Ad Land’s Young Guns: Mallika Ahluwalia, Brand Manager, Hunch Ventures

by Anna Munhin Mar 18, 2023 News
Ad Land’s Young Guns: Mallika Ahluwalia, Brand Manager, Hunch Ventures

Mallika Ahluwalia has been handling marketing strategy for lifestyle and luxury brands. She is a brand custodian and provides vendor management services as well as brand communication on all platforms. She ensures the right communication and talking points for the PR agency, as well as the right targeting for digital ads.

In conversation with Adgully, Mallika Ahluwalia, Brand Manager, Hunch, talks about marketing strategies and communication, journey with current venture, and more.

What kind of skills do you have?

There is a strong sense of brand ownership.

A strong marketing strategy and communication is dependent on knowing what your brand stands for. The style and tone of language of a brand is similar to that of a human. Work as a brand manager if you crack that.

How did you find your current job?

I finished my masters degree in marketing, PR and corporate communications. I went back to India and worked for the parent company. I was grateful to be a part of discussions with company founders and CEOs on the first day of my internship. I began my career at BLADE because it needed resources for social media. My scope of work slowly included all aspects of branding and marketing, just like any other start-up, after 4 months of internship. The reason why I am here is that I was able to manage and lead all aspects of marketing at that age. After almost 3 years in the industry, I have taken care of Hunch's marketing and lead their portfolio company, Guerilla Warfair, a social media and marketing firm that caters to Hunch's portfolio companies and other clients.

How have the icons in this field influenced you and your work?

There is a lot of inspiration to be found in a field like marketing. The teams that work together are something we all know about. I get inspiration from what we see everyday. Interesting social media campaigns and content from that one small restaurant without a big marketing team, that one marketing podcast that talks of Digital PR campaigns that worked in the UK, and anseo expert who talks of hacks for better ranking

The days of just one way of marketing are long gone. There are a lot of emerging disciplines. There's no shortage of learning from other people as a professional.

What are the five things you do on a daily basis?

  • I plan my travel for the day well in advance so that meetings can be scheduled accordingly. As someone living in a city, we’re well aware of the time spent in traffic congestion. So, I mostly take my work calls during my commute. That’s the only way time spent in traffic isn’t an entire waste.
  • Have A hit list! Basically a to-do list, I write down even the smallest of tasks that need to be done. The satisfaction of getting things off the list is unparalleled. Plus gives you a good overview of how your day is looking.
  • Timers on your phone: I have timers set on all my social media apps. Instagram is set for a daily limit of 1 hour. If I exceed that during the day itself, it is an indication of a slow work day, which helps me understand where I could have gone wrong and what to do better.
  • Work out: I started working out to lose my Covid weight, but over time I have realised that its benefits go much beyond. I doubt many things give the serotonin boost quite like a good workout does. Additionally, I feel it is important to keep your body moving. A sedentary lifestyle in the past has for sure affected my work with body aches, low immunity and lack of energy. I feel much more agile and better with some physical exercise in the day.
  • The 2-minute rule: I read somewhere that if a task does not take longer than 2 minutes to complete, do it then and there. It was an article for procrastinators. And somehow that helped me so much. I have been following it ever since and have seen a substantial difference.

Do you think you can make a living in this field?

The world has gone digital, social media platforms have taken over, media has moved online, and this is the future. New ways to grab people's attention are being found by businesses and publications. This is the industry to be in because it is all about views, going viral, and engagement. It will be a good mix of online + offline that will make it a viable field in the long term.

Do you know what it takes to succeed in a career?

It feels like work if you love your work. You need to work hard and be smart. To enjoy your work and give your best output, you have to love it. It is not full hearted. When it comes to hiring people in our team, we look for people who are passionate and willing to work. I save a lot of content for the brands I work with when I scroll through my late night social media accounts. Because of this interest and passion in the field of work, the brands we work with benefit from the fact that my profession subconsciously trickles down to my'me-time'.

What advice would you give to young people about entering this industry?

It's the same for people who want to be successful. Marketing professionals take inspiration from daily life, so if you love it, get into it only if you love it. Stay up to date on trends, take short courses, and be prepared to work. It isn't a typical 9-5 job and can't be treated that way. It's one of the most fun industries to be in.

In five years, where do you see yourself?

I have some plans that I want to make public for everyone to see. I want my agency to do great work, bring onboard amazing clients, and make great content. I want to achieve similar results for other brands.

Do you want to work with any organization in the future?

I would rather have my own organisation that adds more value to others.