Bhuvana Subramanyan of Randstad India talks about how challenges have made women strong and resilient and how women need to continue to focus on their own well being in addition to their careers.
Bhuvana Subramanyan, Chief Marketing Officer, Randstad India and winner of Social Samosa Superwomen 2022, talks about the women workforce in the Indian Advertising and Marketing industry, shedding light on the importance of work-life balance.
What do you think it means to be a superwoman in the New Normal?
To me, the pandemic made everyone resilient and bring out their super qualities. Every woman in fact became a superwoman to balance everything that came her way. Unknown challenges were the order of the day during the pandemic and that has left her with a strong, resilient, and an attitude to move mountains.
The new normal brings in newer challenges of a hybrid world where again the superwoman is to balance and tackle while keeping her power intact. Reinventing oneself is important. My priorities and recommendations are taking care of myself, keeping up my health, both physical and mental, taking care of my finances, and keeping up the network buzzing. These three can get anyone through any kind of situation.
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?
Simple habits make a big difference in one’s life. Wake up and sleep on time. Take a gadget break in the night. Keep your phone away and avoid waking up to it.
My calendars are blocked for lunchtime and me time which I utilize for my well-being. I might use it for my callisthenics, walking my dog or simply not doing anything.
I walk the talk and encourage my team to do the same. Work hours and personal time have boundaries and we respect each other’s unless it’s very urgent.
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 think the world has gone 2 full rounds in the last two years and with that brought many changes. I would urge people to not keep looking at the grass on the other side, but water the grass on their side and make it look greener. Be it a hybrid or WFH situation that the organisations adapt, go with the flow and take it as it comes. The beauty of the pandemic is there was no expert or expertise to provide solutions. Everyone figured it out along the way and that gives us all the flexibility to do so.
It's important for women to continue to carve out time for themselves even if they get back to work full time. Keep the good habits and shed the bad ones. Network and have mentors to guide you. Speak up and ask for help where required, especially at home to bring in the balance. With inclusion and equality a huge agenda in many organisations, this should be seen as an opportunity for women to shine and not take any steps back.
What in your opinion, helped you excel in your career?
A learning mentality, experiment, willingness to take risks and being open to feedback and guidance from many of the leaders I have worked with.
One Superwoman you look up to & why
As cliched as it sounds, my mom is a superwoman and will always be an inspiration. She is a happy person. She is very enthusiastic about everything that comes her way. She learns something new every day.
One thing you would like to change about this industry
The industry has always led from the front on creativity and innovation. The customer delight is not consistent and not across the industry. Without the focus on the customer, it can get quite tedious.
One thing that this industry desperately needs
It's important to fill the gap between what is taught in colleges and the actual skills required in the industry. It's also important to insist on the importance of understanding of data and numbers at a younger age.
One tip for all aspiring A&M professionals out there
Be open to learning and be on top of the trends.
Know your customer and your audience. Be bold to have board room conversations and speak the ROI language.