ItemTalks with Priyanka Tiku Tripathi

itemmom_image_priyanka_tiku_2This week’s spot light is on Ms. Priyanka Tiku Tripathi, a mom with some serious mojo! When she is not being mommy, she is being the Vice President & Head Marketing of CNBC TV18, CNBC AWAAZ, CNBC BAJAR and FORBES INDIA. A marketing professional, she brings close to 15 years of experience in creating and managing India’s most successful business news brands and properties.

She is a working mother in Mumbai and juggles her time between her family and her profession.

What was your dream job when you were a child?

As a child I did not have a set dream job. They changed almost every day based on what i read in the paper or what my elder sister wanted to be or whatever was a cool thing to say. It varied from being a doctor dancer, gymnast to a lawyer. However, I did know that I wanted to be famous when I grow up. I just wanted to be the best in whatever I take up.

How do you balance your personal, professional & social life? What is your support system?

For me this question is limited to “How do you manage being a mother and a working professional?” because honestly my husband and I are in it together.

I am really fortunate that my partner gives equal importance to my career. It has never been about how I will manage. It’s always been “how will we manage and what will we do now”…for me that’s the key. See nobody can do it alone and it’s not always about physical support. Emotional support is the biggest contribution your partner or family can make towards your career. I have a very strong support system in my parents and parent in-laws. I always know that they are just a call away for me whenever I need them.

Also I had a baby when I was physically, mentally and financially ready to have one. So I am fearless and I guess it works well for me. Plan a baby when you are ready for it and can give up anything without regret!  While going on the maternity leave, I had not even decided whether I wanted to back or not. But I guess everyone – my organisation, family and my team came together to ensure that I follow my passion, as it was never just a job – my work is my passion… the brands that I have launched and worked for are in a way my first children. The idea is if you want to work and be a mother too, you have to create it for yourself, plan it and work towards it … things don’t happen all by themselves and there is never a magic potion. And I think if you are passionate about what you do you will find the balance otherwise you will give it up easy.

The most creative Forbes India subscription campaigns were under your leadership! What is your creative process of ideation?

I am an ideas person! The key is to be able to understand who we are talking to and what ticks him. This is true for everything not just campaigns… It can be family, friends, viewer consumer or subscriber….if you have a connection you will get the person going. For anything that I do, I want to include the human angle. For example – we had a tie up with ‘Nanhi Kali’ (an NGO) wherein a child’s education is sponsored with each subscription. We got an amazing response for that one! The idea is to figure out what clicks with the next person, what will push you to take action right now and campaigns are created accordingly!

Did you have to encounter any prejudices in your professional life? How you overcame that obstacle?

All of us go through prejudices. We take it too seriously that we are women. I do not believe in women-men prejudice! What still bothers me is the lack of pay parity. I think women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar men make and I believe that to a certain extent we are responsible for it. We are always playing on the back-foot. It’s the way we are wired to be – “don’t be aggressive” “be thankful for what you get”! We are already so thankful for many things (for example – the maternity leave, the leeway for a half day to take the child to the doctor etc) that we do not fight for the same pay and we let it slip. It will not get better till we ask for it. Like Sheryl Sandberg says “: Negotiate like a man”

Has motherhood changed you professionally?

Yes… I am a completely changed person and my team will vouch for it. From a temperamental, aggressive micromanager I have turned into a more patient, self assured macro manager. I let people take their decisions and I trust them more and I let them grow. My baby really has calmed me down in a positive way.

Would you like to share any words of wisdom for our readers?

Few things that motherhood has taught me and I would like to share are;

  • Don’t try and be a super woman. Please don’t.
  • Plan and prioritize. Each one of us is different so don’t be guilty of being a working woman. Not many people can do what you are doing.
  • Don’t be a micro manager but always know what to ask. Right questions get you right answers both at home and in office.
  • Invest in good support staff. It’s worth it.
  • Always remember you are the one running the show. So pay attention to yourself and keep yourself happy. An unhappy mom cannot keep anybody happy.
  • Ask for help, when you need it. It’s alright! People will surprise you.

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