Advertising wasn’t always the plan for Anwesh Bose (pictured), CEO of Havas Group Indonesia, who landed in the industry “by accident” after two years and five jobs.
Called a “Tiger” by a former boss (for reasons unknown to him), Bose moved to Indonesia in 2014 after being based in India for 16 years. Bose joined the agency as managing director in 2014 and was promoted to the role of CEO of Havas Media Group in last year. Before Havas, Bose had stints with DDB Mudramax and Dentsu Media in India.
On top of working hard to deliver on the promises made to his bosses and clients, Bose counts reading, singing and cricket as his favourite past times.
Although Indonesia is a relatively new market for him, it is a learning curve he enjoys to be on. In a conversation with Marketing Interactive, Bose gets candid about his experiences in the advertising industry so far and how he is a “wannabe Millennial”, surrounding himself in the company of Millennials to stay relevant.
How do you describe your management style?
My management style is adaptive. There is no one way in which you can manage a team of people, who are diverse not only in age but also in their personality. Empathy and emotions are the core of my approach towards trying to inspire the team to do greater things.
Who was the mentor who influenced you the most and how?
I have been lucky to have had fabulous mentors from the very beginning of my career. As such, talking about one name would not suffice. Each mentor has taught me something new or invested their time in bringing about the best in me.
I have had mentors from within the organisations that I have worked with as well as some who are not from my business domain, but each of them have given me valuable life lessons. I desire to one day write a tribute that would include every mentor of mine and what each of them taught me.
However, one teaching is common among all my mentors is ‘never give up’.
There also have been people who demotivated me which made my resolve stronger. I would say they have been my mentors with their negativity as well.
What has been the proudest moment in your career?
I have been through so many ups and downs but managed to celebrate each and everyone one of them. The proudest moment is yet to come, I believe. But pride keeps coming regularly when a client calls to laud the performance of my team members.
What inspires you the most?
People who inspire me are those with so little yet do good things for others without any expectation.
What’s the toughest part of your job?
What has been the harshest thing said to you?
Two media specialist CEOs in the late 1990s and early 2000s, told me that I should not try becoming a media planner as I do not have what it takes. Also, I used to avoid studying, so my mother would tell me that I needed to learn cooking, housekeeping and more so I would be able to fend for myself in the later years.
What do you do in your free time?
My obsession is reading and passion is singing, so whenever I can find the time I indulge myself. Like every Indian, I love cricket and play on and off on weekends.
How do you ensure a proper work-life balance?
Too much is being made of work-life balance.
Being happy is a personal choice and if work-life balance is a choice, one would surely work to maintain equilibrium. People who complain about a misbalance are likely the ones who enjoy that misbalance to begin with.
What is your favourite vacation spot?
That would be my hometown Kolkata. There is so much which I have yet to discover.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out?
This is the best profession in the world so work hard and have fun in equal measures.
What issue would you like to see the industry change in 2018?
Stop scamming at awards, it teaches the next generation to cheat.