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Marketing Game Changers 2019: Mitin Chakraborty

Mitin Chakraborty

Head of marketing, Babyshop (Landmark Group)

Number of years with company 6.5

Size of department 13

Agencies FP7/McCann (creative), Tactical (social), Golin MENA (PR), OMD (media)

Previous jobs

  • Marketing manager, Home Centre MENA
  • Sr. manager, marketing, Hamleys, India
  • Sr. manager, marketing, Office Depot, India
  • Marketing executive, Worldspace Radio India

Recent campaigns

  • Back to School 2019
  • Ramadan 2019
  • Mother’s Day 2019
  • World Without Walls – Ramadan 2018
  • Mother’s Day 2018

Key achievements

The biggest one has to be in my current role. From being part of a team where I led the brand strategy and marketing communication, to now heading the entire function, this has been an incredible journey. Apart from a longstanding relationship with FP7/McCann, we have worked with the best of minds: at BPG Bates, Memac Ogilvy, Impact BBDO, Group Partnership and many others. With each brief there’s been immense learning and all that I try to do is keep my partners excited about the brand and its opportunities.

What is your objective in your current role?

There are multiple goals to achieve. Firstly, it is to build and run a great omni-channel marketing programme that addresses short-term and medium-term market opportunities, built around a purpose-led brand ambition. On channel marketing, the focus is to keep improving our data and measurement framework apart from improving consistency in execution. The other key priority is to build an operating model that supports our omni-channel expansion in Asia and Africa.

What is your advice on working with agencies?

It’s important we all understand and appreciate that the agencies and their operating models have evolved. Today is the age of co-creation. From the brief to the creative direction and finally to the craft – the brand and the agencies are equally responsible for the success or failure of any campaigns. My advice would be to spend more time with them, guide them at every step, believe in them and see them get you the stars and the moon.

What do you look for in agency partners?

I look for a team that has good people wanting to do great work. Apart from this I usually gauge their understanding of the category, customer insights and their eagerness to go beyond the ordinary.

What work do you wish you had done?

Monty the Penguin by John Lewis; the Malboro Man; Dove’s Real Beauty; Always’ #LikeaGirl; P&G – Thank you Mom

Who inspires you professionally?

Walt Disney and his philosophy of inspiring his people to deliver world class experience. And Steve Jobs for his belief in a design-led business and organisation.

What qualities do you look for when deciding who to work with?

Attitude and hunger to go that extra mile. Talent comes after.

What is the biggest challenge in marketing at the moment?

Fragmented marketplaces, omni-channel dynamics and ever-shifting customer loyalty are throwing up multiple challenges in today’s marketing environment. Top it up with geopolitical uncertainties and a growing sustainability mandate amongst Gen Z. However, I see this as an opportunity for the marketing function. As customers start demanding more from brands, businesses will have little choice but to keep evolving their core customer proposition and communicating it in the most relevant manner.

What is the next big trend in marketing?

While AI driven tools will continue to drive functional benefits, one would still need personalised attention from brands. So humanising conversations will be one of the key trends.

What trend do you wish would just stop, already?

Obsession over Big Data.

Rapid fire

What are you listening to?
Senorita by Shawn Mendes

What are you working on?
My culinary skills

What are you reading?
Paid Attention by Faris Yakob

Who are you following?
Greta Thunberg and Nat Geo Travel

What are you craving?
Chai-samosa and the rains

Who are you hiding from?

Where are you dining?
Any of the Asian restaurants in town

What are you playing?
Drums – on weekends

Where are you travelling?
UK, France and Lebanon this month

What are you watching?
The Great Hack on Netflix

Agency reference

Vicky Kriplani, senior account director, FP7/McCann

A thorough professional with a strong focus on rapid progress, Mitin has always been at the leading edge of Babyshop’s brand evolution. Having supported work that has gone on to win some of the industry’s most respected awards and accolades (Cannes Lions, Effies, Dubai Lynx, Clio and Adfest to name a few), he has been instrumental in raising the brand’s creative quotient in the recent past.

Mitin is a passionate marketing professional whose enthusiasm is contagious. He is someone who never shies away from supporting bold ideas from the agency as long as they solve a business challenge. His disciplined and ethical approach towards the brand and its communication is inspiring. Plus, his insatiable appetite for new brand initiatives is what sets him apart.

He immediately recognises merit in an idea and then bravely puts all his energies behind it to bring it to life,. Once on a creative blitzkrieg, he is unstoppable.

Two things I have learned from Mitin are: the right time for anything is now; and project status updates can happen on the drive, giving car Bluetooth a reason to exist.

What collaboration are you most proud of?

That would definitely be the Mother’s Day 2018 – Putting “Mum” into “Parenthood” campaign. This project saw us venture into uncharted social waters, which we couldn’t have done without the immense support, belief and bravery of a strong brand custodian like Mitin. This campaign was also the touchstone that firmly cemented the client-agency relationship.