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Advertising is all about telling a story for your brand, says this Apeejay alumna

AIMC alumna Sayani Batabyal shares why she enjoys working in the industry

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Hailing from Rishra, Hooghly, a small town in Bengal, Sayani Batabyal grew up not knowing the world outside of engineering and medicine. But defying the age-old norms of only following these two professions, she chose to pursue B.Sc. in Zoology. However, after a failed attempt at a three-year Bachelor’s degree, she decided to change her stream.  “I loved animals and so killing them for lab exercises is something which I despised, ” she emphasised. And that’s when advertising happened. 

Sayani joined Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication (AIMC) without any knowledge about the advertising field. The AIMC alumna adds, “I had no idea how the advertising industry works but wherever  I am standing today, I would say that both AIMC and advertising was the best decision of my life. When I started my journey in Apeejay, the rigorous and fruitful orientation for over a week helped me to know in depth about the advertising industry, the career prospects as well as how to manage different accounts.” 

The professional is currently working as an Account Manager with Bengaluru-based Hakuhodo Lync, a part of Hakuhodo, one of the highly decorated agencies in the world for creative work wherein she is handling clients like Lexus and Yamaha. Previously, Sayani has also worked with agencies like Dentsu, Contract Advertising, DDB Mudra Group wherein she got a deep-rooted knowledge about various multinational brands inducing Bata, Central Park, Docomo, McCain Foods, Suzuki, Uber Intercity, Yatra, Coolwinks, Duroflex, Amazon, 7UP, and so on. In an interview, she talks about her fondness for the advertising industry and more.

What are your memories of the time you spent at Apeejay?

Throughout my course at Apeejay, I learnt almost everything that I would need to do once I am in the professional front. Our batch was divided in five groups named after esteemed advertising, event and PR agencies across the globe. Each team had 6-8 members specialising in account management, creative, copy, PR or events. We were given one brand each and we had to come up with a hypothetical product and create a complete campaign around it. I cannot forget the amount of fun we had through the entire course of time. Winning the annual showcase in Apeejay added a feather to our hat and gave our confidence an immense boost. 

And soon as I completed my course, I delved into the actual advertising world. From being one of the clumsiest girls of my batch to landing up with a leading advertising firm and earning a handsome pay package in this industry gives me pride to say that I am a step closer to success.  This wouldn’t have been possible without the continuous and undying support of my parents as well as my four legged son, Simba. Moreover, my teachers at Apeejay who constantly encouraged and groomed me to face real-world challenges. 

Three things you like about working with the advertising industry?

If you’re a fun-loving person, love mingling with people, want to work in a stressful yet fun environment, then advertising is the place for you. Being in this industry brought me a lot of learning opportunities. From working with celebrities to getting to see my own idea getting published across India and the globe, it gave me a new identity. The best part is there’s no bookish knowledge applicable in the practical world of advertising, you pick things up on the go and learn. Slowly, you’ll not even realise when you’re leading a team. Oh! Of course there are all-nighters during campaign launches, but who doesn’t love a night full of productivity with your own team around. From strategising a campaign for a brand, to nomenclature of a product, to the extensive shoot schedules involved- you could compare this to the excitement you used to have during an interschool or intercollege fest. Ahh! In fact, don’t remind me about the kind of food you’ll be treated with. 

In addition, you get to communicate with people from all facets of the society, starting from people in the CXO level to the clerks, which is again something I like about advertising.  Last but not the least, advertising is all about telling a story for your brand. It’s about creating a brand or a product from scratch, it’s like nurturing your own baby and that is what I like the most.

So, what are those key skills one must possess to be a part of the advertising world?

One must be fluent in English and Hindi . Well, great communication and interpersonal skills play an important role. Another important thing is one should be a multitasker and focus on working as a perfectionist.There’s no room for mistake when you’re working on a campaign in which lakhs or crores of money are being spent. Handling two to three clients should not be a big deal for you. Certainly, it will take some time to get a hang of it, but you will surely get there. You will be overloaded with work at times, so learning to manage multiple things without panicking is a must. Even if you panic, try to put your panic to good use and finish the work before the deadline. That’s something I always do.

You also need to master the art of decoding client briefs. You should know every thing that should go in a creative brief to ask the right questions to the client. This will help you to write a perfect creative brief by yourself. 

Next, confidence is the key. You need to be confident and sell your ideas or your creatives to the client. No one wants to listen to someone who isn’t confident about what they’re pitching. 

Finally, if you have a knack for advertising, or creating a brand, then you will learn everything on the go! Don’t ever stress, this is the friendliest industry you can ever be in.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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