#SS40Under40: Ideas are important but the execution is the hero says Saima Iqbal

Saima Iqbal 40under40

Saima Iqbal of Brut India and a winner of #SS40Under40 talks about the changing dynamics of the Indian advertising and marketing industry and how unscripted content “is the present and future”.

Saima Iqbal, Head of Branded Content – India, Brut and the winner of Social Samosa 40 Under 40, answers the queries around the current situation of the Indian Advertising & marketing industry, things that help in shaping a career in this industry, and the changes needed to make it a better place.

3 ground rules/principles that have helped you excel in your career

  • Ideas are important but the execution is the hero. The real adventure for a creative person is in taking the idea to the finish line.
  • Look at every problem that you are here to solve.
  • Perseverance: Not giving up on an idea that you believe in.

One takeaway from the pandemic & the whole WFH situation

TRUST TRUST TRUST your team. The biggest catalyst in building a healthy creative team is to fully trust each and every member’s intention and capacities. You don’t need to know at what time your teammate logged in and logged out if he is delivering on the objectives.

What are your views on work-life balance? How do you achieve it in your daily life?

Work-life balance to me is the foundation of a long and fulfilling career. It is also more important than ever when we have turned our dining tables into our workstations. The physical boundaries have blurred but a mental boundary is a must. I make sure that I know when to log out from work and not check my emails. The other thing that I consciously do is to plan an activity for the weekend (however small) and completely immerse myself in it without thinking about that unanswered email.

One moment that changed your career…and how?

Moving to the world of brands! After spending 10 years in programming and content I decided to work with brands and create content for them. There is no looking back since then.

Top advertising & marketing trends that you have come across in the last year – these can be takeaways from your daily work-life experience.

Unscripted content is the present and future. A large number of brands experimented with real-life stories to build credibility and authenticity. They are using the power of human stories to push their brand promise. Very excited to be at the centre of this evolution.

Also Read: #SS40Under40 Marketing & Advertising is a way of uplifting society says Jasmeet Kaur Bedi

One thing that you would like to change in the Indian A&M industry

At the risk of sounding cliché, I would like to change the power game between agencies and publishers. I feel agencies and publishers should be a lot more open and flexible in working together and listening to each other’s ideas without trying to topple each other. In the new content ecosystem, we all need each other to thrive.

Any jargon that you think needs to be banned from the A&M lingo?

I will answer that in metaverse ;)

One message for aspiring A&M professionals.

Be audacious and think of everything that you think you can’t. Most importantly, hear your gut (and data)


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