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5 Minutes With Hemant Chauhan

25th Jun 2014

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Hemant comes from a hospitality background where he spent time all over the world opening and managing the operations of some very exclusive hotels. Hemant also spent time on a cruise ship that ventured as far as Alaska! These days, he's at Mindshare Singapore as Head of Digital - South East Asia & Australia, Team Unilever. We grabbed him for a quick few minutes on the phone to discuss his priorities and targets.

What are your digital / technology priorities for the year ahead?

Synergy… digital has always been seen as the alien platform. How we can make this feel more inclusive, as part of a larger marketing communications channel is really important. We need to create convergence and show that digital is not just working in silos.

Which brands or businesses are using digital / technology to its full potential and how?

Travel and hotel clients are really nailing this. As consumers we’re more likely to book via Expedia as opposed to a travel agent.

What emerging technologies or trends should people be aware of?

Wearable technology, though the implications are not fully understood yet. The impact will be great, as online and offline are merging. Looking forward to the future!

What is the importance of video in the digital landscape from your perspective?

Extremely important but having said that there are still certain reservations, a format in which video is cascaded into the digital platform is probably not the manner in which it’s consumed. Long form video and online consumption means people have very short attention spans. People must look at online consumption before the content in order to make sure it makes sense.

How are people’s roles and positions in companies changing with the emergence of digital and technology?

Lots of people are ‘ticking boxes’ hiring digital. The smarter organizations have digital people in the mix, but everyone needs to be digitized. The smarter ones are hiring evangelists, the less smart are hiring digital managers. Evangelists can marry digital online and offline and get the belief into the companies DNA.

What’s the best piece of innovation you have seen in recent time and why?

Campaign by Lifebuoy – Help Children Reach 5. The premise of the campaign is that a large proportion of children in need do not reach their 5th birthday because of diseases and other illnesses, and they want to stop that.

What are your strategies to stay ahead of the competition?

Be innovative at all times. Be able to understand what’s coming, understand implications and be able to implement in short period. Constantly evolve, there’s no exact science, as long as you’re open to evolving and constantly changing.

Favourite local food?

Fishhead curry!

Favourite place to travel?

Alaska – it’s a nice getaway, to get away from everything. It’s very serene… and I like watching whales!