maker is now changing to that of a home owner?

Yes, of course – as the whole economy grows, and the women become more economically independent.  Whether or not they become independent homeowners is not that big an issue as having a huge say in what property to buy, where to buy so on and so forth. There is more input given by women even in joint properties.


The world is changing and recognizing that there are more and more women buyers out there.


How has the upmarket metro woman changed if we compare her to a generation back?

She is more individualistic – has more clarity of thought, much more confident – is happier talking her mind, does not have to think too much of the repercussions. That is because there is a more acceptable society to such viewpoints and such mind states. It is all changed for the better.


And finally, how would you define a Diva?

I think somebody who can catch your imagination without trying too hard. And, is comfortable in her own skin.


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