This Women’s day, MediaNews4U.Com is acknowledging women leaders of the Media, Marketing, Broadcast and Advertising fraternity who have given more than expected.
Platinum Guild International (PGI) is a marketing organisation with the vision to develop the global platinum jewellery market as a new demand source for platinum. It was formed in 1975 with specialist teams dedicated to growing the global platinum jewellery market through consumer and trade-facing programmes in the four key jewellery markets of China, India, Japan and USA. Since then, jewellery development has demonstrated a strong track record in delivering results.
Through various programmes, both direct-to-consumer and in collaboration with jewellery retailers and manufacturers, PGI creates consumer ounce demand by first identifying opportunities for platinum in jewellery, and then developing them with partners. It also aims to build an enduring commitment to platinum in jewellery.
In this segment, Sujala Martis, Director – Consumer Marketing, Platinum Guild International India shares her experiences and breaking the gender stereotypes and how she continues to inspire many other women who are true leaders in the making.
In a family that discussed stock indices, futures – options, long – short positions, hard core finance even at the breakfast table – advertising is as far from it as one could get, and that’s what I chose to start my career with. Advertising was my first love and it’s what I did for almost 17 years. It’s been an interesting ride with a generous peppering of thrills and chills, naturally! Think it is that, for anyone who spent time in the industry. When I look back I can definitely say it’s been an exhilarating journey of shaping inspiring brand narratives, achieving business results – sometimes even exceeding them, with its fair share of experiments going wrong and the best laid plans going awry. There have been many moments of pride some of which include the relaunch of Johnson & Johnson’s Stayfree beating its biggest competitor in the segment for the first time ever, the high octave relaunch of Snapdeal, being part of Marico’s foray into skincare, regional campaigns for Walls that involved the coming to together of upcoming stars from India and Pakistan, the relaunch of the iconic Complan to arrest the brand’s decline and set it on a growth trajectory. Every challenge gave me an opportunity to hone my skills, to get a deeper understanding of consumers, the touch points that counted, of handling tough situations, of managing diverse talent, of making so many impossible quite possible. Maybe it was all of this that led to the accolades, the Effies, the business partnership awards and a place of pride in the high potential group at WPP.
And then to keep the excitement going, I made a shift from advertising to marketing in the jewellery industry. Venturing into unchartered territories as the Director of consumer marketing at Platinum Guild International – India (PGI). The task at PGI is audacious if one really stops to think of it. It’s the entrenching of a new category, impacting a change in behaviour, a change in parameters of evaluation in the category of precious jewellery. A category that is dominated by tradition, by a set mindset, by an asset class driven argument, by norms, by gold. A metal that rules our culture, mythology, tradition and rituals. And yet it is within this context that we carve our space – where differentiation & meaning matter, where motivations like self-image, social distinction count, where the heft of emotions is marked by Platinum. Leveraging three branded segments, Platinum Days of Love (love bands for couples), Evara (platinum’s presence in the women’s segment) and Men of Platinum (representing the men’s jewellery segment). In this short 4 year stint we have successfully launched a new category – platinum jewellery for men, broad-based the footprint our brand Evara, created a meaningful value system for each brand within its segment.
It’s a role that requires continuous learning, unlearning and innovation, and we are doing just that. Constantly moving upwards and onwards – building, creating, impacting change. The fact that the metal has an affinity amidst young audiences – makes this path even more exciting. Making a meaningful connection with this restless audience in a world where content is bombarded, consumed 24*7, media is hyper fragmented, technology and platforms keep evolving – keeps me on my feet all through. I couldn’t be prouder to have a seat at the table where we are constantly encouraging new thinking, building efficacy and setting a path for the future.
Inspiration & Inspiring the Team
My biggest inspiration is my father. He’s had a tumultuous journey and has combated several challenges to reach where he has. It’s some of the values that he instilled in me that hold me good. A sense of fearlessness that helps me confront challenges and overcome them too, it helps me experiment and embrace some fairly brave choices without being preoccupied with possible consequences. Being honest, so that when I shoot its most often from the heart. A feeling of restlessness – of never letting oneself get comfortable or complacent and constantly asking what next. He has been my biggest critic and cheerleader for which I will always be grateful.
A part of this is what I inadvertently pass on to my team too, in addition to key learnings from my journey so far. To ensure success is collective. To have the hunger to do more and not be limited. To be passionate and love what you do. Because if you love what you do, it will love you back.
Empowerment of Women
Women have had a long, hardship-filled journey, more so in India maybe where patriarchy is strong and societal expectations lie heavy. But if you look at the young today, there is a growing tribe that have gone beyond gender being their primary source of identity. They are an individual first, with many unique facets and qualities, seeking to embrace them all. To them self-acceptance and growth is key. Being themselves is critical & that I think is empowerment. They aren’t afraid to be their true authentic selves. In fact their interpretation of femininity is just that. Embracing who they are, unapologetically. So yes we have a long way to go, but this is glass half full.