Today we share the thoughts and professional journey of Sowmya Nanjundaiah, the CEO, INCITE Digital Pvt. Ltd. Sowmya talks about what it is like being CEO of a mid-sized firm and the challenges faced in this line of work.
Let’s get to know her story today!
Tell us about yourself
As a child, I was deeply involved in sports. When you play a sport, it teaches you discipline and the importance of teamwork. The experiences I have had while growing up has truly made a difference in my personal as well as my professional journey. My father is an entrepreneur and I have grown up watching him grow his business strength to strength. I was always fascinated about doing something on my own. I enjoyed creating something new and taking ownership for it. My ability to own a project and be pro active is my biggest strength. This is one of the main reasons why I enjoy working with Startups. The flexibility to build something rather than being a spoke in a wheel is what I have always believed in. It has never excited me to work for big names or just play a small part in a big pond, but being able to change the course of a company’s direction is what motivates me to do better as a professional.
As CEO of INCITE Digital Pvt.Ltd, what is an average workday like for you?
An average work day at INCITE starts with a lot of discussions, meetings and ideation. Like any other agency, we put in long hours at work. During the 10 to 14 hours at work, I make sure I participate in all the operational functions at INCITE. From Production to HR to Finance to Business Development, as the CEO of INCITE I am pretty much a part of everything at INCITE.
In this field of Digital Communications - what are the top 3 greatest challenges you face?
In a mid-sized company like ours, there are definitely a lot of challenges that require constant involvement. In a bigger company, it’s easier for the top management to give directions and advise the team. At INCITE, I don’t just give directions, I also work with the team to understand the challenges in execution. The team at INCITE is very efficient and understanding, they understand my way of work which makes it easier for me.
As an Interactive agency, the biggest challenge today is the constantly evolving industry. The technology changes everyday and there is a new aspect to learn every day. Keeping up with the changing trends and matching the client’s requirements with these trends is one of the challenges that we face.
Lastly, Attrition is yet another challenge that most companies face today. These days nobody sticks to a job for more than two years. The workforce has significantly changed over the years. There is very less possibility that a new employee sticks to a company for a long term Career progression. In the US, about 30% of the workforce are freelancers. This trend is slowly picking up globally.
There is so much competition in the Digital Market today. Everybody wants to be seen. What should customers bear in mind to get heard / seen, according to you?
Companies should try to highlight their value proposition to the maximum. It’s important to communicate your value proposition through your digital media strategy. A digital media strategy provides you a platform to communicate your message to the right target audience. So it’s important to talk about your USPs when you reach out to your audience.
When it comes to "working women' what are your thoughts on work-life balance and progression?
I strongly believe that every woman should work. The very phrase ‘Working Women’ gives a negative connotation. We have hardly heard anyone say ‘Working Men’.
As individuals, if you have been educated, be it male or female, you should use that ability and skill to achieve a goal in life. Gender should not define your ambition, career or the role that you play. What you want to do should be left to the individual to decide. I have always made my own rules and lived by my own rules. It’s never easy to be a girl and dream about having a career. It’s important to look beyond challenges and keep working towards the goal you always wanted to achieve. Every individual should have a three dimensional life. It’s important to have a career, but it’s also important to do things that define your personal growth.
In the future, where do you see yourself professionally?
My dream is to build a bigger and better INCITE. I have been a part of INCITE for more than a decade and I look forward for another fruitful decade at INCITE.
Can you leave our readers with some thoughts?
If you are passionate about something, make sure you put all your energy to achieve that goal. Never limit yourself. "Go beyond the call of duty”