With 12 years of work experience with Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies, I have been awarded for my work in every company I have worked for, whether as a trophy, a certificate, an email acknowledgment from the CEO or CFO or her colleagues. From being a call-center executive to training and team development to transitioning as a writer advising/editing leadership editorials for multi-billion dollar companies, and managing branding communications, my journey has been no short of amazing. As a payback, I advise and mentor a few NGOs and Start-ups on their content and communications strategy and offer creative solutions to mid-level organizations to help achieve their CSR goals.
KEY SKILLS & AREA OF EXPERTISE
Corporate Communications | Copy & Content Writing/Editing | Creative Visualization | Social Media Marketing | Content Management | Leadership Advisory & Branding | Eminence Portfolio | Process/Team Development & Mentorship | Policy Drafting & Development | Corporate Social Responsibility | Employee Engagement & Motivation | Program Management | WordPress Site Development | Public Relations & Reputation Management
WORK EXPERIENCE (NOV 2006- till date)
MARCOM CONTENT – MANAGER
ZYCUS | Oct 2017 – till date
In this 800-employee strong company, I lead the space in content creation for the marketing section since Oct 2017. I primarily contribute to blogs, thought-leadership pieces, and whitepapers for various channels of marketing. I work with a team of 50 professionals taking care of four major markets across US, UK, Europe, and APAC regions. Read my blog pieces for Zycus here.
CONTENT & COMMUNICATIONS – MANAGER
AVANI / CEIPAL Solutions Private Ltd. | July 2016 – February 2017
In this 130-employee strong company, I led the space in corporate-communications since July 2016. I identified/created opportunities aligned to company’s goals, got CEO’s approvals to act and implement ideas, track and simulate successful campaigns in the recruitment industry and a lot more. Setting up an in-house agency was one of her professional goals, and I got to fulfill that with a 6-member-team and cross-departmental support. From writing white papers to policy drafting & development, eminence branding to ad copy, email marketing to content development for anything that has got to help the business grow, I was able to set a road map for the team to go autopilot. I was also a part of their in-house CSR (corporate social responsibility).
REASON OF LEAVING: I was awarded the 2017 Charles Wallace India Trust Fellowship by the University of Chichester, UK (March-June 2017)
Avani/Ceipal | Nov 2016 – Feb 2017
ArthaYantra Pvt. Ltd | Oct 2015 – June 2016
Deloitte US-India | March 2015 – Sep 2015
AP Film Chamber of Commerce | Oct 2014 – Jan 2015
Gen Y Medium| April 2014 – Sep 2014
ADP | April 2013 – Feb 2014
Bank of America | April 2010 – Feb 2013
IBM Daksh | June 2009 – Feb 2010
BNKe Solutions Pvt. Ltd | Nov 2006 – June 2009
2005- 2009: Rabindra Bharati University Kolkata, India
Bachelor Of Arts: English Honours
A must read if you are concerned about my short job stints.
You may be wondering how I have changed so many organizations at very short intervals. And if it is so, good that I have an opportunity to answer it before you invite me for a face-to-face interview which saves both of our time.
So, in 2006 when I started working, it wasn’t a career for me but a compulsion. I hope you realize what it means to be a breadwinner for a family of four with simultaneous obligation toward the self in terms of education. I worked graveyard shifts and regular graduation classes. I worked approximately three years with BNKe Solutions until a day came when INR 9000 didn’t suffice for increasing house-rent, my college fees, my brother’s education, and everyday expense. Also, due to the onset of the recession, people were laid off.
I was aware of my capabilities and therefore took up my next offer in 2009 with IBM Daksh for a meager hike in salary. I loved working with IBM as much with BNKe, and I learned a great deal from these companies. So while I was working with IBM, over a year, I got a call from a consultancy firm in Hyderabad for job opportunities in Hyderabad. In IBM, my voice trainer suggested that it is important to be market-ready and it was that statement which ideally prompted me to go for the job call.
When I visited Hyderabad, I was interviewed by GE and I got the job to the delight of their HR professionals. But the consultancy suggested that I should appear for an interview with Bank of America because they could offer me a 50% hike. At Bank of America, the operations manager fell in love with my story and expedited my recruitment. Inevitably, I decided to relocate because not only did I love their people-centric approach and warmth toward employees, I loved the role offered, and I had a lake of debt to landfill. This is in 2010. I won many awards, everyone loved me, and my bosses were excellent.
In 2013, I left BoA on account of a personal crisis. By this time, I realized that whatever I have been through all the years were adjustments with life, or necessary hustles to prepare me for a career I am meant for being a very creative person. I wanted to build a career in content, communications, and branding and look; you are reading this because you have found me as a potential candidate for your organization’s professional requirement.
Leaving BoA wasn’t easy. The reason I say that salary is not my motivation is because when I left BoA, I jumped from the roof of a standard compensation package to a quarter of it to gain enough experience on paper because large organizations go by the papers. During this journey, I worked with GenY Medium, ADP, and AP Film Chamber (where I directed a campaign that generated 11 crores for rehabilitating the victims of 2014 Hud Hud calamity) till Deloitte US India took notice in 2015 and invited me for an interview. Wow, what amazing people I worked with at Deloitte; particularly the people who interviewed me. Although I was informed that the role is for six months only, I took it up and I don’t regret it because I learned massively. It was like my creative spirit gained an anatomy in the space of internal communications and branding. I also regained the compensation I left at BoA.
From there, after six months, I moved to work with ArthaYantra (AY) as an Assistant Manager in Content Marketing responsible for their total content requirement from product department to HR. AY was a startup, and despite its noble ambition in the space of financial robo-advisory, there were financial challenges impacting their human resource. While at the work front I enjoyed working on my deliverables and reporting to the VP cum Human Resource Manager, I was apprehensive of my financial condition impacting my estranged family.
While on it, in 2016, I got a call from Avani/Ceipal. They were a CMMI-Level three company looking for someone who could set up their content and communications department. I accepted the offer; joined as a Manager reporting to the CEO and later to the CPO and executed the responsibility from my learnings from Deloitte US India. My experience with Deloitte is no short of a B-School experience. Now when things were looking bright and beautiful, I revised my priorities and wanted to have an onsite experience in this domain of communications and branding.
My brother, Donnie Ashok, completed his education from a premier law college. He took charge of my parents and I, out of the blue, by the blessing of the almighty (or by forces of the cosmos) was accepted for a fellowship in Creative Writing by the University of Chichester, the Charles Wallace Trust in India, and The British Council. It was a 3-month fully funded residency offered to three writers from India a given year. 11 years in the job already and shouldering familial responsibilities weakened my spirit a lot, and thus I grabbed the fellowship with no second thought. I knew that no great company would refuse me on account of the fellowship but rather value it.
So, in 2017 Feb, I resigned from Avani/Ceipal and travelled all of UK, Scotland, Netherlands, Germany, and France. This opportunity helped me understand the scope of life and the impact that I am capable of making at so many levels. I came back and started freelancing till I was sure that I will land a job with a mature organization in Mumbai and that happened in Oct 2017. I joined Zycus as a Manager in Content-Marketing role delivering to every content requirement. And now you can see that how in Zycus I have spent over a year and a few months.
Now if I say that job-hopping is a myth, you cannot disagree with me. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon. There are reasons why people move on, break their comfort zones, and aim to participate in an environment that facilitates an inclusive growth of the self and society. Besides my 9-6 job, I am also India’s only woman-run poetry publication house that is legally registered, but like poetry doesn’t make money, I do it to serve the purpose of being alive and being blessed to have the eye to appreciate beauty. As a poet, I would like to quote the words of Mark Strand (and if you wish to read the poem), “I move to keep things whole.”