The Little Yellow Book is a series of short interviews with different members of the Landor Mumbai team. You can find out more about who they are, what they do and what inspires and motivates them to do what they do.
Shradha Bhatia, Strategist.
Branding by day, writing by night and always on the lookout for adventures, Shradha Bhatia is a Strategist at Landor Mumbai. She has a chronic case of wanderlust and needs a regular fix of travelling – to explore new cultures, meet new people and enjoy new experiences.
When she is not travelling, she feeds her wanderlust soul with reading, a habit that she picked up from her grandfather. She enjoys books for they take her on a different kind of journey. Her reading habit is vast and varied – everything from feminist poetry to historical drama, from marketing books to crime fiction. It gave her the confidence to try her hand at writing from a very young age. Over the years, she has experimented with a lot of writing to discover her own style and rhythm. Having filled endless journals with her words, even today she makes it a point to write for at least five minutes every night; a good way to keep her inspired and creative.
She was born and raised in Melbourne and she moved to Mumbai ten years ago. Having had the best of both worlds, she has the free spirit of Mumbai and the global outlook of Melbourne. After completing high school, she studied Economics at
St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, set to conquer the world of finance; when her passion came calling, she could hardly refuse.
Three years later, she has successfully created strategies for some of the prolific brands of India and Sri Lanka. Although she is very humble about her achievements, she recently won the WPP Atticus Award for Original Publishing Thinking in Marketing Services (Under-30 Category).
What does a day in the life of a Brand Strategist look like?
One day, I might be building a new brand positioning for a babywear brand and the next day, I’ll be renaming a financial services company. One week, I’ll be working within the dairy category and the next week, I’ll be immersed in the world of education. Every hour of every day is different. That’s the beauty of it – no two days are alike.
What has been the most challenging part of your job?
The biggest challenge is how to stay inspired. You have to bring creativity to the table, every single day, which can be hard if you’re having a creative block, if you’re having a moody Monday, if you’re out of ideas, if your head isn’t in the right place.
You have to take out the time to do things that inspire you – that could be reading, drawing, singing, travelling, playing a sport, anything. In this business, creative thinking is everything. At the same time, every brand building exercise has to create business value. It’s a very fine balance to strike.
What are 3 closest brands that have made a difference to your life or is an intrinsic part of your life?
Nike – I absolutely love what the brand stands for – “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world” and how this comes to life in every single product they make. In fact, the Nike Lunarglides were the reason I started running again last year.
Red Bull – The energy and dynamism of the Red Bull brand and the way they’re always doing different things to bring the brand promise to life. One of my favourite brands of all time, hands down.
General Electric – It’s not everyday that you find a conglomerate with so many different business interests that’s able to put “Imagination at Work” and the entire philosophy that it entails. General Electric shows that corporate brands don’t have to be boring.
A brand you wish you had done the strategy for?
Nike, for sure. It reflects in everything the company does today, while giving them plenty of room to grow tomorrow. I wish I had come up with that.
What do you do to stay recharged and inspired?
Reading and writing and repeat. I have made this a part of my routine – I read everyday. I write everyday.
And I repeat this everyday.
When I am feeling particularly uninspired, I really enjoy an exercise called Free Writing – you set the timer for say, five or ten minutes, and then you keep writing whatever comes to your mind – it could be random words, disjointed sentences or even paragraphs. It’s a good way to kick start your creative juices and to unwind after a long day.
The gym is also my favourite place to be these days. I love cardio – it helps me to clear and refresh my mind. It also shows you that you can do more than you think you’re capable of, if you push yourself.
I’m also a major DIY junkie and I’m constantly indulging in various craft projects.
Books that inspire you?
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – I love the way this book explores relationships and love – between family, friends, mentors and life partners.
In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri – As someone who’s constantly been plagued with questions about identity and belonging (Melbourne to Mumbai and not really fitting in anywhere), I’ve always identified with Jhumpa Lahiri’s work, but this book in particular was a stand out for me.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – This is a must read for anyone in a creative profession. It really reminds you to be fearless and bold when it comes to creativity.
What is the most relevant piece of advice you can give an aspiring strategist?
– Never stop asking questions – It’s the only way that you can learn.
– Stay in touch with the world of brands – It’s important to stay up-to-date, to have an opinion & to be aware of what’s going on.
– Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It’s not a sign of weakness; it’s an opportunity for you to collaborate and grow.
– Pour your passion into the work that you do. If you’re not passionate about what you do, people can tell.
What is Brand Shradha?
Curious. Imaginative. Go-getter.
*The legendary University of Oregon track and field coach, and Nike co-founder, Bill Bowerman said, “If you have a body, you are an athlete.” Bowerman was a teacher who showed athletes the secrets to achievement.