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Inspirational Woman: Sangeeta Chacko | Head of Corporate Communications, Percept Limited

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With over 24 years of proficient experience in the Marketing & Communications arena, Sangeeta Chacko has handled a diverse range of portfolios spanning Advertising, Marketing, Brand Communications, Public Relations, Events & IP Management, CSR, Licensing, Retail, Publishing and Business Development with leading global organizations including O&M Advertising, The Walt Disney Group, TCI, Abacus and Kuoni.

She joined Percept Limited in 2006 as Head – Corporate Communications and incepted the Communications program for the entire Percept Group spanning 15 diverse Group Companies in the Entertainment, Media and Communications domain and IPs like Sunburn, Bollyboom, FLY and EPL.

An International & National award winner, she is a recipient of the 2017 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and has been featured in the ‘Marquis Who’s Who In The World®’ 2014, 2015 & 2016 Directories featuring global achievers.

She has also been conferred with the ‘World Women Super Achiever Leadership Award’ in 2017, the ‘Bharat Excellence Award’ and ‘Rashtriya Mahila Gold Award’ in 2014, the ‘Outstanding International Business Communicator Award’ and the ‘Rashtriya Nirman Ratna Award’ in 2013 in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Communications, Academics and the CSR domain.

An avid Writer and Blogger on topics that coalesce Business, Philosophy and Spirituality, she also addresses many SME and Media Industry forums, and serves as Guest Faculty at leading academic institutes including IIT, XIC, MET, NAEMD and ISB&M.

She is also a Member of the Board of Studies at the Deviprasad Goenka Management Institute of Media Studies.

Tell us about yourself, your background and what you do currently

I am a Communications Specialist who thrives on the challenge of handling every type of communiqué that involves a vibrant exchange of facts, views, knowledge, advice and ideas across both business and life counselling areas.

Given my innate fascination and interest into the complex workings of the human mind I majored in Psychology and thereafter went on to combine the skills and insights received from this Science with my inborn gift of Communications to enter the world of Advertising, Marketing, Brand Communications and Public Relations.

I was always drawn to working on atypical innovative Brands that elicited awe and wonder such as all the Disney Films, Characters & Products; off-beat Destination Holidays at Kuoni and TCI; and Percept’s EDM Festival Sunburn, as these brands stretched and pushed my limits in lateral thinking, innovation, creativity and audacity when communicating with Stakeholders.

I am a voracious reader and also love travelling across countries like Europe, the Orient and India that showcase a marvellous portfolio of history and culture. My personal Blog, Quotes and associated Guest Articles are often inspired by my chance encounters with fascinating diverse people that comprise our world, a natural observation of their life, as also listening to their interesting narratives.

Tell us about any current projects or initiatives you wish to promote

I am currently caught up with the communications activity for Sunburn Season 11. Sunburn, an Intellectual Property of Percept, has grown over the past decade to become Asia’s leading Electronic Dance Music Festival and an aspirational iconic youth brand today.

While the main Festival is scheduled from 28-31 December, the build up to the main Festival will involve a series of back to back events pan India featuring some of the most talented and sought after global DJs in the EDM universe.

We are re-inventing and scaling up the brand in its 11th year and there will be many interesting announcement regarding new formats and digital outreach in the coming months. Bollyboom is another interesting IP from Percept that presents Bollywood music with an EDM twist and has garnered rave reviews from stakeholders. Given the fact that the Percept Group has over 15 vibrant companies in the Entertainment, Media & Communications domain, each day presents many new opportunities and avenues for me in the Communications domain to share their amazing account & award wins, campaigns, launches, content production, events and activations.

There’s never a dull day at the Percept Group.

What has been your biggest challenge in achieving your success?

I guess I have a Nelson’s eye when it comes to challenges. Every obstacle encountered was perceived as an opportunity to research, learn and grow from strength to strength. Each challenge surmounted taught me the intrinsic values of having a never-say-die attitude, thinking out-of-the-box, tenacity, patience, willpower, humility and gratitude. Challenges only bring the best out of you and enable you to mature into a stronger and better version of yourself….so no qualms at all when faced with them!

More importantly, my challenges and associated turbulence in my earlier career years helps me to empathize with the confusion, trepidation and angst faced by many youngsters who are stepping out into the corporate world. I make it a point to keep aside some time to not only educate PGD college students in the media industry from a theoretical perspective but also use that opportunity to share my life wisdom and experiences to enable them to become resilient and attain that much needed preparation, edginess and maturity towards their careers and lives going forward.

What has been your greatest achievement personally?

Given my hectic schedule, kick-starting my Blog – “Bridges & Barriers” took a while, but I really disciplined myself and dived into it completely in the past year… and that’s been a wonderful ride. With over 50 full fledged articles posted up that seamlessly merge business practises, philosophy, ethics and spirituality, the writing has not only been a fantastic cathartic process, but has also translated into receiving some wonderful reviews and feedback globally.

It’s especially heartening to receive letters from people who state that my articles struck a chord and helped them resolve many emotionally taxing situations both at a professional and personal front. Knowing that my views and words can help fortify or heal another soul is well worth the midnight oil I burn when pondering over the thoughts & words poured into my articles.

If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you be doing?

Oh that’s an easy one. I would have been a Writer….the kind that travels the world, explores different cultures and cuisines, interacts with the global community and shares these unique experiences through the pages of my books. In spite of belonging to the corporate workforce, my writings veer towards encouraging people to break out of the corporate patriarchy, keeping an open mind and heart, learning new skills that would encourage greater creativity and independence, embracing change as the only constant, and developing greater tolerance, equality and equanimity to the global village we occupy.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My Mother ‘Rose Augustine Chacko’. An amazing role model from the start and my greatest Inspiration.

A self-made true ‘Sheroe’, she juggled many work-life roles so effortlessly and with such grace and elan. Her discipline, focus, commitment to lofty goals, selflessness, creativity, speed, multi-tasking skills and unwavering display of grace under pressure became a great learning curve and guidepost for me as I embarked into becoming my own person. In spite of being an accomplished actress, singer, dancer, model, poet and writer (who is also featured on Wikipedia), she stepped into the corporate workforce to gradually lose her identity to the anonymity that comes with the corporate patriarchy.

Maybe that is another reason why I encourage many people through my writings to break out of the pettiness of industrial thinking and realize the enormity of their individual talents and gifts.

What does the future hold for you?

A natural progression into accomplishing my goal of being a Speaker and Writer who propounds new age theories of parity, alternative ideologies, progressive social policies and collaboration. The old world of materialism, exploitation, self-gratification, industrialization and patriarchy is collapsing even as a new paradigm of equality, sustainable living, transparency, tolerance and compassion emerge.

Words are a powerful instrument, and I hope to do justice to them in this emergent new age era in the years ahead…

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