Superwomen 2022: A candid conversation with Smriti Sekhsaria

Smriti Sekhsaria

Superwomen 2022 winner, Smriti Sekhsaria talks about how she prefers quality over quantity of work-life balance, challenges in the A&M industry, and more.

Smriti Sekhsaria Marketing Head at Moët Hennessy and a recipient of the Superwomen 2022, sheds light on the worn-out approach of the way the A&M Industry approaches talent, the superwomen who inspire her, and more.

Edited Excerpt:

What do you think it means to be a superwoman in the New Normal?

The pandemic made most people re-evaluate their priorities. I think today’s Superwoman is aware of her power and potency before all. Further, she can move herself towards her objective, despite the constraints and biases (which may be internal or external) whilst balancing her physical and mental health.

A big part of success is mental health & work-life balance – how do you ensure to create work-life balance for yourself & those around you?

I prefer quality over quantity of work-life balance. I start my day with positive affirmations and music – this sets the tone for the rest of my day. During a busy day, 2-3 minutes of mindful breathing helps me focus. At home, my family and kids are my stress-busters. Running and Yoga days release wonderful endorphins that allow me to recharge my mental clock.

While a lot has changed for the better in the A&M industry, what kind of challenges continue to exist for women? Especially with the whole WFH & hybrid work situation?

I believe women are very perceptive and have a knack to read situations and others when face to face in a meeting (e.g. during an FGD, a creative discussion or in a vendor negotiation). WFH and hybrid reduce our ability to read the signs and act on those clues. This is what I have missed most during WFH.

What in your opinion, helped you excel in your career?

The most important would be my Cheering Squad, my family, friends, colleagues, ex-bosses, and teachers/coaches who believed me and encouraged me, especially during those moments when I didn’t believe in myself.

Also Read: Inside Stranger Things Marketing Strategy: How Netflix created a regionally relevant content mix

One Superwoman you look up to & why?

Honestly, I find inspiration in women all around us in India. I think everyone has a different story and they brave through their unique and personalized tough choices. As an example, I have immense respect for a hard-working Indian woman who is a large financial contributor to her household, travels in the train for 3-4 hours a day, has a 10-12 hour work day, and still makes time to cook/clean/feed and care for her loved ones. Thinking about such women is very humbling yet inspiring for me.

One thing you would like to change about this industry?

Marketing is disrupting but the approach to Marketing talent isn’t. The recruitment of A&M talent is stuck in the 1990s with budget size, the largeness of brand and such limiting guardrails to attribute credibility of a talent.

One thing that this industry desperately needs?

More courage – most of the time we see cookie-cutter content in mainstream media. I wish we are able to break moulds more frequently.

One tip for all aspiring A&M professionals out there?

Create. Disrupt. Never give up what you believe in – find new ways to make it happen!