Alumni Solving Business Problems by Crafting a Brand Narrative

Solving Business Problems by Crafting a Brand Narrative

Solving Business Problems by Crafting a Brand Narrative

Abhishek Keni, our Master of Business Administration alumni, who joined us with an educational background in Electronics & Telecommunications Engineering, was inspired to pursue a career in Brand Marketing during his time in James Cook University, Singapore.

Abhishek Keni Toastmasters MeetingFeatured: Abhishek Keni at Toastmasters Meeting

Can you tell us more about your current role and what made you decide to take on this role?

I am currently working as a Senior Marketing Manager for one of the leading private sector banks in India. My role is to handle the brand communications for a finance-lending product of the bank related to the purchase of electronics, furniture and more through convenient EMI schemes. My responsibilities include communicating with existing and new customers through strategic approaches like direct-to- customer channels, digital awareness through video content, performance marketing, on-ground/point-of-sale visibility, merchandising, and more.

When I came back to India after graduating from James Cook University, I worked with the world’s biggest advertising agency networks like Wunderman Thompson (WPP Company), Mullen Lowe Lintas Group (IPG Company) and Contract Advertising (WPP Company). During this time, I managed the creative communications for some of India’s biggest and most respected brands in various categories like Consumer Durables Retail, Fashion Fabrics, Fashion Retail, FMCG, Pharma, and more. I also honed my ability to manage projects with an eye for creative excellence. After spending a few years in advertising and partnering with some of the best brand managers, I realised that I could apply my knowledge and skills in a brand role and get an opportunity to look at the bigger picture in the communications space. I worked and persevered to achieve this goal through consistent self-evaluation and learning.

If you could highlight one memorable experience in your working experience so far, what would that be?

One of the most exciting facets of my work is being able to experience and adapt to the changes in technology, social media, communication channels and more, along with the way brands are able to interact with customers differently across demographics and customer personas.

How do you feel studying at the Singapore campus of James Cook University has helped you? What do you miss the most about your time at JCU?

I used to spend a lot of time on campus and worked on various volunteering activities. I was entrusted with the responsibility of being the Vice President (Public Relations) for the Toastmasters International Club at James Cook University, Singapore, which involves public speaking and leadership. Within a couple of months, and the support of a fabulous ExCo team, I grew the membership headcount of the club from less than 10 to more than 40, and our university chapter of the club received a Golden Gavel Award for this achievement from the Toastmasters International HQ. As a guest member, I visited various other corporate clubs across Singapore, which gave me an opportunity to interact and network too. I have learnt some of my most memorable management and leadership lessons while handling this crucial role for the club.

Also, during the beginning of new terms, I used to be a ‘Meet-and-Greet Buddy’, where I got to be a part of the team assigned to receive new students - helping them settle into their accommodations and guiding them with the general know-how about the University and the country. These volunteering activities helped me hone my mentoring skills too.

What would be your advice for current students?

Spend as much time as possible with fellow students who come from other countries, understand their culture, their language and their set of challenges. I remember going to the Ang Mo Kio food court with classmates from diverse geographies and cultural backgrounds for lunch after lectures, and discussing random things about our side of the world. After attending the lectures for “Managing business in a global context”, we used to sit and actually discuss the various challenges in our respective countries through casual conversations. Isn’t that a real-life learning experience?

What's the next step for you?

Stay tuned! 😊

Lastly, JCU's strategic intent is ‘Creating a brighter future for life in the tropics world-wide through graduates and discoveries that make a difference’. How do you think you have made (or are making) a difference?

The past two years of the pandemic has made us humans realise that we are a tiny part of this universe, and become helpless when nature turns the tides against us. So, the only way to get through this is by focusing on building bonds and collaborating with humans as well as nature to create sustainable solutions.

I think, at an individual level, the difference which I can make is bringing the attitude of my Australian education in the day-to-day work of my personal as well as professional life.