Charulata Ravi Kumar — CEO, Razorfish India
More than just an achiever, Charulata Ravi Kumar is a leadership figure in her field. As the CEO of Razorfish India (www.razorfish.com), she takes on the role with in-depth understanding of the India market. Her main goal is to ensure Razorfish India remains the destination for smart, curious, creative and entrepreneurial-minded people, and to further strengthen Razorfish India’s existing core competencies.
She is an avid speaker and has spoken at various events, including The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF), Philadelphia. A successful entrepreneur, she is also a Corporate Leadership coach and teaches at eminent institutions in India. Charulata has been a consultant and regular columnist for The Indian Express – a leading Indian daily newspaper. A regular speaker and jury member at Leadership, Digital and Women’s forums in India, she was recently conferred with the “Pillar of Hindustani Society” by the Trans Asian Chamber of Commerce. She was awarded the Linkedin Power Profile in 2015.
It has been a transformational journey of 27 years for her from Calcutta to Mumbai via Middle East and London with stop-overs in US, Europe, Singapore, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. With global experience in Business Transformation across the best Marcom groups – Publicis Groupe, WPP and IPG with agencies such as JWT, Lintas, Bates, Grey Worldwide, she set up the first Integrated Marketing Agency in Middle East and India.
With a penchant for treks, sports and wine trails, she loves cooking and writing is her biggest passion. In her free time, Charulata teaches social skills and “science through play” at Anchorage, an NGO for adults with down-syndrome.
High point in career
“Not one but many. Each milestone has been the high point relatively until it took me to discover the next one. However, my time in the Middle East was quite transformational in life and career lessons.”
Most challenging assignment so far
“Setting up “Product of the Year” in India – The challenge to set up from scratch a totally new concept that no one had heard of. To start with, it was me and my laptop! Finding an office, finding a tea boy, an assistant, legalities around setting up the office, trade mark and the processes around it, the largest ever consumer research on innovation in the country et al was all a daunting task. And with just six months to roll out in the first year, the whole thing seemed impossible. But I was determined to and resulted the first year in success, from a performance, profit and sustainability point of view.”
“I draw inspiration from all around me. Every person I come across brings a deep insight I learn from. Amongst them, I wish to mention my mother and 10-year-old son – my strongest support and inspiration – who have taught me the lessons of perseverance, patience and the biggest lesson – to smile through all adversity and find new joys every day.”
Most important milestone in life
“Living by just one milestone is not me. I find happiness in many things and believe in setting up many milestones of joy along the way.”
Women are the better halves. What does it mean?
“Both men and women complete the circle. Yes I am proud to be a woman but undermining the importance of men is vanity. And vanity is a cover for the inferiority complex one suffers. Women must follow their heart and passions and drive towards excellence and not waste time trying to pacify themselves by terming it “Better half”. Being a woman has to be much more than being a comparison one way or the other to a man. It is important for women to come together and raise the bar and opportunities for each other.”