As part of our Meet the Team series, we’d like to introduce Sanjeev who heads up our operation in India. An experienced brand professional, and a true polyglot, we wonder how he finds time to indulge his many hobbies!
I am Managing Director of GLIMMA in India with primary responsibility for Operations, Sales & Marketing and Finance.
Before setting up the India operation two years ago, I worked as a consultant and assisted GLIMMA with the implementation of projects in India.
Our first office was set up in April 2018 and since then we have worked with a fantastic set of clients, both multi-national and Indian companies across Retail, Logistics, Banking, Petroleum and Entertainment (Cinemas). We have also built up a high quality network of experienced and capable partners across all 29 Indian states.
We started working with FedEx in July 2018 and continue to deliver their global rebrand programme on the sub Indian continent.
I have over 30 years of experience working for diverse companies across a wide range of sectors. This includes: Cadbury (confectionery), Unilever (ice creams), Kodak (imaging), Reliance Infocomm (telecoms), UTV (media), Shopworks (retail design) and Spa Ceylon (cosmetics).
The experience of dealing with such diverse product / service portfolios has given me a valuable and enriching journey, dealing with the brands, people and systems and processes.
The ability to apply cross-functional learning comes in very useful in sticky situations!
Over the years, I have got to know some inspiring people of influence and standing in their industry, and this has really helped me to make the right connections for GLIMMA.
The biggest challenge has been to establish GLIMMA as a trustworthy, one-stop solution for all the branding needs of the client.
The Indian market has not had such a service provider before, and the experience of dealing with local vendors for their graphic and signage requirements has not always been very positive for clients – hence they are a bit suspicious or wary.
However, I’m pleased that our credentials, international ‘pedigree’ and experience have helped to assuage these fears. In particular we have thrived on delivering the TNT to FedEx rebrand.
Like all other businesses, the Covid crisis has set us back. But we have already put in motion a plan to get back on track and grow the business to what it should have been, had Covid not struck!
The Covid crisis has turned everyting topsy-turvy. At this point all companies are focused on saving money – operations have been scaled down, rents, salaries and other costs have been substantially cut.
Hence, there is an eagle eye on all expenditure. Branding and marketing will probably be allocated lesser funds for the short term, but we are confident that brands in India understand the importance of continuing to invest.
After all, a good brand presence and visibility enables premium pricing and creates customer loyalty.
I was a competitive swimmer in my youth, so a daily 1-2 km swim is my daily routine (temporarily stopped due to Covid).
I also have a hobby (aviation, aircraft models, postcard collection) which I pursue when I get some free time.
Linguistics is another area of interest and I have considerable fluency in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and a good understanding of French, German, a bit of Arabic, Sinhala (Sri Lankan), Tamizh, Bengali and русский язык (Russian). I plan to take up learning Spanish or Italian next.
I have an OCD for cleanliness – I can’t stand untidy or unclean things, and always fix the mess myself. I also like to polish my car or bike frequently myself. It’s very de-stressing, therapeutic and gives me a sense of achievement 🙂
Am I allowed to share a second secret? Airplanes! I can recognise by sight or even just by sound, almost any aircraft. A legacy of my misspent youth!
I have lost interest in reading books, they are too cumbersome in the digital world.
I admire and respect the legacies of political leaders who had made a huge difference to their nations and the world – this diverse list is less about political leaning and more about impact and conviction: Nelson Mandela, Indira Gandhi, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Mikhail Gorbachev, Lee Kuan Yew and Barack Obama.
Connect with Sanjeev on LinkedIn