Managing Strategic Stakeholder Engagement

Varad Kamini, VP & Head —Marcomm., Datamatics Global Services Ltd.

With almost two decades of professional experience and having held several progressively senior and leadership positions, Varad Kamini’s passion is to create and nurture brands for higher revenue realization. She is the Vice President and Head – Marketing & Communications — of Datamatics Global Services Ltd.

Varad Kamini strongly believes that ‘right communications’ to the ‘right audience’ at the ‘right time’ is central to achieving business objectives and increased ROI. Following this belief, over the years, strategic stakeholder engagement plans led by her have led to successful image enhancement of the companies that she has worked for.

In her view, while quality education is a must to have a strong foundation, however it’s the attitude to learn that truly matters as one moves up in his/her career.

She holds PG qualifications in Business Management and Mass Communications & Journalism along with an honours graduation in English. Her professional experience cuts across Marketing Communications, Brand Strategy, Influencer Relations, Corporate Affairs, Employee Engagement and Impact Creation for Enhanced Customer Experience and Engagement.

Besides being a recipient of several awards and creating space for herself in the corporate world, Varad Kamini loves to create space where you live & work. Interior Designing (www.varadkamini.com) is what is close to her heart. Infact before venturing into the world of marketing, she took professional training in the art of enhancing aesthetic value while making optimum utilization of the space available.

She also loves to write on Branding & marketing and share her thoughts and learning experiences through her blogsite, www.branddope.com.

Most challenging assignment so far

“I truly love challenging assignments and that is what keeps me going. In that sense I have had an exciting journey so far. Having said that, my greatest achievement has been my greatest challenge that I have lived through.

Learning to lead in an environment filled with pre-conceived notions. Most challenging assignment till date – being assigned the role of Marketing Communications head, but with a dash of scepticism that the new role requires specialized skill sets (ideally engineering background), which I lack.

I had the choice of ‘flight’ or ‘fight’. I chose to fight it out fair and mobilized my energies to win the battle of perceptions. The belief that this role could be beyond me gave me the impetus to outsmart my predecessors. It was challenging as I was still expected to deliver and add business value.  And true to myself, I not only survived but also thrived amidst such cynicism. Awards and accolades that I have received from the company and various prestigious industry bodies stand as a testament to the work that I have been doing in my capacity as Marketing & Communications leader.”

Greatest inspiration

“Every great success starts with an inspiration; although every inspiration does not lead to success. I have always believed that true inspiration comes from within and external events can only reflect the desire to succeed that is already burning inside.

No wonder that the greatest source of my inspiration has been my own zest to succeed and to leave my own mark.  Having said that, there are certain incidents and personalities that can and do inspire.

My father taught me the most important thing in life — to think independently; not to mention the freedom he provided me with to do so. In the professional space, it has to be those amazing mentors (bosses), I have had the privilege to work with. They have not only guided me but also helped me realize my potential.”

Most important milestone in life

“We live this life once and might as well live it to the fullest; this has been my motto about life.

In my pursuit of happiness I aspired to achieve professional growth and success but with a clear sight of personal priorities. Owning to which, a few years back while still at the peak of my career, I decided to take a sabbatical from work to fulfil my duties as a mother.

There have been so many more milestones that have brought immense joy and happiness. But this stands out distinctively as a milestone of sorts, because I didn’t waver in taking that decision, enjoyed that time with the family and sprung back to action when I was prepared for the next move.”

Women are the better halves. What does it mean?

“I am of belief that each should look at himself/ herself as a whole and not seek ‘better halves’ and I don’t need someone else to make me feel complete.

Having said that I do believe in the ancient Tao concept of ‘Yin-Yang’. It’s a wonderful concept that illustrates a balanced and integrated approach, where two contrasting elements come together to form a perfect circle. And beauty of it is that neither of the half is better than the other; none takes prominence or precedence.

I find this concept very relevant to the corporate world and the leadership styles, where versatile leaders come together to accentuate and complement each other for balanced leadership.”

Experiences on being a woman entrepreneur

“I must say that mostly have been fortunate, and have continued to progress in my career based on my performance, being evaluated based on my merits and commitment; and not on my gender.

I have come so far, entirely because of the value that I bring in as a professional. Basis my experience, in today’s world, especially the matured markets, so as long as you are contributing to the organization’s growth and success, your efforts will be duly recognized.”

How do you believe in making dreams come true?

“Dreams do come true, only if you wish hard and work harder.

What helped me was my conviction and commitment to myself. After that all I had to do was follow my heart passionately, use intuition and remain focused.

Most importantly I didn’t let anyone sway me away from my personal- professional goals or limit my dream.”

Challenges faced

“It has to be striking the perfect work-life balance. Though I have come to conclusion this term is a misnomer. In my view, there is no such thing as work-life balance. At best it is an elusive ideal; and at worst a complete myth!

At each step, I had to keep a close watch on my priorities and commitments.  It’s been a tough ask to ensure that nothing from my priority list moves off when it doesn’t deserve to.”