"Despite being in a fairly creative domain, not a day goes by when the learning from IMT Nagpur doesn't come handy"
It took Anuraag all of 5 months after Majoring in Psychology from Benaras Hindu University in 2005, to figure out what he wanted for himself. Over the years, Anuraag had cultivated an acute understanding of the human mind, not just by virtue of his education but also because of his gift of being a prolific and varied reader. He knew that he could achieve greater heights; all he needed was a bit of luck, and an MBA degree from a top-notch B-school.
Anuraag achieved this in quick time, and zeroed in on IMT Nagpur for his MBA. It was at IMT Nagpur that Anuraag realised that he stood out not just because of his Psychology background but also because of his remarkable communication skills. With the exposure to various avenues, an idea of what could be his career began rooting itself in his mind. It involved two words - 'marketing' and 'communications.'
"Most advertising agencies do not have an HR department as such, and even if they do, it's rather basic. Recruitments mostly happen because a lot of management graduates want to get into advertising. The advertising industry is not really manpower intensive. Only those who are genuinely interested and want to get into it find a place in this industry. As a result, placements in India are not on campus, but those who are interested just walk into the office and if there is a requirement, they are hired. Normally, you start as interns or trainees, typically without any pay, rather than as employees," says Anuraag.
And that is exactly where he himself started. In the summer of 2007, Anuraag landed a three-month internship with Indus Union Advertising, in his first year at IMT Nagpur. This might not seem like a huge achievement for a student of IMT Nagpur, but considering the field, it was quite a task. Once Anuraag got through, he ensured that he kept up a sustained contact till the tiny dots joined together and resulted in a job offer once he passed out of IMT Nagpur. Anuraag had learnt how to create his own little space, work hard on it and walk that extra mile without giving up.
"Get into it only if you are genuinely interested in it," is Anuraag's advice in a nutshell to his juniors at IMT Nagpur. Anuraag, who has been with Draft FCB Ulka for nearly 4 years, takes care of the prestigious Tata Docomo account. "Industry specifics aside, you've got to get the basics right; not just marketing but fundamental economics as well. Communicating with people has a lot to do with Psychology and Sociology. So you'll do well to get a hang of fundamentals of those as well. In advertising, everything you've learnt through your educational career comes handy. Come to advertising only if you are interested. From an outsider's perspective it looks very gruelling - with long hours, client servicing, etc. If you are truly interested you'll get through just fine, and enjoy it as well."
Anuraag feels that despite being in a fairly creative domain, not a day goes by when the learning from IMT Nagpur doesn't come in handy.
"Any new piece of communication that you handle, the dimensions are very different; new variables are taken into account, but the basics remain the same."
Of course, a lot has changed in his life since IMT Nagpur. But Anuraag wishes that a few things had stayed the same.
"Getting up at 1.30 in the afternoon," he grins, with a boyish twinkle in his eyes. "The liberal attitude towards attendance in classes really turned us truants into discussants. Of course, classrooms at IMT Nagpur were fun because I won the maximum number of arguments!"