Ritesh Ghosal, Croma

Our guest host, Ketan Mohile, speaks with Ritesh Ghosal of Croma about what does it mean to be a marketer in 2020. And how the business of omnichannel retail would get impacted as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Ritesh leaves us with a store-load of insights. And with a magic mantra to look up to, as we get settled in a new normal! 


Ketan:  Hey, this is the marketing connect podcast a show where we get up close and personal with some of the most celebrated marketeers in the country. We talk to them and discover new answers after all we are show for marketeers by marketeers, listen in. 

Welcome, my name is ketan Mohile, and I’ll be your host for today. We’re very happy to have Ritesh Ghosal shall join us today Ritesh is the CMO at Infinity retail Tata Enterprise and also better known to a lot of you by their brand Chroma. He is a seasoned marketer having spent almost 25 years working across multiple roles building Brands and businesses across a variety of Industries Ritesh welcome. Thank you so much for taking the time out today. 

Ritesh:  Thanks. Thanks ketan and thanks for it.

Ketan:  Let’s get you started with you know, understanding a little bit more about you and your story. Why don’t you just talk us through your journey where you grew up a little bit about your education. And what is the path that you know got you to what you’re doing right now. 

Ritesh:  So I’m a delhi boy grew up in Delhi did the usual stuff of you know, trying to get become an engineer and become a doctor. Landed up in kirodimal college with economics as my subject and actually to be honest the first time I really enjoyed any book or really understood why somebody should study is when I was doing my economics course and that sort of got me started in interested in the area of marketing. So it’s economics and then I went and did my MBA in IIM Bangalore after I am Bangalore. 

You know, so I finished my MBA in 95. This is a time when the media scene in India was very very interesting where you had, you know, all the satellite channels just beginning to come in. So it was one industry which was undergoing, you know, tectonic shift. So I thought it’s a good way to start my career, you know get into a field which is small therefore I should be able to move fast and grow into something. Interesting, so I started my career with lent as in Media. 

And six months later. I was on my way in market research. He spent three years in market research with I’m not be that was the second time in my life. I really really enjoyed myself. So economics was something that really talk to me. It liberated me from the world of two plus two is four and you know, the chemical equations and the physical equations similarly market research really, you know, sort of opened up my Mind to the world of you know human insights and how humans and how people think and behave as humans really affects us as consumers so market research three years and after that, you know series of tents with in the marketing world, it’s Coke, Tata Docomo and now Chorma.

Ketan:  Do you fundamentally believe that there is that there are some things from this textbook which are still true and some things which have to change or have changed to adapt to sort of this new reality. I mean, for example, let’s take with some of the methods what you would typically do as of all focus group or a quantitative concept product as do you think some of those things still hold in today’s world as well?

Ritesh:  See a lot has changed and I mean one, is he for the better in my view? Okay, what I enjoy about the world we live in today is you know this concept of what you call MVP. So you create a minimum viable product and then you sort of you know work on it. What was you know trying to you know, get things picture-perfect and then go to market. It’s a very liberating, you know concept for marketers. So that’s one side of it and the same time. 

You know what? I see happening is a lot of people especially in the world of startups, you know jumping too far ahead of the cube. Okay in the sense, you don’t really have an MV be you know, you launched with a big bang announcement and you purchasing traffic and then you try to you know, discover the business model, you know and therefore this entire In of pivoting Don’t think that’s such a smart idea. I think it is fantastic to liberate yourself from the you know, three-year NPD process to start to you know think that okay, there is a minimum viable product. But you know the code of that product the idea on which you have, you know zeroed and should still be a relevant and you know persuasive idea a lot of time. I find that missing, you know in the world of Startups, right and so which brings me to sort of a second phase in the in the in the discussion today. 

Ketan:  Can you tell us about your current job and what you do sort of on a day-to-day basis? 

Ritesh:  So I am now in retail okay as chroma we do business with some of the best brands in the country. Whether it’s Apple, Samsung, Sony, LG, Etc. 

It’s a category of retail where the shopping bag really doesn’t carry any value. Okay, then that’s that’s one, you know fundamental truth. I realized I am no longer a creator of depart in in my role at chroma. My job is to curate the assortment and create the you know, the the proposition which will make a customer by so that essentially defines how I I I you know spend my days so we have a weekly cycle of business planning. Okay, so every Thursday because the weekends around half the business that’s come out and shop. So every Thursday is when we plan the promotion’s okay, Thursday, the new promotion plan goes out in order to do that. What we do is we look at the Weekend sales data. 

In a series of reviews through Monday and Tuesday we figure out what’s working not working by some time on Tuesday. You have a full view of what needs to change from a marketing perspective through witnessed in Thursday. You execute that and by Friday evening, your you know, your digital assets are apply for the weekend and by Saturday your stores are live with whatever you had planned. So that’s really the cycles. 

It’s a cycle with you have a weak leader. Then Monday is reviews from Tuesday towards the end of the day you get into the Planning by Thursday you get into the execution.

Ketan:  Okay, great. And I think the advantage of something like that is the results are also immediately sort of visible right on a Monday. You know how much that weekend has delivered? 

Ritesh:  Yes. That’s that’s one of the things I enjoy about actually it was true of Telecom also and you would understand that. I think of waiting for four weeks for the market share about to come out is a thing of the past if you’re onto something good but you know by the end of the day and if it’s a dirty you start planning the next thing so that that one, you know, wonderful and liberating thing that has happened for as marketers that you don’t have to you know, wait for the result. The report comes instantly.

Ketan:  I think and that’s the joy of it as well, right, you know immediately whether the idea that you thought of an executed did it even carry any  Merit should read to be see how much results it delivered. So I think that’s the you also therefore don’t you know waste resources on things and that’s not working. 

Ritesh:  You know, the most important part of marketing Roi, you know is being able to pull back and because you’re able to pull back fast, you’re also able to, you know, try many more things then you wouldn’t be in maybe 10 years ago

Ketan:  Correct, but I think in sorry. I’m just quickly digressing a little bit. I think this whole concept of you know, what you essentially describing is feeling quickly or failing cheap with respect to let’s say a marketing investment, but I think maybe sometimes you also need to let something breathe a little bit for it to really land in people’s minds for them to change their behavior. Maybe I am, you know a little bit biased because I come from a time of selling physical Goods where people actually had to walk to a store and buy. Do you think some of this has changed because People can instantly sort of open up a website or an app in take a decision right on the spot.

Ritesh:  No, no don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about sales necessarily. I’m just talking about the feedback loop being shorter. Okay. So if you have planned something and you know, you have to be able to you know, identify lead variables for it. Okay. So for so for instance, if it’s a campaign where they call to action is a visit to the website or call to an IVR. I have the first measure is you know How many people are calling so the school will happen later, but it would lead indicator should move and when you are planning your to identify the lead in to indicate away carefully that that’s what I’m going to say. Sure. 

Ketan:  No, I think that makes perfect sense and I think for a lot of you know listeners and I face this problem personally when I had to sort of describe what I do to my parents or people in my family, I think it’s really difficult to explain what marketing really does I think one aspect of in this to really be the sort of the growth engine for an organization in your case. Is it challenging when you know that a lot of the demand generation is sort of

dealt with by a lot of the brands that you work with a lot of execution is sort of driven by operational efficiencies and sort of store Logistics and store placement and so on are there times where you’ve struggled from your earlier days, too. Describe for your team or for yourself. What are the two or three biggest things that the marketing team at Chroma has to work on? 

Ritesh:  Okay. So another way interesting question and and you are absolutely right when I walked into Chroma people really did not understand what marketing can do Rarity and if you look at the work chroma had done till five years ago and what some of our competitors will do. You know, there is a confusion between what the retailer does and what the brand is. So sometimes you end up celebrating the product but only enjoying the margin of the product succeeds. And then that is really what we have defined the role of marketing as and accurately said it’s about being the growth engine thin any business the job of marketing and I think that will come again was a great learning around for me in that sense. We got to shop you define. 

You really do it’s not about communication. It’s not about advertising which is what FMCG can you know, lead you to believe sometimes it’s really about owning the top line and the middle line. Okay, it’s not just in retail. It’s not just about footfall but it’s about bringing people in with the with the intent to buy in Coke lingo or Pepsi lingo. It’s about activating demand. So what marketing does in Chroma are there are two ways of seeing it. At a very Level it’s about saying a footfall marketing like a conversion operations correctly. Whoa, sorry reading a book. But what we have focused on is actually bringing people to chroma move bringing more of the people who were active in to buy in to Chrome which is why the conversions we enjoy our we higher than the industry. Okay when for perspective our footfall versus tickets ratio. Is around, you know, 16200 and then given that you know, typically there are two people to a ticket as in Italy husband and wife in the case home product or if even if it’s a phone typically, you know, it’s 1 plus 1, 2 people come in given, you know, that’s the thing. Your conversion is upwards of you know one info which is really really good. So this this is one of the things we work on. As a marketing team and there are various strategies around that, you know, whether it is, you know, tying up with banks and care for cash bags or it is, you know, putting a little bit of extra money in the wallet of the people or whether it is actively targeting Shoppers in their digital searches. So there is the missions the focus is on finding people who are activated shoppers these strategies follow from there. So that’s one one part of it the second part and And that’s I think a bigger reason for Chroma has success is you know, unlike most other retailers who buy from margin Chroma sets up its contracts with Brands to realize the margin on sale. Okay, which means the inventory we work with at any point in time is for leaner. Okay Soso perspective now when we have been, you know out of business for 50 days. 

My inventory position is still decent. Okay, and in the Forum be able to pay off all my salary is and so on and so forth. Otherwise, you know, I would have you know thousands of crores of inventory sitting in the human 

Ketan:   would have been locked up in inventory rather than genetic group operational stuff. 

Ritesh:  Yeah, so, you know that that’s really the secret of chorma a success. This is based on you know, something someone had done in 2011. I had nothing to do with it. But hope this allowed me to do is therefore understand what marketing can go for retail much better which is so  one way to see retail. Is there a certain amount of money being deployed to procure inventory and make things available in the store the speed at which you know, the wheel turns and a wintry is rotated is really a marketing comes in. 

Ketan:  So how much rope and how much business can you get out of let’s say thousand close of inventory is the task of marketing. 

In a couple of examples about what kind of interaction you know, you have to do with some other stakeholders in the business and distant retail will be slightly different as compared to a digital consumer brand or maybe you know, some other Industries will be great to get your perspective. Right? 

Ritesh:  So I was talking about the weekly that them so essentially what head starts on Monday is, you know, based on what has sold well or not. Here we’ll there will be an inventory position which gives an answer. I will inform us all they will be, you know feedback from the stores in terms of what sold well or did not sell well over the weekend, you know things like where maybe my next-door retailer was selling something cheaper. The buying team would come with you know, whatever. The fresh offerings are from the brand in terms of, you know, isolating their of the excess stuff like that and then we’ll sit together and we get over Monday and Tuesday. To create the offers that will go live for the next weekend starting Thursday. So that’s that’s really the weekly Rhythm the more important part and that really comes from the special status of chroma with the Brand’s it was all leading brand CSR our stores as a theater for their new releases. So to speak, you know, so it’s about planning the new launch of an Apple device in Chroma it’s you know, planning the launch of the Samsung flip when it comes in and just like that where you probably 34 days cycle with the Brand’s where you figure out what all assets at the store and what all assets in digital. Would you commit to the brand and against that what’s the, you know customer offered they will run for you especially or give you access to and stuff like that. So there are two holders the by the brands and on the other hand you have the you know, the internal stakeholders third large set of stakeholders is the payment ecosystem. So whether it will it’s like the ATM or you know, the banks or the NVFs that’s another ecosystem that we work with very closely in terms of, you know, making the proposition for the customer.

Ketan:  Great, and there is of course a stakeholder outside. All is the consumer and the Shopper was actually coming to your store. What kind of work do you do to really understand or uncover some of the insights behind who’s really walking into the store? What are they looking for? I mean me for one. And again, it’s a very personal perspective. But I always think that is there really space for a physical retailer to exist out there when you have you know, retailers who are there and now the whole delivery sort of fulfillment in delivery chain is also now getting streamline. But I also appreciate that. I am like in a different subset of people that are a whole lot of other people out there. So what kind of work really goes into understanding who these consumers are what do they really want? And how can you as Chroma help them 

Ritesh:  We do a number of researchers on an ongoing basis. Number one is is tracking active Shoppers. So we do a monthly online survey to understand of the hundred people who are looking to buy something electronic how many considered chroma how many actually came to Chrome has website or promised or and then how many of them did I convert or not convert? So that’s really the sizing the formal so to speak the second part is an exit survey to which is to you know. Trace back the paths to the store what helped me get the business so that I can you know do more of what I did right and this is the to regular cell research is that happen? There is a lot of you know, social listening we do one at three levels one is at the level of what are the things people are excited about in the world of electronics. Second is what are so that’s really listening in on the electronics Brands second is about listening to conversations around our competition both online and offline and like you just highlighted our bigger competition today is online rather than offline and finally the conversations around Chroma itself, whether they are positive or the negative. So the this is the social listening that happens on a, you know, 24 hr bases and one other critical piece is  you know tracking the online prices of both online and offline retailers so that you know, we are not caught by surprise in in terms of the pricing on as a particular product. So these are some of the research tools that we deploy beyond that, you know beyond that is the standard stuff which is you know doing if you are creating a new And program or a new branding set for the stores you take it to a few customers and you get their feedback. So the coal research and important concept a concept testing kind of stuff. But frankly, we know pretty little of that we don’t really need to because see we got 170  stores. So it’s very easy for us to you know, do set up experiments, you know, so you run a program in a city do a before after or you run it in one store, but not the other door before, you know, side-by-side comparison and then go get a sense of what’s working or not working coming to the point of is there a role for physical retail actually the There is no electronics. They’re online. What do you have on liner marketplaces! Okay, and therefore their ability to sell Electronics targeted to a customer in a certain manner is fairly limited case in point is if you look at the wheel base by operates in the u.s. Today and there are couple of other examples from other markets if there is a expert retailer in electronics, there is room for him. Okay, because an online Marketplace will always know while they also collect a lot of data on consumers and able to customize the basis on which they are customizing also has a hell of a lot of noise. So if I look at my example, I buy groceries food items household merchandise Etc 20,000 kind of things from Amazon therefore. 

Their understanding of me as a customer is covered in a hell of a lot of noise versus if I have a clean conversation, which is around Electronics with customers. I’m able to understand the customer was much much better and therefore, you know, I’m able to manage your life cycle far better. So that’s that’s really the premise on which we are working besides in our category because you know, there is a tactile part to the product. So whether it’s a smartphone or it’s a laptop there is you know, how it looks feels ways physically is still an still a factor and therefore typically people will search the you know start this searches online more than 90% of the people who come to grow maybe not like before they come to the store, but they do make a trip to the store. And if my proposition is right, then I then I have a fair chance to convert him. So that’s really the premise on which we work what we are trying to get better at is to be the first person first sight that the customer searches on. All because that allows me to shift the conversation better than I do currently. And then that is exactly what Best Buy is has achieved in the U.S.. 

Ketan:  Right? All right, I think because a lot of us are also slightly biased by the fact that you know, we end up seeing a lot more of chrome has stores physically than digital. So I think for a lot of people rather than thinking of chroma as the expert retailer for electronic sweep sort of thing that it’s the physical retailer for electronics. Is there a distinction that you’re trying 

To create or is this my perspective and people think otherwise I should note of that. 

Ritesh:  What I would say is your perception is pretty much accurate. Okay, except that it is changing by degrees as we pass. So like I said move over 90% visitor side before they visit a store visit our stores see percentage of that which has visited chroma.com has now hit around 50% ‘The okay year back it was 37 percent the year before that it was 30% So slowly over a period of time the awareness that chroma also has a website and the second part which is the usefulness of the visit. So the usefulness of the visit was cold at around 25% by the 30% would have visited the side. That number is now running at around 75, 77 percent.We are working on almost like a hobby. Right? Like I said, there is a weekly Rhythm to the running of the stores. And you know, that’s really that treadmill is where the entire business operates. Okay. So for us to take time out and you know create any business transformation is a is always a challenge. So what we’ve done now starting I think around September last year is we important was strategic relationship with TCS where more than you know, No, the IT transformation as sort of being outsourced to them. Okay, so what and they are is the same team that managed the transformation for Best Buy. So that’s why you will finally talking repeatedly about the Best Buy because we have seen those learnings from very close. So but it’s a journey it will take its time. The good part is from a value chain perspective. 

We are very competitive with Amazon similar to the way Best Buy is competitive versus Amazon in the U.S. . In fact for almost the last one years we had on our shop floor. We do have a price match with Amazon prices. Okay. It’s not affected our profitability any negativity. 

Ketan:  Okay? Okay, which brings me to my next sort of topics of conversation which everybody’s talking about. How do you think all of this is now going to change because of you know the new Reality and post covid opening up of our interactions and all of that are there things that you think are fundamentally going to completely change our have been accelerated and are there things that you think are not going to change despite this sort of temporary blip that all of us will see?

Ritesh:  See, I think I think human behavior tends to be fairly elastic and we tend to forget very quickly at the same time. You know, there are things what what you would call Delta moments, which really leave leave an imprint on your mind. So for me for instance, you know growing up in the Delhi the 84 six rides left an indelible imprint on my mind. So this is at that level, you know, 50 days 60 days of not being able to step out being in a state of lockdown and realizing that you’re not alone. The world is also going through the same thing is a life-changing event. Right? I think a lot of people are talking about, you know, tactical stuff like digital becoming more important than you can contact and all that. I think most of the whole guide is those are small things but the more interesting things are you know how it is. This is going to affect the way people think and how people relate to the material world around them. And I think there are going to be fundamental changes in that. Okay, I think especially in Bombay know where there is a bombay gurgaon and Noida, you know all the Places where you know, the new jobs have opened up over the last 10 years. There are these huge numbers of singles who either stay alone or stay, you know, engineering kind of academic accommodation with frankly people who are going to insist thought we were friends before wasn’t locked in for 50 days with the stranger, you know, people are going to have serious thoughts about you know, what they’re doing with their lives. I think two things will change. 

One is people will you know try and move forward into the next life stage which is getting married much faster and one very practical reason which is you know, two incomes to run a home rather than one which is always of use in our cities. And the second is you know, if you have someone who you are even Halfway inclined to spend your life with your better better or getting started on that rather than you know, either being locked in alone or with the stranger. So I think that’s that’s one thing that set to change link to that is the investment in the home versus investment in you know products that I call, you know, High products with high look at me quotient. So between buying the latest iPad or and and buying AC for your bedroom. I think a lot more people are going to you know swing. Using the bedroom, you know the home as a nest as a comfortable Nest is something I think a lot of people have missed in the last 50 or days. So the you know things like both are our fundamental shifts. Okay are we it’s fairly immaterial whether he, you know looks to buy the AC digitally or in a physical store. You know, I think after other focus on how is the demand going to play after that, you know, so we will just been allowed to open a few stores in the green and orange Zone. Okay. And what is selling is an eye-opener, you know, of course, you know, there are personal grooming kits which are selling. Okay people haven’t had a chance to win their beards or cut their hair for. Okay, so we will be things you know now So that’s one thing with Yeah, so same thing is happening to us. We are selling effort. The other thing is, you know induction cookers. So the lot of people who never run a kitchen in their home and suddenly they are realizing Bose kamse kam Chai bana aana chahiye. So get something that will serve the purpose even if you don’t have a gas connection, so tea coffeemakers microwaves induction cookers all Basic kitchen appliances are selling on one side and personal care items are selling again other side. Third, of course is laptops, you know, a lot of people have realized either they don’t have laptops or what they have is really not good enough for a work from home situation. 

Ketan:  Great, and I wanted to touch upon another topic that I know you’re passionate about which is this whole, you know, discussion and action around conscious consumption. And I know for a fact that you know, you are in a space where electronic waste for example is going to be a huge deal. It’s already started to become a deal and it will become a big problem in the years to come. What are your thoughts on it? Are there details about sort of e-waste space in India that you can share with us, or are they? The brands that you think are doing a great job when it comes to, you know, walking the line on conscious consumption.

Ritesh:   See, it’s a double-edged sword. Okay, India has to catch up with the rest of the world in terms of lifestyles as well as awareness of the world in terms of Education in terms of you know, lot of things all of which are embedded in products. So the smartphone and the laptop is really the modern gateway to the world of information. And while we are at it, why shouldn’t we have a TV or a refrigerator in a homes either? So it is you know consumption has to grow. Okay. We need to catch up with the world at the same time from being in a position where you’re 30 or days of 50 or days of lockdown can actually improve the quality of air and water around us to being in a place where you know, there is no point of return. 

That’s the choice we need to make I think the and frankly as a retailer of electronics my business and therefore my salary depends on being able to sell most of the wave struck a balance is we always ensure that we are running better than Market offers on products that are resource efficient. Okay, so we try and steer the customer towards resource efficient products in the store whether it is, you know inverter a season a frigerator is anything which is an inverter motor consumes less electricity whether it is about only selling green gas compressor products niecy’s and refrigerators or whether it’s about, you know, actively supporting E-Waste collection. 

In our stores. So the task really is about creating awareness people who are consuming don’t realize about the risk. They are creating for themselves as well as the environment around them. So any one of us if he starts looking in the house will find some batteries which are lying around whether it’s in a power bank or or its in a torch and that is if not, Is dove correctly. You are separating the two reactors are a potential fire hazard. Okay not this is not very well known and even if people know about it at the back of their heads, it’s not something people act on inertia just takes over. This is you know one level of the problem the other level of course, you know. All the LED panels that we are consuming is depleting the world’s supply of sand. You wouldn’t think it’s possible that that you work in a lot of sand but apparently it can because the rate at which you know, you have your greeting LED panels and sand silica is one of the basic ingredients of that. 

It’s a challenge. Okay, so there are a lot of Brands which are working in the space of you know, repurposing reusing what you what you call the circular economy the government runs, you know a there is a mandatory requirement to bring in a certain amount of your earlier production as a you know, so Electronics manufacturer whether it’s a Sony or an apple. 

As to bring in 33 percent of what they sold three years back of I will back depending on the category in order to get the license to Market what they are marketing now. Okay. So there is a there is a mandatory Target for E-Waste what chroma tries to do all all the parents want to do it? Okay, but the problem for the Brand’s is if I because if as a customer Sony is telling me to bring bringing in the old TV. I don’t know where to take it. So what we are trying to do is use our chain of stores as a collection point for E-Waste where the brands can communicate to the customers that you drop off your old gadgets at Chroma and we will you know Incentivize you for that so become a partner to the Brand’s not just when they’re selling the product but also when they are trying to read their emails Target, so that is one program. We are running Apple incidentally and this is something I also learned recently. Most of their components are recycled. Okay. So all the rarer the use most of the plastic they use in their products is all recycled. 

So there are company like that. Yeah, so so Brands like Sony Brands like apple are actually pretty far ahead of the Curve. And we see actually the task in India is from a customer’s perspective. We have been trying to do it for more than three years. Now people think it’s something nice to talk about people don’t really act on it. So inertia is like a big challenge so guarded Kuch Pda bhi hoga over you think it’s worthwhile making the effort to make a call and say was come and pick it up and you know far go from bringing it into the 

And then gradually the volumes of E-Waste. We collect of gone up last year towards the end of the year. We ran a fairly successful campaign with Times of India and you know, the November to January period was the highest we have done in terms of collecting he waste but for perspective it’s still you know, less than 10% of what we sold in those three months. Most successful campaign we have done so far on eBay as was when we work with Times of India in the period November to January of this year  and then we got our highest ever, uh collection in that period however, it was still less than 10% of the number of you know units we sold in that period so it’s still 10 is to 1 what you sell was is what you bring back. We’re still learning a tennis tour the idea is to over a period of time come to a place where it’s 1 is to 1.

Ketan:  Yeah, I think but some of these facts are new to me and I think like you said it’s a question of you know, bridging that gap between intent and taking action. So I think everybody wants to do good for the environment, but you have to realize that they have to take some action and even it might mean just a small action, but I think taking that first step is important.

Ritesh:   Yes again, we have I think what the recent 50-day period would have done for people is done it for me. You know when you see all these all these news of “Jalander se Himalayan dikh raha hai aur ganga ka Pani saaf hogya hai”,etc.

And on nature second. Is anybody who’s you know stuck in inertia and things what can we do about it? We you know we it tells them that you know is still possible to think.

Ketan:  I think I think you’re very right I think for me personally that has been my biggest sort of aha moment that you know, of course, I knew that the environment is in a bad shape, but I was really surprised to know that just about 30 days into it the you know environment starts becoming better. So nailing a way of healing itself and it doesn’t take too much to get there. So I think that has been my personal learning as well.

Ritesh:   Yeah. So the heck would we know that you know, maybe we will have a period where people will overcome the inertia and start peeking, you know, those PB steps on their own 

Ketan:  Great. I’m just gonna move to a last couple of questions is trying to understand some wits about you know, you as a person so are there some passions that you want to share with us about I know you’re passionate about walking back. I know that you do a little bit of writing yourself. Can you you know share some experiences about what kind of stuff do you like to write about? What kind of books are you reading? It will be great to know that.

Ritesh:  Yeah, so whatever saying is actually walking is not a passion food is my passion and walking is so that I can you know afford to put in those extra calories. What I am passionate about sports. I have always been an active Sportsman. I used to play a lot of cricket growing up when you know before I move to Bombay. We used to play cricket or only  invertible then when the it became difficult to put together a gurgoan for Cricket. We move to tennis badminton pretty much anything that would get you out on a weekend. So that’s something I really enjoyed in terms of reading. I really love reading PG wodehouse pretty much collected all his works. I have probably read every word is red. Help and that’s you know something I’m pretty proud of what I write is about my life my experiences most of time and to be honest, you know, there is much more which is left unwritten unfinished than has ever been before, you know finished. Yeah. 

Ketan:  Yeah. I know everybody has so many draft articles written. You just need to find the time and inspiration. Sort of put it down and finish it. 

Ritesh:  Yeah, that’s the n in fact. I probably got there are two articles are finished writing is in the early days which is which is two more than I’ve done in the last two years. 

Ketan:  I think everybody’s creative juices have really started flowing in this sort of forced lockdown period overtime know this length to cook. Correct, correct. And my last question for you today. She is that you know as a marketing leader. I’m sure there are team when people from your team or even other people who look up to you as a mentor really ask you that look I want to be a good marketer or I want to start a career in marketing. What are those two three things that you really want people to know and sort of imbibe? Truly help them build a solid marketing career or do well as Marketeers. 

Ritesh: So I think the first thing is about being curious having an open mind and being curious about people that’s the first rate second is the ability to synthesize data across different sources to come to you know, mental map of what might be the problem. And third is communication skills one of the biggest and I’m not talking about advertising. One of the biggest roles marketer. Plays is in an organization is is the one function which has keys are which go beyond the coming 12 months and therefore it’s important for you to be able to articulate what you see is the company’s future of the Brand’s future and make a compelling. Pictures so that we will sort of, you know start believing in it. So being good at communication, especially oral communication is very important for marketers. 

Ketan:  Right And are there some books or resources that you can recommend that you know students of marketing definitely have to sort of look at or read through any respect of how many years they spent at marketing. I think being curious and being a learner is a very critical part of being a marketing leader other some things that you can recommend?

Ritesh:  See, I think it is very important to have an Eclectic dtaste reading. I’m not a big fan of textbooks. And I’m not a big fan of for want of a better word about called business books, you know, the 7 habits of effective managers or whatever, but I think it’s because finally how people behave as consumers is an outcome of how they are as humans. So, you know being curious about history being curious about places is probably more important then textbooks 

Ketan:  Great! I think that’s solid advice coming from somebody who spent a lot of time in marketing roles. Thank you so much Ritesh for your time with us today. It was really helpful to get your perspective on You Know Your Role the organization and how some of these things are being shaped by know today’s reality. Thank you so much fun spot 

You just heard the latest episode of the marketing connect podcast. A show for marketeers by marketeers. The show was brought to you by C4E and the podium.

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About Marketing Connect

In this podcast we get up close and personal with some of the most celebrated marketers in India.


Saurabh Garg is an entrepreneur, writer, and an adventurist. With The Podium, he wants to learn the method in the madness from other entrepreneurs, creators, and adventure junkies.


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