The Agency Interview: 29 Questions With Tushar Vyas

August 19, 2017

Tushar Vyas is the Chief Strategic Officer at GroupM South Asia. Read on for interesting take on why it's a good time to be working in India and on why Ironman is his favorite super hero. We asked him 29 questions. Here are his 29 answers.

1. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

Sundays I have Indian breakfast — white dhokla (steamed rice cakes), fruits and Masala tea.

2. What’s the last great thing you binge watched and why?

Tripling with Tiago.” It’s an original show in partnership with TVF for our client – Tata Motors. Loved every bit of the show.

3. What’s the industry buzzword that annoys you the most these days?

We have way too many buzzwords, and the list just keeps growing on a daily basis! Right now, there’s a need to make the complex simple and help marketer navigate better. If I have to give one buzzword, then it’s “big data.”

4. Why is it a good time right now to be working in India?

India is the only large market growing at decent rate supported by young demography, positive political and business environment, available talent pool, and culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.

5. Where do you think the future of programmatic ad buying is headed, particularly for B2B?

Quality of data and relevance of message has a large role to play. Especially in the context of B2B, the depth of data is very important. Programmatic can play support or complementary role to content marketing depending on deployment tactics.

6. What’s the last great book you read? Why was it great?

I recently started reading Content Trap by Bharat Anand. It’s about Digital Change and how to navigate.

7. What’s your favorite vacation spot?

Himalaya and foothills of Himalaya.

8. What’s the biggest change in the agency business since you started?

Disruption driven by data and digital.

9. How have you (and your agency) adapted?

We are top of the game. This means we also have the additional responsibility as market leader to play the role of catalyst and drive the change!

10. What’s your proudest moment in business?

Building business, practice or product from scratch gives me an immense amount of satisfaction. I am fortunate for the opportunity to do some pioneering work in data, content and digital space, and I am really proud of team and capability we built in these areas.

11. In life?

Watching Kids grow! It’s about sum total of many small moments in the journey.

12. What’s the most important way the rise of social media, from YouTube to Facebook to LinkedIn, has changed the way companies reach their audiences?

Micro segment and personalization. Brand stories are becoming more crisp, immersive and engaging and platform specific approach to blend with environment.

13. Digital ad spending is poised to surpass TV ad spending. Is this a problem for agencies or an opportunity?

Definitely an opportunity if you responded well to the change. Also, it’s not TV or digital, but TV and digital in the short to medium term. What’s required is an ability to integrate various media and platforms to create a unified solution for marketers.

14. Is content marketing an evolution or a revolution?

It’s revolution for most — the world is moving from airing to sharing, and the approach required for content marketing is very different.  

15. How has the availability of data changed marketing (or not)?

It has resulted in improvement across consumer insight, full funnel understanding and attribution, outcome measurement, and accountability.

16. How do you use LinkedIn — for networking? For content marketing? Searching for talent? For sales prospecting? For staying abreast of news?

All of the above and more.

17. How do you use LinkedIn advertising for your clients, and what’s working well for them?

Two areas where Linkedin definitely scores well for me: quality and depth of audience profile and content marketing possibilities.

18. What is your top-secret superpower?

Quick to have topological understanding of any problem — helps me understand the big picture before narrowing down to a specific solution.

19. Who should play you in the movie version of your life?

I have a simple life. I guess it will be a boring movie!  Hmm …so will need to get a strong actor. Tom Hanks if Hollywood and Aamir Khan if Bollywood!

20. If you weren't at GroupM, what would you be doing?

I enjoy pace, energy, and positivity in the work environment. If not at GroupM, I would definitely have been in a startup.

21. What is your favorite cartoon character and why?

Assuming super heroes are included, I would say Ironman. I have bought into my son’s logic on why he likes Ironman — his super power comes from his own innovation and creation.

22. What do you have an irrational hatred for?

Procrastination

23. Best movies ever. Go:

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

24. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Engineer.

25. What's your most annoying habit?

I’m not an early riser.

26. How long would you survive a zombie apocalypse?

I grew up in small village — so happy to go back and pitch tent in a farm faraway from zombies.

27. What jobs did you have in high school and what lessons did you learn from them that you still put into practice today?

I helped set up the PCO (Public Call Office) in my village and neighboring places. I learned to program machine and chipsets. In a few years’ time, I saw the entire PCO business model getting redundant due to the telecom evolution. It was my first-hand experience of tech as disruptor!

28. What’s the best dinner you’ve had this year?

At WPP Stream, Jaipur. Stream is an unconference format event  that I run with the help of our Stream Director and extended team. As a part of the event we have a cookout by participants. We had 22 participants cooking more than 30 amazing different dishes!

29. What’s not on your LinkedIn profile?

Maybe there’s a reason why it’s not there!

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