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What a school play taught Shubhranshu Singh about marketing

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Shubhranshu Singh, Marketing Director, India & South Asia, Visa

In a talk with Impact – a media, marketing & advertising weekly from the exchange4media Group that celebrated its 8th Anniversary issue lately, Shubhranshu Singh, Marketing Director, India & South Asia, Visa, talks how participation in a drama act in school shaped his life…

” I cannot keep count of the number of formative influences, instances and experiences that have shaped me as a marketer. As a professional manager, I have purposefully been learning on the job throughout my time in various assignments and with different organizations. However, when I look back, it is my participation in a school play in the fifth standard that perhaps taught me very valuable lessons that have helped me throughout my career.

“I learnt that like much else in life, staging a one-act play or a skit is a project. It calls for an application of thought, meticulous preparation and diligent hard work. It is above all about team work, involving people of varying levels of skill and ability. Everyone has a part to play. Each element adds to the whole.

“I imbibed the lesson that all things that look perfect aren’t perfect to begin with. They get to be thus after an iterative process. It is a journey of continuing hurdles. To reach the destination requires collaboration and wilful interdependence.

“I saw for myself that the people behind the scenes handling sound, lighting, costumes, cues, make-up and yes (!) catering – are as important as the actors who mouth dialogues under the arclights.

“I was humbled to see that no matter how thorough the preparation, unexpected failures may happen. Lights will go off, stage props will fall down, lines will be forgotten, panic attacks will scramble the plot… so there is an element of good luck that allows things to come to fruition. Above all, it’s about enjoying the experience and valuing the applause.

“No wonder, my subsequent school and university life was full of extracurricular achievements and I retain my enthusiasm for theatre.”

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