Look forward to the challenge of treading uncharted waters while staying agile: PHD India's Vivek Toprani

In conversation with, Vivek Toprani, Group Head- Performance Media, PHD India, discussed how, despite being initially shy, he forged his path into the ever-evolving advertising industry, learned from his colleagues and mentors in his pursuit to keep venturing into the unknown, his hobbies and pass times, alternative career option and more

Shreya Negi
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Look forward to the challenge of treading uncharted waters while staying agile: PHD India's Vivek Toprani

Vivek Toprani

Being inquisitive about the adworld since the beginning of time, Vivek Toprani began his career by interning at a mid-size agency which gave him a front-row seat at the end-to-end execution of various campaigns. It was during his MBA in Marketing that Toprani discovered his passion for Digital Marketing. Today, he serves as the Group Head- Performance Media at PHD India

“I forayed into the field of Marketing with the motive of putting my creativity and critical thinking to good use and absorbed a wealth of knowledge by keeping an open mind. Media Strategy always caught my eye as I believe this is where the real magic happens – where difficult briefs are cracked, and roadmaps are laid out. It’s been an exciting journey, and I haven’t looked back since,” he said.

It was in the aftermath of him joining the adworld and putting his critical thinking to good use that Toprani won the High Chair trophy in the Special category of Best Strategy- Managing media in limited budget for Electrolux India Digital Launch campaign.

Giving a glimpse into his tryst with the adworld, he mentioned that while he is proud of his alma mater and his journey of continuous learning which transformed him from being a shy introvert to a fearless professional, when he started his career in the ad industry several newer challenges came his way before he discovered that he enjoyed treading uncharted waters while staying agile and keeping pace.

“This is exactly the kind of challenge I have always been looking for and, finally, I can say that I am in the big league!” he emphasised.

This made him recall that earlier on, he had a hesitant personality and that changed over time as he opened himself up to new experiences, decided to leave his comfort zone and dive into the unknown.

“I actively took part in college cultural forums and, later, assumed the role of the B-school President during my Masters. Today, I try to emulate the same attitude in my career – wherein I keep an open mind by taking on new challenges,” he pointed out.

Commenting on how he landed up at his first job in the adworld, he mentioned that it was via a walk-in interview wherein he neither had the required work experience nor the relevant technical abilities.

But nevertheless, it was when someone took a leap of faith in him that he could reach where he is today- thriving and making his mark in the agency world.

“I count my blessings each day and feel very fortunate to be where I am. My passion for replicating excellence every day is fuelled by the amazing work that people around me create and it is my inquisitiveness which helps me go that extra mile when it comes to my work,” he stated.

With this, he also highlighted that he has been fortunate enough to be blessed with amazing superiors and even more amazing colleagues and the many people who have been his mentors throughout this journey for he can never be thankful enough towards them.

That being said, what makes the world of media agencies so exhilarating for him is that every time he is exposed to a new opportunity, the child in him bounces with excitement because learning, to him, is a continuous journey which inspires him to explore new platforms, inventories, and industries- everything and anything that can add to his knowledge.

“I continue to venture into the unknown, unaware of what the future holds for me, because of this unquenchable thirst in me to keep learning. That is what sets my soul ablaze,” he said.

As for the one advice that he’d want to share with his younger self, Toprani stated that it would be to always be patient irrespective of the situation and never get too comfortable. This is because, he believes that patience always gets rewarded in some way or the other.

That being said, he also shares the viewpoint that given the dynamic nature of the advertising industry, getting comfortable should never be an option because the case in his opinion is that an individual learns the most when he or she is thrust outside of his or her comfort zone.

“It’s the fast-paced and challenging environment of the industry that keeps me motivated – never a dull moment,” he exclaimed.

But beyond the ad-thrills, what tickles his fancy during leisure hours even though he tries to disconnect himself for a bit, in his views, is watching movies for it triggers his imagination and be involved in social and community-building causes like welfare of underprivileged children and stray animals.

“I find it the most productive and relaxing way of spending my leisure time,” he said.

Sharing his views on what would he be doing if it wasn’t for advertising, he mentioned that he’d probably be a commercial artist in that case because of his knack for expressing himself through the medium of art.

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