Tina Mansukhani Garg - Entrepreneurship Is a Path That Is Paved With Words That Are Synonymous With Grit (Founder - Pink Lemonade Communications)

I believed I had good ideas. I was noticing different types of communications not being executed in the right way. If you communicate the right way and if you understand your audiences, communication will have an impact.

Tell us about your background, journey, and upbringing.

My journey has taken me through different parts of the country, sometimes in Tier 2 cities, sometimes in Tier 1. Originally from Bombay, moving around has added a lot of value to my understanding of the marketing landscape and the different landscapes of our country, and how it changes as per one’s socio-economic background, etc. 

I actually studied science to be an engineer, but always enjoyed the creative side of things and wanted to be a writer and a marketing person. A few years later, I got the opportunity to start my own company and that gave me first-hand knowledge on setting up a marketing practice. 

Running my company gave me exposure to marketing, writing, and content that works in PR & marketing communications. Thereafter, I did a stint in the corporate world and decided that it was time for me to branch out.

I realized that I wanted to do work I enjoyed doing, from a strategic point of view. It felt like a good idea to start off on my own to make good and meaningful communication for businesses a reality.

What inspired you to take action in your direction and what are your future plans?

I believed I had good ideas. I was noticing different types of communications not being executed in the right way. If you communicate the right way and if you understand your audiences, communication will have an impact. 

Over a period of time, after consulting, companies began telling me to execute their communications. This kickstarted my marketing and communications career.

Pink Lemonade has grown to about 120 employees. The future plans are to grow it as a creative, strong, brand marketing firm that understands consumer and customer problems and delivers impactful communications that enable brands to tell stories and make an impression on their customers. 

We have grown in the kind of brands we handle, we have grown in the kind of work we do, and have been successful in making an impact. Our future plans are to continue doing what we do on a larger scale - by the perfect bridge between digital and brand marketing.

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What does your typical workday look like?

My typical day sees me moving between spending time on creatives and sales for the company, as well as being present for organizational developmental activities. On one side I would be working with HR, on the other side I would be working with a customer, and on the third side, it would be planning the strategy and outcomes for a customer.

I am usually keeping an eye on multiple things during the day and try to be as involved as a leader as I can. I ensure to spend time with my people, whether it is spending time with someone to take them through their career path or spending time with someone who needs to determine how to think through a particular project. 

I like to and make it a point to be available to my team. So my days are usually quite busy and full. To help keep me organized, I try to follow a calendarized process to plan and make time for things and people that need my attention.

Once a week we also have a review with all the leaders of the organization for all of us to collaborate and support each other. On weekends, I usually catch up on all my reading. Keeping up with the trends in the world is important, so I usually do this on the weekends. 

We also have an interesting marketing group within the organization that helps keep us abreast of what is happening around us with relevance to our industry.

Several global companies have come out and thrown their support behind not needing a formal education. What is your opinion about this?

I think this is a great question and I will use myself as an example of why it is not necessarily needed. Because I did not come from an advertising background and did not study specifically to be an advertiser, my learning across my career gave me a lot of experience to launch and work with brands. 

The marketing experience was impeccable. And I think one of the reasons Pink Lemonade’s trajectory has been a little different is because some of the things we have done have not been like a typical ad agency. We have nonetheless managed to deliver for our clients and that is what keeps them coming back. 

When you do not have the entitlement of education of a certain kind, you work harder to make things happen and prove that you can deliver good results. Pink Lemonade is a perfect example of how lots of people have come to us from different backgrounds, from finance, HR, different streams, being analysts and come to work with us in a creative function and done well. 

The number of people studying engineering today and going into the creative field after is significant because there is a logical thought process that comes through in the work they do and its impactful. We have many with us who have come to us right after school and college but are extremely successful in what they take
on. They are some of the best designers in their thinking.

How do you handle someone who has lied on their resume?

This is non-negotiable at Pink Lemonade - in terms of ethics and integrity. We feel integrity is really about doing the right thing by the organization, by yourself, and by our clients. For every brand we work with, we have to do right by so Fairplay and integrity are very important to us. 

To be realistic, if we figure that they have lied before, then it is a definite no for us and the employment will not go forward. If we figure that they have lied after they are part of the system, we would definitely call them forward and have a chat with them to understand where this came from and why they felt the need to do this. 

They may have proven themselves differently at work, but they will be counseled and we would like to understand what prompted them to do something like this. This will come with a commitment that such actions are not indulged in, as you move forward with your employment at Pink Lemonade.

Pink Lemonade’s ethos and culture are about doing good and being good to each other. So we always look for people who share our values and have good intentions when joining us. We pride ourselves in our people and our ethics. Many of our members have expressed their appreciation for the organization’s “breath of fresh air” vibe.

How has covid changed things at your workplace & which of these changes do you intend to make permanently?

COVID-19 has impacted and changed many things for us at the workplace. Working from home has impacted the time taken for creative work. We are very careful about the balance we maintain in terms of work from home after offices open up. 

We are also working towards reducing timelines as well. COVID-19 has also affected people’s ability to deal with everyday stress points, the occasional elongated work hours, sudden changes around them, their sudden needs, etc. 

People have also become more careful and sensitive. Of course, working alone doesn't help them and their social interactions. After all, man is a social animal. People do look forward to meeting each other and feeding off each other’s energies, which is not exactly possible during the lockdown. 

This lack of interaction may quieten them and make them a little underprepared to meet the realities. At Pink Lemonade, we are trying to take care of those who fall ill and cheer them up in many different ways. 

We have organized many games and events online to keep them energized and continue to provide counseling services to help them take care of their mental health. We also signed up for insurance services to help our people, and insure our organization so people can make use of this when needed. 

We are trying to organize vaccination drives to help our people get vaccinated. Recently, we also announced that if any employee of Pink Lemonade passes away due to covid, we will be taking care of their salary for a year after.

We want to make empathy a permanent aspect of the organization and increase learning and growth opportunities. We are also working towards introducing more flexibility at work. The independence of thinking alone is something we want to continue to encourage. 

People have been giving their direct outputs towards work instead of going through different members and such independent work gives more exposure and self-reliance. We have continued to organize various unique and fun events for our people. We used to have hobby classes that we will continue, even in person. 

We have also organized various events like meditation sessions, Sufi whirling, mental wellness, speaker series, and so on. We will be continuing to organize these exciting events and activities.


What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs or those eyeing the top job?

Entrepreneurship is a path that is paved with words that are synonymous with grit, determination, courage, ability to stand up, never give up attitude, never say die. Every day in your journey there will be different triggers that will push you to rethink your choices and wonder why you did not take up something else instead. 

And really when the world gives up, is the time you’ve got to stand up and carry others with you and that is the strength of a leader and the strength of inspiration that you can pass on to something else. 

Sometimes, it does get very tough, so the stronger you are on the inside and the stronger you build this grit, you will be able to deal with what comes your way. The can-do and never say die attitude will take you extremely far if you are able to survive and take this on.

Which is your favorite book/show and why?

One of my favorite books has to be Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. His writing style and the way he immerses his readers in his story are what stayed with me and made me fall in love with the book. 

He is a master storyteller in my opinion. While reading, you understand everything the protagonist is going through and almost feel like you are living the protagonist’s life. I love how he absorbs you in the whole tale. 

I remember reading a review that said that any book you would read after Kite Runner will not have the same impact, and I completely agree. Another book I absolutely love is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman for the simplicity and the wittiness in his writing. 

Ove’s life is quite simple, yet the book leaves you with absolutely pertinent views of life, life lessons, and wisdom. Aaker on Branding: 20 Principles That Drive Success by David Baker has been a bible for me in terms of understanding how brand and brand marketers think and I really enjoyed this read as well!

Bio - 

Tina Garg is the Founder and CEO of Pink Lemonade Communications Pvt. Ltd., a full-service, Integrated Marketing & Communications agency headquartered in Bangalore, India.

She started the company in 2011 with one person on board. Today, Pink Lemonade is a team of 110 and is known for its award-winning work in the field of creative and business communications, and digital services. 

Tina is a TedX speaker and a brand communications specialist and has extensive experience in the creative industry, having won numerous awards including the Woman Achiever of the Year and Best Woman Entrepreneur in 2016. 

In 2016, she was among 13 global candidates selected to be part of a Fortune-US State Department mentorship program and was mentored by the leaders of Airbnb.

Tina has two children and a hugely supportive husband who she met in college. Tina continues to learn, grow, and excel as a leader and remains passionate about helping women achieve their true potential.

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