Archit Kaushik - I Also Spent Close to 2 Years in New York Setting up Our USA Office to Further Strengthen Our Foothold There (Associate Vice President - Marketing Vahdam Teas)

In the coming years, factors such as Consumer Engagement, Personalized Experience, Exclusivity and Emotion would be quite important.

Tell us about your background, journey & story.

I was born and brought up in Delhi itself with my schooling from The Mother’s International School. I had dreams of being an engineer but just 6 months into taking up science, I realized, this is not a field I see myself in and started expanding my research horizon in terms of career options and one thing that intrigued me was the art of Marketing and the ability to convince people to put in money for your products, especially in a country like India which is highly price conscious.

I then pursued Bachelor of Management Studies with a specialization in Marketing from Shaheed Sukhdev College of Business Studies (University of Delhi). I was Previously working at UrbanCompany (Erstwhile, UrbanClap) in the Business Development team, managing multiple Categories across India. Despite always aspiring to be a marketer, Sales was something I wanted to voluntarily explore as it is usually considered one of the most challenging and high pressure departments. I definitely wanted a piece of it.

Post my stint at UC, I came across this new age Digitally Native Brand by the name of VAHDAM and the story + vision was something I instantly resonated with. Luckily, they were planning to build a Marketing Team at the same time I had joined.

Have been super grateful and fortunate to be a part of such an exciting and fast growing organization since then. Been involved in multiple functions ranging from Social Media, Influencer Marketing, Partnerships, Events + Activations across continents.

I also spent close to 2 years in New York setting up our USA office to further strengthen our foothold there.

I am currently working as an Associate Vice President- Marketing at Vahdam India.

What are some of the biggest challenges & failures you have faced in your career?

Fortunately, I haven’t had any major setbacks or failures till now but have had instances which have been great learnings and helped tremendously in me being a much more positive person than I was a few years back.

For instance, getting placed on campus at a promising startup which shut down a week before graduation. Looking back, It doesn’t seem like a huge deal but back then, it was a scenario I was least expecting. This however, just taught me to be grateful for things in life no matter how big or small they seem.

For every 1 good day when things seem to go your way, there are 10 bad days you might have had. The key is to keep moving forward, no matter what the pace is, as long as you are moving forward.

What are some of the factors that made you successful?

Not sure if I can be considered “Successful” in the conventional sense but I feel I have barely scratched the surface in terms of my professional career.

Having said that, I feel one needs to be extremely disciplined and consistency is key to it. Setting ambitious goals over regular periods for oneself and evaluating them to further improve is critical.

I have always been an optimist who mostly sees the “Glass Half Full” and feel that your approach and temperament towards problems at work is a key differentiator in the outcome of that.

You have the power to choose a positive mental attitude no matter what you're going through. It's your responsibility to look at the positive side of things--in every situation--and move ahead in life. A positive mental attitude benefits you personally and professionally.

Lastly, the most important thing is to not shy or run away from any task at hand no matter how much grunt work it requires from you.

Marketing has changed a lot over the decade, what do you think will be the future of marketing?

With E-comm booming over the years, especially post pandemic, millennials and Gen-Z which is dependent on technology which results in their higher digital literacy, high expectations for services and convenience and shorter attention spans.

In the coming years, factors such as Consumer Engagement, Personalized Experience, Exclusivity and Emotion would be quite important.

With ‘n’ number of brands and products across categories, For any consumer brand, selling or marketing physical products or services is not enough, but great experiences, emotions, and a story that resonates with the customer is what would make a difference to the intent.

Voice has been heralded as the biggest growth lever of the decade for Ecommerce. What are your thoughts about it?

With the new breed of customers being extremely aware/educated of the products they are buying or consuming, a fancy packaging or a viral video might not be a guaranteed success for customer loyalty.

With so many brands with similar products running campaigns making hundreds of claims everyday, the unique differentiator to drive customer purchase often gets diluted.

I feel Word of mouth is one of the most powerful tools to drive customer as every person is an influencer to an extent be it creating top of the funnel awareness or driving intent of purchase.

With E-comm where a customer can’t feel or physically touch the product, like in an offline setup, WoM or a feedback from someone you know plays an extremely important role in decision making.

What is the most important skill set required for someone who wants to rise in their career?

I feel one needs to be a problem solver, open to grunt work, adaptability both culturally and professionally at an organization and the most important being discipline.

Skill or ability is not the major distinguishing factor in success, especially as the level of competition increases. But if you combine your ability with the right attitude and the passion to excel, you too can become the best that you can be.

What does your typical day look like?

I have always been an early riser so my day typically starts at 6:30am followed by an hour of intense Squash. This acts as the perfect start to the day.

A regular day at the office starts with a morning huddle with the team to review updates, brainstorm and plan the day/week going forward. We have also brief Table tennis games in office which is a perfect stress buster.

I try my best to have dinner with my parents and spend time with them.

My day ends with an episode of any sitcom or series that I might be watching on Netflix.

Which is your favourite book & why?

The Winning Ways By Harsha and Anita Bhogle

Being an avid Cricket and sports fan in general, this book digs into examples from sport to see how they can benefit managers and working professionals both on the personal and professional front.

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