Ad land’s Young Guns: Manika Juneja, WATConsult

Manika Juneja is a Group Account Manager - Operations at WATConsult. She has been with the agency for the last 5+ years, starting her career here as an Account Manager. Her earlier stint was in the field of Sales & Marketing for two years put together at both Della Adventures (Della Technica Group) and Tops Group (IPL teams). An inclination towards digital marketing led her to successfully explore the field further knowing fully the challenges of shifting from the client side to an agency side.

Manika has worked on various award-winning campaigns for multiple brands ranging from Technology, Pharma, FMCG to Lifestyle, Fashion, Retail and more. These include brands like SAP, Godrej, Reliance and Tata, to name a few.

What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Manika Juneja in her own words...

How did you get into the role you are serving?
Since childhood, I always wanted to become a fighter pilot, because I loved fighting for good. Well, I think I just got that fighting spirit into advertising. After my MBA, I took on Marketing & Sales and now WATConsult is my battlefield for the last 5+ years.

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
I’m a movie keeda. Come to think of it, a good movie needs a healthy mix of everything; similarly, a good agency profile needs a flavour of great skills.

My role allows me to bring the facets of a director and a producer into one. From strategic planning, analytics, ROI mapping, to crisis management, contingency planning, and delivering under pressure; I put together a creative and talented crew, to turn ideas into great campaigns by visualising the ideas, then bringing it to life.

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
Every campaign has given me an opportunity to learn, and I have a special kind of stubbornness and eagerness to do much more. One should always compete with one’s self to make things bigger, better and bolder. As for the making of those campaigns, well a magician never reveals his secrets to the world.

While working on the creatives, how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
Filmein sirf teen cheezo ke wajah se chalti hai – entertainment, entertainment, entertainment.
Same is applicable when you prepare yourself for any creatives/ campaigns.
Jokes apart, each and every one of them should answer these three questions for me:

  • Will it excite me if I am the end consumer?
  • Will it create an impact?
  • Is it meeting the brand's overall objective?

If yes, then I am game.

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
Quoting my favourite dialogue from the movie ‘3 Idiots’: “Chaaro taraf gyaan bat raha hai, jahaan se mile bator lo.” The most important thing is to implement the learning in real life situations and trickle down the knowledge.

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
I believe in being IDIOT Proof:

  1. Ideate & plan my day. I also keep some time for contingency & fire fighting
  2. Day to day discussions with the team
  3. Implement learnings
  4. On duty with my family & friends
  5. Time spent on browsing, reading and consuming content

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Like Master Oogway says: “You must believe!”

Whether it is advertising, banking & finance, technology or any other career, you belong where you want to belong. With the evolving consumer behaviour, advertising is going to be more personalised, digitised, slicker and quicker. One has to match his/ her pace with it to make it big.

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Hustle up, get going! Good things come to who hustle.

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
“There’s no secret ingredient, it’s only YOU.” (from ‘Kung Fu Panda’) Be in-charge of your own life and go get what you want!

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
Main udna chahti hoon, daudna chahti hoon, girna bhi chahti hoon ... bus rukna nahi chahti.” The best way to predict the future is to CREATE IT and that’s what I do consistently.

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
Raaste ki parwaah karoge, toh manzil bura maan jayegi!” My journey will lead me to the right destination.


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