Contributing Writer – Shashank Agrawal
Name – Jasjeet Kaur
Profession – Marketing
Age – 36
Gender – Female
City – Gurgaon
Industry – Manufacturing
LinkedIn – linkedin.com/in/jasjeet-kaur-1854085
- It is a good idea to first experience Sales profession for few years before joining marketing. Sales experience helps you as you progress further in your marketing career.
- Marketing evolves very fast. So, keeping abreast with latest is crucial.
- To students — Choose a career that would benefit from your natural abilities. It is often difficult to change your path later. Don’t blindly follow others. Alternative careers may pay as well as the mainstream ones, so the choices are wider and one must explore all options.
- In marketing, there are many ways to spend marketing money, but it’s very critical and difficult to define and build objectivity towards your end goals.
Tell us something about your personal life
I grew up across a few places in India, as my father had a transferrable job with the Indian Air Force. I studied at the Kendriya Vidyalayas and the cross cultural exposure being with children from all across India gave me, I feel has shaped me as the person I am today. I went on to do my engineering from Nagpur University and did my PGDM from IIM Lucknow in 2004. I am married to Shobhit and he heads logistics for one of the leading ecommerce players. We have a 4 year old son named Samar.
What were the influences for you to consider your professional career?
Well for me, my biggest influence growing up was my elder brother. So when he went to IIT, I thought that’s what I wanted to do too. I wrote the JEE and did not succeed, and so after wasting an academic year, I went to Nagpur university for my engineering. The decision to do an MBA immediately after was easy to make as I wasn’t very keen on pursuing a career based on engineering. I have never had a mentor but the bosses I had in my initial years of work life certainly influenced my professional approach to issues.
How easy or difficult your professional journey has been? Take us through some major milestones.
I have had a pretty straight forward professional journey so far, as far as the choice of work profiles and organisations is concerned. Though, I have had my fair share of highs and lows in the last 13 years of professional work. I joined Ranbaxy from campus and then went on to work for organisations like Kohler, Volvo Eicher, HSIL and ASSA ABLOY. I am a marketer and my work has always been around product management, brand building, product development, strategic marketing and consumer insights. There are times when I was at the top of my game and at other times I have fought to keep my sense of purpose and do good work.
While I have had a certain career growth leading up to here, major milestones for me personally are more about the growth and success of categories and organisations I have been associated with. I have had the opportunity of working with different management teams across small and large sized businesses in very different industries from pharma to sanitary to trucks to hardware and it has all added up to my professional equity.
Is your work too stressful and all-consuming or are you able to have a healthy work-life balance?
It’s not a 9 to 5 job for sure and it involves frequent travel, but I would go on to say that I have been able to strike some balance with my personal life. There are times of high stress and long work hours when you are delivering a high decibel campaign or launch, but it’s not impossible to balance at other times.
If you are looking for certainty, stability and a defined work time, this line of career may not be the right choice to make.
What do you consider as your greatest professional achievement so far? You can choose to talk about any major learning too.
There have been many good times to celebrate but the one key learning I have is that you need to constantly evaluate and make choices. There are many ways to spend marketing money, but it’s very critical to define and build objectivity towards your end goals. You will often have management which believes or does not believe in marketing as a growth driver, so the more logically you can show them the end picture, the easier it is to convince them. Think of it as your own business and then evaluate if you would spend multimillion dollars behind a particular kind of campaign.
Now that you have achieved a level of professional success, what is the next you are aiming for? A CEO position or an entrepreneurial plunge or social work or just traveling the world?
Well a CEO position is certainly not on my priority list, unless it is for my own firm. Over the next few years, I am looking at building something of my own, in an area that I am passionate about.
Given another choice or say in your next human life, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned? Would you pursue another profession or a passion perhaps?
I am very interested in fashion and dance forms and I would have liked to pursue a career involving them.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?
One piece of advice is that it’s a good idea to get first-hand experience of doing sales. A good sales and marketing experience becomes very valuable as you progress further in your career. Also it is very important to keep yourself abreast with newer evolving concepts. So enroll yourselves in short courses which help build your specific skillsets.
To students, I would say choose a career that would benefit from your natural abilities — it is often difficult to change your path later, so choose wisely. Gather as much information as you can and also speak to experienced individuals. Especially these days, alternative careers may pay as well as the mainstream ones, so the choices are wider and one must explore all options.