A pirate at heart, Saumyajit Banerjee (pictured), CEO at TCP- TBWAIndonesia, is a gentle yet highly driven character. With over 14 years of experience in the advertising industry, Banerjee comes from a business and planning background.
His journey in advertising started when he went from being a finance graduate to a CRM consultant, which has allowed him to always apply a business approach to creative solutions for all his clients. This includes global and local brands such as Heinz, Samsung, Standard Chartered Bank, Lenovo, Traveloka, Acer and many others.
Speaking to Marketing Interactive about his journey in the ad world so far, Banerjee said that he gets the best from his team by pushing them to challenge the conventions and create disruptive ideas to move and create culture.
How do you describe your management style?
I always feel this question is best answered by others. I like to keep it simple, I believe I’m a good listener, and I lead by example. I also believe in order to get the best out of my team, it is important to create an environment where people can thrive on passion and purpose. I encourage my colleagues to have a vision, be fearless and don’t be afraid to fail, but be prepared to learn quickly, be agile and innovative.
TBWA’s culture of Disruption continually drives us to challenge the status quo. This philosophy is embedded deeply into our leadership style and sets TBWA apart from the others.
Who was the mentor who influenced you the most and how?
It’s difficult for to mention just one. Different people have influenced and guided me across the many dimensions of my life, and made me who I am. My father taught me to be humble and lead by example.
Philip Brett (pictured left below), chief operating officer of TBWAWorldwide, is incredibly supportive and inspiring, especially when I took over the CEO role at TCP-TBWAIndonesia.
Another entity which was a great mentor to me was the TBWA Asia Leadership Collective – there is no scarcity of inspirational figures in this group of pirates. We meet regularly and share a collective ambition. Our meetings are always dynamic, visionary, and most importantly fun… We really enjoy being together.
What has been the proudest moment in your career?
TCP-TBWAIndonesia has been recognised by industry bodies in various award shows locally and regionally. Within the TBWA network, the achievements of this market have also been acknowledged on a global level. While I feel our proudest moment has yet to come, I foresee it will involve TBWA Indonesia on global stage in some capacity.
What inspires you the most?
Our Pirate culture and Disruption Philosophy is what is unique to TBWA. It sets us apart – our methodology drives us to challenge our thinking, to find those disruptive ideas that challenge the convention, and add enormous value to our clients.
What’s the toughest part of your job?
Every role has its own challenges, but a constant one is keeping the teams inspired and focused on the vision and purpose. When things don’t go their way, it can be tough.
What has been the harshest thing said to you?
I think I have pretty thick skin.
What do you do in your free time?
I play golf, and if I manage to have an early evening at home, I cook. I like to experiment, often it’s about the process rather than the outcome, which is fortunate because sometimes while creating old dishes new ways can result in a disaster. My favourite pastime is to spend time with my one-year-old daughter.
How do you ensure a proper work life balance?
Advertising is not for everyone.
Trying to find the perfect balance is challenging. The secret for me is having an understanding partner.
What is your favourite vacation spot?
Ubud and Bali. It is a great combination of serenity, peace, simplicity and happiness.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to someone just starting out?
Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” If you are passionate about advertising, the journey will be hugely rewarding.
Our industry can be fickle. Relationships, loyalty and teams are important.
What issue would you like to see the industry change in 2018?
I’m not sure it’s about making a change, but rather seeing more good. Doing good, makes good business sense. We are in the business of influencing decisions where we can make significant impact and make a difference.