Truly Digital Work Environment Is Possible to Achieve Business Objectives - Papia Samajdar

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1. Tell us about your background and journey.

I am a communications and content specialist with over 15 years’ experience across NGO and Corporate sectors. Currently, as Deputy General Manager – Communications, at Nissan Motors Limited;I lead the in-house content team for Africa, Middle East, India and Turkey.

As an experienced communications and outreach specialist in the domain of sustainable development, I believe a good story told in innovative ways is a game changer. Rightly packaged and re packaged with multiple plugs in through multiple media customized for different audiences can create powerful change in the way world acts and reacts. 

It is particularly important to offer viable solutions and profitable business case, in order to drive a positive change. The term sustainability itself has taken shape to become inclusive of economical, social and environmental factors. Sustainable Development Goals, Environment Social Governance Considerations, Nationally Determined Voluntary Pledges, technological innovation towards sustainable mobility, smart cities, clean tech, and clean energy are all symbolic of the changing world and I am proud to play an active roll in forwarding the sustainability agenda. 

Using various communication tools and media, I have worked closely on awareness generation, advocacy and fundraising campaigns with leading NGOs and corporates. As a research writer, I have published multiple articles and been part of editorial team. And as a content manager, I create engaging activities for maximum learning and retention.

2. What is your opinion about remote working?

As part of an international team for the past four years, remote working is business as usual for me. Working across diversity, time zones, cultures and perspectives is something that is not new to me. 

Given the connected world we live in, true change comes through collaboration, and we are well equipped to establish and nurture these connections to work as one team irrespective of our physical location.

3. What has been your biggest challenge that you faced and how did you overcome that?

Given that we have digital tools which amplifies our reach, there are still gaps when it comes to connectivity and bandwidth. The pandemic has convinced more people that a truly digital work environment is possible to achieve business objectives and remain focused on demands of the changing time. Luckily, we have a whole range of tools to choose from which equip us to stay connected.

4. How do you keep your employees and team engaged? What are some of the shifts in engagement strategies?

The current pandemic has mandated a definite shift in engagement strategy, especially when it comes to addressing a diverse and larger audience. This includes internal and external audience across one of the most heterogeneous and varied region such as Asia, Middle East and Africa. 

Once again, technology comes to the rescue. Technology and digital media – including social media – allows us to engage with our audience in a two-way communication, providing space to hear and to be heard, and ensure that situational anxiety is reduced by establishing a strong digital connection.

5. What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful manager?

Open mindedness, mentorship via constructive feedback, talent mapping and providing growth opportunities and empathy are key characteristics to keep colleagues motivated and focussed towards a common goal. For teams to work like a smoothly oiled machine, clear precise objective and goal setting is another facet responsible for high quality project delivery.

6. What are your tips for first time and aspiring managers?

As managers, your subordinates look at you for guidance. Respect their trust and individual talent to hone them into motivated team members and excellent performers. At the same time, please be empathetic and encouraging.

7. Which is your favorite book and why? 

I am a big fan of magic realism; the literary genre is an excellent example of thinking outside the box and fuels one’s imagination. This includes some big authors such as Haruki Murakami, Milan Kundera, Salman Rushdie etc.

- Papia Samajdar
Deputy General Manager at Nissan Motor Corporation

- Interview by - Sanjana Jain

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