“Building an enduring brand or business is an infinite game. The key is to balance passion with perspective. To be attached and detached at the same time. Like the lotus, in the water, but not wet.”
I grew up in a business family where dinner table conversations were about consumer demand and family meetings on Sunday were run like board meetings, with rotating chairmanship and leather-bound minutes books. I recall making an inflation argument for a pocket money raise. Immersed in the belief that economic growth would power the nation, uplifting people out of poverty, I did my MBA and started my career with P&G. I learnt if you follow the principles of marketing and are genuinely consumer-centric, success will follow. I later joined General Mills India as the 2nd employee, launching Pillsbury in India, and learnt how to build a brand, a business and organization. An era later I set out to challenge myself on a different scale.
I picked the largest canvas possible, marketing to close to a billion consumers in Star TV (a Walt Disney company). I learnt that differentiation isn’t enough, you have to disrupt. In a world where everything changes, the brand is the only constant or unifier. We worked on stories with the power to change the world, sports with its ability to create heroes, and launched Hotstar, India’s largest OTT platform. The entrepreneurial urge reasserted itself. I don’t know if I found Sequoia India & Southeast Asia or if the firm found me. But I do know I found a platform for impact at the crucible of innovation and change. I am energized by working with founders to build legendary brands and see this not as a job but as an incredible privilege.
On the lookout for
In a region of over 2 billion consumers, you will struggle to find any brand from India or SEA in the top brands’ lists of the world. I believe this has to and will change. There is a massive opportunity to create brands that are world leaders, that inspire love and command respect on a global scale. I am on the lookout for those opportunities. I am on the lookout for those opportunities – legendary brands and business being built from the ground floor.
I am excited by the opportunity to promote female entrepreneurship and work towards a gender-equal world. This is not just good for society, it’s good for business. And it’s quite simply the right thing to do.
I am fascinated by trends and folding the future into today. The question of where will the world go and what can we do to help shape a positive future for over 2 billion people in our region is something that concerns us deeply. Nothing we do will ever be enough. And that’s something that drives me every day. It’s great to know that Sequoia supports and fuels great causes. That’s a payoff that’s infinite.Get in touch with Gayatri
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