“I see COVID as a pause and not a stop button. Things will start from where they were left and not from the very beginning”, said Mr Ashok Ramachandran, CEO & President, Schindler India while speaking to students of MICA in a first-ever virtually conducted MICA Leadership Series.

As part of the first MLS session of the new academic year, students of MICA got an opportunity to interact with Mr Ramachandran on the „Importance of Networking and Self Branding‟.

Reminiscing a childhood memory, he said, “Being an extrovert comes with an edge for networking. One thing that resulted in punishment for being talkative during school turned out to be beneficial for me in corporate life.”

Sharing insights about networking, he said, “Now is the time you start networking. Be comfortable with rejections, not everyone will respond the way you want but the fear of rejection should not stop you from doing what you want. Your rejections can become affections at a later stage in life.”

“The second rule is „Don‟t kiss on your first date‟. Unsolicited contacts offered in the first conversation without substance is a no go. While pitching yourself, make an impression and don‟t go randomly messaging without substance. Do not do a hard sell. The third rule is to make your conversation rich with ideas, content and something that has volume because conversion rates are low. It is a volume game.”

Speaking of personal branding, he said, “Be genuine while creating your brand, have a story to share, be constant throughout your branding, there is nothing wrong in being a failure, but what is important is to accept it and genuinely apologise for it, and as a brand create a positive impact. Create something that people can look up to and think about what is the legacy you want to leave. If you have not created a legacy how will you tell your story?”

Answering the question by a PGP student Cherry Chauhan about the differences between organisations brand identity and individual identity he quoted, “Putting out
genuine content, and putting it as often as possible helps in personal branding. You are your marketing manager. As long as you follow the company‟s social media guidelines, you can build your brand.”

On a concluding note, he advised students to not have a fixed mindset and be open to opportunities. “The odd jobs that you do will help you. You are not here for a sprint, but marathon. Just run your race for yourself and not for the others. COVID19 has offered the organisations to reorganise themselves and despite the recession, the best players win.”

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