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    One Under 30: Young Marketer Spotlight – Ajinkya Shindgikar

    Highlighting young talent in the ad world - one person at a time.

    By Sam Roth - Mar 15, 2021
    One Under 30: Young Marketer Spotlight – Ajinkya Shindgikar

    As part of an ongoing series highlighting young talent in the industry, Branding in Asia brings you “One Under 30” – a special feature that focuses on up-and-coming talent in the ad world, one person at a time.

    This week we feature Ajinkya Shindgikar, Client Solutions Manager at VMLY&R who got his start as a planning intern in Mumbai.

    When asked about his inspirations, Shindgikar discussed creativity, saying it can “found in literally everything around you. Just changing the perspective helps. But if I have to name things, I have always been inspired by movies and music. I have an eclectic taste in both, everyone from Frank Sinatra, Dire straits, Coldplay to Kishore Kumar and everything from Taxi Driver, The Black Cauldron to Sholay has contributed to my ideas.”


    The Basics

    Name: Ajinkya Shindgikar
    Age: 27
    Agency: VMLY&R
    Position: Client Solutions Manager
    Hometown: Maharashtra, India
    Current Location: Maharashtra, India
    Education: Northpoint Centre of Learning, Postgraduate program in Marketing Communications, 2016


    Seven Questions

    How did you get your first break in the industry?

    I started as a planning intern with Salt Brand Solutions in Mumbai. With Lee Cooper(Denim) as my first account, I got an opportunity to work with the Head of Planning directly. Rather than sitting at a desk with a laptop, most of my internship was spent outside the office, where I got hands-on experience in terms of research, consumer behavior, category understanding.

    How vital it is to go out and talk to people while writing a brief/idea, mining insights rather than just googling things has been stuck in my head ever since. And the efforts paid off as our three months of work was appreciated at Lee Cooper. That was a big breakthrough for me, both professionally and personally. 

    What is your personal mantra?

    Defy – as direct as that. Don’t accept advertising stereotypes and best practices blindly. Defying and redefining helps big time. 

    From what person, place or thing have you drawn your greatest creative inspiration?

    Music & Movies.

    And that’s another personal mantra I abide by. Creativity can be found in literally everything around you. Just changing the perspective helps. But if I have to name things, I have always been inspired by movies and music. I have an eclectic taste in both, everyone from Frank Sinatra, Dire straits, Coldplay to Kishore Kumar and everything from Taxi Driver, The Black Cauldron to Sholay has contributed to my ideas.

    “There’s one part of my job wherein I get to tell meaningful stories dug up from day-to-day insights. That beautiful feeling when you know you’re the driving force behind an idea.”

    Movies and music also reflect the society around us. I invariably find myself mouthing movie dialogues and giving song references to convey across my ideas. So that’s the impact these two have on my creativity.

    What do you love about the job?

    There’s one part of my job wherein I get to tell meaningful stories dug up from day-to-day insights. That beautiful feeling when you know you’re the driving force behind an idea born in a room to getting executed and creating a difference out there. It’s like, we really matter. We all do.

    Another aspect that really excites me is the wonders you can create by blending ideas with technology in order to solve everyday problems.

    For example, when the lockdown restricted access to dental services recently, Colgate-Palmolive & VMLY&R India launched Colgate – Dentists for Me – a teledentistry service across India, allowing people across India to wear their best smile even in these challenging times. Isn’t this beautiful?

    What about your job are you not so crazy about?

    • Shrinking marketing budgets sometimes bring down an idea that has a great potential in taking the leap for a brand.
    • People using heavy marketing jargon, especially while presenting a campaign.

    What is some work you’ve done that you’re most proud of?

    I think it’s the work we had created for Citibank at Publicis. It actually helped in solving a business problem.

    The context: Citibank has a premium account segment for the affluent, called Citigold. It comes with an app called ‘Hello’, to help them this segment of customers with wealth management and transactions on the go.

    The task: The task was to give them something that they would remember forever and pass on to other people as an experience with Citigold, thereby helping acquire new customers and increasing the transactions or wealth investments through Citigold.

    And thus #GoldExperiences was created.

    The idea: Gold experiences is a property that came alive with events in Wealth Insights, Entertainment, Arts, Lifestyle and Wellness, specially curated for Citigold customers.

    These limited access experiences were curated and developed with great care, keeping the interests and changing trends in mind.

    Here are some examples of the execution:

    The above property created a greater impact in terms of acquiring new Citigold customers, increasing the usage of Citigold’s ‘Hello’ App for transactions and investments as the invites were sent via app, email. It truly elevated the overall experience with Citi, as it went beyond banking. 

    If you had to choose another career, what would it be?

    I would’ve definitely been a musician.

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