2021 will be all about strengthening our partnership with our clients in helping them build a stronger digital footprint for their brands.
Roopa Badrinath – Chief Talent Officer, Wunderman Thompson, South Asia
2020 will go down in history as a year that tested human resilience like never before. It challenged every pre-conceived notion that we had about everything under the sun – economy, education, shopping, relationships, workspaces, work-life, spirituality, mortality, etc. It was not as if the world had not seen pandemics before. But this pandemic outdid the others by its sheer scale and intensity.
Being a communications company with clients across every conceivable category, our client brands have had to navigate through some really choppy waters. And we are extremely proud to have partnered them as true brand custodians during difficult times.
There are a lot of learning’s from 2020 as the year it was. As an organization, Wunderman Thompson will
Continue to be a growth partner for its clients and their brands – The mission of Wunderman Thompson – being a growth partner for ambitious brands – will take a renewed meaning in the coming year. In the month of November, through a specially curated Virtual Instructor-Led Training Program, we trained around 800 employees across South Asia on developing a growth mind-set. The philosophy behind this program is very simple – when you as an individual take charge of your own professional growth by engaging with the tools and opportunities that the network has to offer; you grow and in turn that results in growing your client’s business and brands.
Strengthening our ecommerce and technology capabilities – 2021 will be all about strengthening our partnership with our clients in helping them build a stronger digital footprint for their brands. In India, we already have a digital agency within the group which is a global Centre of Excellence (COE) within the Wunderman Thompson network. We shall focus on building on this strength of Martech and Data to envelope the entire agency through capability building. Specialist skills that we do not have internally will be acquired and we shall continue to focus on rapid skill upgradation of our workforce. To that effect, in 2020, we empowered our people with around 90 domain-specific programs.
Collaboration and Fluid structures – As an organization, even before the pandemic struck, we had always been advocating the irrelevance of geography in the context of talent. But 2020 showed the path to collaboration and fluid structures very sharply. We had teams sitting across multiple locations and across group companies delivering on the client mandate ever better than before. They challenged all the traditional notions of team structures and we would like to push that learning to the next level by having as many fluid structures as possible to collaborate better and service our clients with the best possible talent from across the region.
Increased focus on Inclusion & Diversity – Over the years, Wunderman Thompson has been conscientiously working on Inclusion and Diversity. We have invested in training leaders on areas like Unconscious Bias and Gender Sensitization. Our gender diversity in hiring has been improving significantly year on year. As an organization we have also valued the benefits of Thought Diversity to our business; which crafts communication to our clients’ consumers who are spread across a wide diversity of regions and cultures. Now with renewed efforts globally across all organizations in the area of I&D, our commitment to Inclusion & Diversity will only increase multi-fold. In 2021 we will be focusing on contemporizing our company policies; hiring more people with special abilities and people who do not conform to the social norms of gender linearity to name a few. We will continue building a diverse and an inclusive voice for our client brands.
Empathy, Trust and authenticity-driven leadership – 2020 taught leaders more about empathy, trust and authenticity that no crafted leadership program could ever teach. We will continue to build on that style of leadership as brand custodians who advice clients on the importance of authenticity. In addition, we will also train our leaders to be vigilant about the mental wellness of their people. Further, the post-COVID leadership style will have to accommodate a hybrid workforce with a mix of physical work space and continued Work from Home (WFH).