What does it take to be named as one of India’s Top 50 influential women? To be recognized as a leader in your field?
This month, we bring Lulu Raghavan, Managing Director and Country Head of Landor Associates, as our Mosmpiration guest.
Starting out as a brand consultant, Lulu Raghavan climbed up the ladder at an astonishing pace until she cemented her position as the Managing Director of Landor Associates. A global brand-consulting firm, Landor Associates entered India in 2007, to provide branding, design and digital services to companies across verticals.
If you thought she stopped there, you couldn’t be more wrong. She brought such force and insight into her work that she was named among India’s 50 most influential women in media, marketing, and advertising in 2015 by Impact. She debuted on the list at the 31st position.
Lulu was the first-place winner at the ISB-Ivy Case Study Competition in 2014; where she presented her co-authored case study about the brand architecture transformation of the Mahindra Group. She is a recognized and trusted voice in the field of branding and frequently writes on the topic.
I know you are holding your breath – time to release it now.
Because Lulu also does other fun things like experimenting with food and blogging about it, traveling, sports and other things with her family. And yeah, she is incredibly approachable.
Yeah, she is like a perfect mix of the unstoppable tornado and the proverbial breath of fresh air.
Here is the excerpt of her chat with Kidskintha on what she does to balance her work-family act every day and how she gets her priorities right.
Hi, Lulu ! So glad to have you on Kidskintha. Can we start by talking a little about your background?
I was born in Madurai. Lived in Bangalore, Bombay, San Francisco, New York, London. I am a brand consultant by day and a bon vivant by night.
I have an undergraduate degree in economics and applied mathematics. My passions include food blogging, traveling, reading, tennis, swimming, golf, skiing.
You have scaled your way to the very top at Landor. What challenges did you face when starting up? What convinced you this will be your niche?
The challenge at every stage was to add value in my role and to contribute beyond expectations to the company. When I woke up in the mornings and I was just eager to go to work, I knew that I had found my niche area as well as the company where I wanted to spend my career.
Did you at any time feel like giving it all up? Or pursuing some other thing? Did you know all the way that this will be your niche?
I have been tempted at times to think about roles on the client side. But the culture and freedom that we experience on the agency side is something that client cultures can rarely match.
Talking about challenges, one of the things that we discuss here at Kidskintha is about balancing the tight rope. Managing time between work and home is a mountain of a challenge-everyday! Can you talk a little about how you do it- manage to do it all and still avoid guilt-trips.
Don’t try to be perfect at everything. You have to be very comfortable with imperfection. When at work focus on work. When at home, leave work behind (to the extent you can!)
What are your best time saving /productivity hacks?
A checklist every morning with the most important thing to be tackled first (eat those frogs for breakfast!).
What does your typical workday look like?
Meetings. Meetings. Meetings. If I have to do any serious thinking, writing or ideation then I wake up at 4am.
Which apps/software do you use to organize your day? Your favorite to-do list manager?
I try to limit the number of apps I have but I do love Clear.
What personal habit do you think keeps you afloat amidst all the stress? What one habit would you recommend other professionals cultivate?
Keep things in perspective.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big pond.
As somebody who has walked the path, what’s your advice to other professional, especially women just starting out.
Believe in yourself. Be your own PR agency. See every adversity as an opportunity.
If there’s one thing you could change for women in the world, what would it be?
I would like women everywhere to have the freedom that the lucky ones experience. The freedom to wear what you feel like, express your thoughts, move around freely and do all the normal things that we all take for granted.
A few words on what you like about Kidskintha the most.
The Kidkuips are adorable! Brings a smile to the face…
About the Author:
Devishobha Chandramouli is the founder of Kidskintha- a site dedicated to helping millennial parents raise happy kids. She believes that growing up well and happy is a function of growing up with well-informed adults. This site aims to deliver research-grounded and bite-sized pieces of information on two important facets of a child’s life- parenting and education. You can find her voice on the Huffington Post, Addicted2Success, TinyBuddha, Citizen Matters , Nectar and Lies About Parenting.