Ashish Sinha, Managing Director, Epsilon APAC & MEA, talks to us about his career journey, most memorable achievement and how he’s ensured diversity in the workplace.
- Describe your current job role.
In 2020, we brought Epsilon to the APAC & MEA regions. My role is to inspire the market, business leaders and my people about the immense potential in this market to drive tech adoption that will benefit brands and consumers alike.
I lead the business in these regions, owning P&L responsibility and working closely with my team to grow and maintain the company’s customer base in these markets. As a people-centric organisation, I know that equipping our employees with the right tools and resources so that they set our customers up for success, even as they become trusted advisors is key to a win-win on all fronts. This includes being able to work with our clients to help them leverage the best of what our technology platforms offer, even as they strengthen their connections with their consumers, ensuring that the brand experience always exceeds expectations.
- What would you describe as your most memorable achievement?
Making a tangible difference and seeing the benefits of a healthy gender diversity ratio come alive!
In many countries across the world, women do not enjoy the same privileges as men and this comes in the way of finding the right employees as well as growth opportunities.
At Epsilon, I have seen the gender ratio change from 24% to 36% in the last five years. We create a level playing field by driving an equitable work environment that helps everyone succeed, irrespective of gender or orientation. With gender diversity being the more visible form of discrimination that needs to be addressed our most visible policies operate in this space, even as we’ve started building out for LGBTQ+ success as well.
We’ve implemented several initiatives with great success. Every time an employee successfully refers a woman candidate, we contribute to the continued education of a girl, thus driving cultural change in the organisation and grassroots change in the world outside. Our much-awarded return to work programme ‘She Rises’, celebrates the seamless integration of women coming back to the industry after a break – whether because of childcare, aged care or even travel, any person coming back to work returns an enriched individual and we are eager to benefit from that even as we help them realise their corporate dreams.
Under my watch, we’ve also ensured gender pay parity across the region. This is especially important as women are a viable and talented workforce who are important to the longevity and success of our business.
My continuing ambition is to raise the gender ratio to 50-50, to better reflect the world outside, even as we all become aware that women make up half the world’s population of paying customers for our clients as well.
- What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position?
I strongly believe in giving employees autonomy. My philosophy is to give employees broad goals and let them work out their tasks and objectives. It’s important to have complete trust in your staff as this empowers them to do the best they can and strive for excellence.
Remote working is set to continue and I see this as playing a much larger part in our lives. The office environment will definitely change and organisations like Epsilon have embraced this. This is why it’s important for staff to be able to be able to work independently and flexibly and have a good work-life balance which will ensure that they are able to accomplish the outcomes they set out at the start.
I also conduct a global call annually with all employees and we have a catch-up every six months to discuss how we’re tracking, what we can do better and what help we need.
- What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry?
With our investments in Australia beginning to show results, we will now be expanding our footprint across Asia in new markets such as Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, building out our infrastructure as well as teams to ensure we deliver what the market needs on all fronts – technology platforms and infrastructure, effective sales to help clients make the right decisions and client services to ensure they get the ROI from investments.
Our teams take centre stage in my mind. Investment in our employees will ensure partnerships for the long haul and those are the emotional connections we build that will further enable our clients to build their relationships with their consumers.
- If you could go back and change one career decision, what would it be?
Back in the early 2000s, I was looking for funding for a start-up that I had founded. While I eventually went with a venture capital firm for the funding, in hindsight, I should have gone with angel funding as that would have given me more flexibility in the direction that I took the company. Of course, life is lived forwards but understood in hindsight, so this learning I believe has helped me be the enabling and empowering leader I hope to be.
- What advice would you offer somebody aspiring to obtain a C-level position in your industry?
It’s important to find a mentor and someone who can give you guidance and coaching but also be able to provide constructive criticism where needed.
It’s also important to win the trust and respect of people that you work with and make sure that you keep to your commitments.
- What behaviour or personality trait do you most attribute your success to, and why?
My inner drive is passion and that gives me the desire to succeed. Passion pushes me to do better and strive for excellence.
As I interact with the world, humility and empathy help me remain grounded in everything I do.
- What’s your go-to productivity trick?
One constant feature in my day is the periodic alarms on my phone. They keep me on track as I tackle all my tasks and keep me productive.
I’m a big believer in focusing on one or two tasks that will make the most impact rather than trying to multi-task a variety of things.
- What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the next 12 months?
Since the onset of the pandemic, my respect for video conferencing has gone up three notches. While it’s not as good as being with someone in person, video conferencing has enabled Epsilon employees and clients to stay in touch regularly and allowed the company to operate in a business-as-usual mode, especially across the various geographies that we have. It has been a life-saver for us.
While fairly new, I see the Metaverse playing a much larger role in the next 12 to 24 months and this will dramatically change the way we live and interact with each other.Click below to share this article