What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you love, love what you do. This is probably the key career advice which also shaped my professional life, helping me go through various career paths, at different geographies and industries with flexibility. It’s as much about a journey of knowing your professional self, values, preferences and abilities as bringing the best out of any given job, task and role.
What future opportunities do you think marketing and communications will create over the next five years?
We have already been witnessing an immense change in traditional business models as marketing has become digital recently, especially on social media channels. Direct to consumer communications and digital marketing strategies have been refined and become more data driven. This trend should accelerate in the next years, also leveraging the power of AI or blockchain for example, to essentially create a much more personalised and customer centric marketing and even new business models. It will be a new and exciting chapter.
What is your most trusted news source?
BBC News, is my every day go-to news channel, especially for end of day, sense check and expert interviews. I also skim news feeds during the day on my smartphone from aggregators such as Google to visit main headlines.
What has had the most influential impact on your leadership career and why?
It is the diversity. Living in multiple countries, collaborating with teams from different cultures, working in multiple industries in finance, strategy and marketing, all have significantly impacted me. We truly need more diversity in recruitment, encourage teams thinking differently, questioning the status quo, bringing with other perspectives. This is particularly important to be able cope with complex business changes and uncertainties in an ever changing, global and digital business.
What is your biggest takeaway from covid19?
Despite all the difficulties, it is amazing to be able to stay connected with our friends and family at some level, and be able work from home thanks to video calls. It would have been a very different picture had this happened 15-20 years back.
How are you planning for 2021 and beyond?
I’d like to think the worst is behind us, staying optimistic for the economy in 2021 and beyond. The pandemic has forced the businesses to transform rapidly and remain productive via alternative channels, whilst creating a backlog of pent-up demand. On a personal level, I can’t wait to travel again.
What career advice would you now give to yourself 10 years ago?
Career is not a straight ladder, there will be side or back steps to progress better.
What’s the toughest interview question you’ve ever asked or been asked?
I was asked this question in a strategy consulting interview: “Aliens have invaded the earth, and modified the human bodies so that they cannot feel pain anymore. Is this a good or bad thing, and what would you do about it?” I got it right.
Who is your business hero and why?
I cannot cite one single hero. Stories of multiple reputed business people as well as some peers, team members and supervisors I had a chance to work with, have all influenced me. Colleagues with courage, kindness, entrepreneurial flame, curiosity and compassion for others are inspiring for me.