Campaign India Team
Dec 26, 2023

Rapid fire with Atul Sharma

Our year-ender this time around places the fraternity on the 'hot seat' to answer questions about the year gone by and their expectations from 2024

Rapid fire with Atul Sharma

Campaign India's year-ender series continues with Atul Sharma, CEO, Ruder Finn India and head, Middle East.


This year, we're reaching out to the advertising, media and marketing communities, and asking them to give quick, crisp answers to a set of questions intended to highlight the highs and lows of the year gone by, and their take on technology advancements.


Here's Sharma's take on it:


Data or gut: I would always go with gut. Though, if you ask me, data gives a lot of answers to a lot things, but I fundamentally believe in the power of the gut. I think if I have to believe what Malcolm Gladwell said - a lot of our gut and instinctive decisions are taken on the back of a lot of subconscious data. But for me it has always been gut over data.


AI - a boon or bane: It totally depends on which is the hand that is wielding the AI. It can be a boon or a bane. But I think, essentially, it will always depend on what is the purpose for which AI has been deployed. All said and done, no technology has ever done harm to mankind, it has always done good. All in all, it's a good net enabler in the long-term scheme of things and that's how I see it.


What do you want from Santa this year? Well, I don’t know If I want it from Santa but the gift that I always seek every year is - give me the power to find something new and interesting, find something which brings me alive. Last year it was chasing a marathon. This year it is learning to play a musical instrument. I think that is what I seek from Santa. The ability to pick up something new. It not only comes with skills but also a new set of friends, and a new community. Something new that keeps you mentally engaged. There's always something to look forward to. I think that is what I want from Santa if Santa could give that to me. 


One piece of professional advice you would give to your past self at the beginning of 2023: I think one thing that is very underrated but I would give that advice is because somewhere down the line it has given me dividends - that's consistency. Consistency in the way you work with people and consistency in the way you deal with clients. Because your consistent experiences make up for who you are and what you are. At the end of the day, we are an amalgamation of our habits. And all habits come with a lot of consistency. Maybe you want to be a great athlete, a great professional or the best body builder, or the best AI Artist. Get consistent with what you want to chase and there is no reason for you to not succeed. 


The most valuable lesson you learned from a professional failure this year: I think we learn on an ongoing basis. And you necessarily don’t need to fail every time. One thing I have realised is that sometimes in the quest to succeed and in your quest to go fast, you realise that people and teams you work with, they come and go. And I fundamentally believe that in our business we need to put people at the forefront. So, one professional advice I have taken this year is that I will spend more time with people to understand their aspirations and dreams. What they want to do. What they want to succeed in. What they want to achieve. I think if I can understand that well, there is no reason we cannot keep on growing on the back of our successes year on year.


If your new year resolution had a tagline for 2024, what would it be? Well, I usually hate plugging in company messaging in places like these, but I totally identify with Ruder Finn's tagline and that is 'what's next'. And that's the tagline I would like to go with. New year should always be about something new. What's next in your professional journey? What's next in your personal journey? What's next in your holiday plan? So it will always be 'what's next'!


Also read:


Rapid fire with Sony's Neville Bastawalla


Rapid fire with FCB's Rohan Mehta


Rapid fire with Ogilvy's Kainaz Karmakar


Rapid fire with Harmeet Singh


Rapid fire with Zee's Mona Jain


Rapid fire with Devaiah Bopanna


Rapid fire with Saurabh Srivastava


Rapid fire with Titus Upputuru


Rapid fire with Nisha Narayanan


Rapid fire with GQ's Che Kurrien


Rapid fire with Sanjeev Jasani


Rapid fire with DDB Mudra's Rahul Mathew


Rapid fire with Kranti Gada


Rapid fire with Gautam Reghunath


Rapid fire with Ikea's Anna Ohlin


Rapid fire with Narayan Devanathan

Campaign India

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