Q&A: Pooja Jauhari – CEO of the Glitch

    By The Staff - Nov 23, 2020
    Q&A: Pooja Jauhari – CEO of the Glitch

    We recently caught up with Pooja Jauhari, CEO of The Glitch. The agency which she heads up merged with VMYL&R earlier this year.

    Jauhari began her career with Unilever before moving on to JWT and Worldwide Media. She’s been instrumental in strategic planning and in streamlining the goals and approach of The Glitch, which has seen impressive growth in the past five years.

    Over the course of our conversation, Jauhari talks about the recent merger, the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry, reaching the GenZ audience and the inclusive work culture she’s helped foster.

    WPP recently announced the integration of The Glitch and VMLY&R. What will that mean for The Glitch moving forward?

    It will mean that The Glitch will now add a sophisticated data, e-commerce, big brand thinking practice to our arsenal of culture-shaping content, digital-focused creative, gen z focused strategic and innovation-focused technology practice. We are truly a modern partner now!

    Tell us more about what it’s like to be the leader of an organization being merged with a larger entity?

    As a leader you only want one thing which is to steer your organization, with clarity, with humility, with empathy and with strength. So I can only speak about this particular merger, a merger VMLY&R and us have been wanting for the last 3.5 years. Setting that as context, I’m delighted that something we have worked for has finally come through. Timing is everything!

    We’ve had the opportunity to know our now home network for the last few years. We not only admire their work but absolutely love them as people. We describe ourselves as a genderblind, inclusive and progressive high-performance workspace. VMLY&R speaks the same language.

    You’ve noted previously that attracting GenZ audiences is important for The Glitch. How have you designed customer experiences to do so and why do you place such importance on this audience?

    I would say it’s the excitement of understanding newer generations who will be new customers — future customers rather that drives us. While our business handles a varied set of brands, with an equally varied set of customer bases. It’s our focus on culture, having a pulse on the youth’s voice and striving to deliver authentic purposeful communication that makes us focus on upcoming generations with greater rigor.

    Inclusivity is an important pillar for the Glitch. How does this factor in how the business grows, the work that you create, and what steps have you taken as a leader to make it more inclusive?

    Step 1 – our hiring is gender blind. It’s always the right person for the job, no matter the gender, sexual orientation or background. Step 2 – we normalize not cause-vetise. Through our policies as well as the work we put out. Step 3 – inclusion is not just about gender, sex or background but also about opinions. As a person, leader and company I value the diversity of thoughts, beliefs and opinions and finding harmony in co-existing with peace. It’s this diversity at every level that helps us put out work that has positive impact in our community and society.

    How has the pandemic changed the way The Glitch operates and what have some of the challenges been?

    The biggest one has been the lack of physical human connection. The ability to sit across from one another and discuss, debate, resolve and support. But, as a company we have always used technology to make our lives easier. We depended on it further.

    “Work life as we know it can change and evolve should we all want it to in the long term.”

    We created a remote working guide book to call out and guide how our people could still continue to support one another, resolve conflicts, brain storm etc. I do see a fundamental shift in what I would account for in my P&L going forward.

    We definitely don’t need to travel as much as we used to or work from a single location. I’m typing this out while sitting on a beach, prepping for my next meeting in 20 mins. Work life as we know it can change and evolve should we all want it to in the long term. As long as we can find balance in human connection married to the ease of remote working. I say we could be real winners in achieving work life balance.

    How do you think it will affect the way the company is run post-pandemic?

    As I said, our P&L will look quite different. We will optimize all what we would spend on for travel and office space and divert that towards increased spends on proactive mental health, eased remote working policies and infrastructure, hiring more diverse talent and keep investing in technology for the future.

    You previously noted that content-strategy tied together with brand building is the way forward. Could you talk more about that?

    What this means is that the fundamentals of brand building need to always stay central to building a brand one can grow to love. However, the way we communicate on different platforms, truly understanding that each content piece on every platform from a tweet, to a story, to a short video, long video, post, caption etc needs to be an extension of what the brand stands for. It’s the same person with different avatars and tones depending on the platform yet staying extremely true to the larger purpose you craft.

    Are there any particular campaigns you’ve done that you are especially proud of?

    There are many campaigns I am proud of, all these campaigns have stayed true to what we believe in. Normalizing not cause vetising and hopefully creating positive impact in society

    Netflix – Love is exactly the same, across combinations of any gender

    Close up – Breaking barriers because connections don’t have to be the way society expects it to be

    Lakme – Building larger purpose through beauty

    Diageo – Celebrating responsibly –

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