Mayuri Nikumbh: Be your own cheerleader, the world will follow

Mayuri Nikumbh says organisations can create platforms that enable initiative and conversations around equitable approach to work

26 May 2021 | By PrintWeek Team

Mayuri Nikumbh, head of design, Conran Design Group

A practice to make working wonderful for women 
A simple and fair metric all organisations can adhere to is to put talent before gender. Also, with changing workplace dynamics, it is imperative to focus on how goals are accomplished rather than who is fulfilling them. Organisations can create platforms that enable initiative and conversations around equitable approach to work.

As part of the Havas Group, I am proud to mention ‘Women Who Inspire’, our gender equality programme that works towards recognising and celebrating the work women employees across the group are doing. The objective of the programme is to bring about a cultural transformation and mindset shift that will help us to build a diverse workforce.

If you were to start again
I believe what I am today is the sum total of all my past experiences and learnings, so I seldom think about what if. However, I wish I had trusted my own instincts more. While I have taken my crests and troughs in equal stride, there were distinct moments where I ought to have had more faith in my version of myself rather than others’ versions of me. Sometimes we undermine our capabilities and hold back when we can be present and make a difference in our full capacity.

Most difficult moment for you
I made a hard choice last year to move from a comfortably established position in my previous organisation to an entirely new set up, organisation and city. Given the perilously unpredictable times we live and work in, it was a risky move. But as with all my journeys, I had the wholehearted support of family, friends and ex-colleagues. Given my innate instinct to swim against the tide, and a deep-seated hunger to learn and grow by taking on newer challenges, I’m glad I took this leap of faith.

One mantra for every new woman employee
I would urge every woman to invest in herself emotionally and physically, regardless of their present situation in life and to do so without any guilt. It is vital to put yourself first at times and notice how the environment around responds in a positive way. It enables one to claim one’s place, and command respect and appreciation justly due. Be your own cheerleader, the world will follow.

One underestimated technology with a great future 
The world is becoming increasingly conscious of what they consume and its impact on the environment. Brands are shifting their narratives while some are even being born on the pillars of collective consciousness. One reason the brands are responding swiftly is because consumers are willing to look away from conventional brand benefits and are investing in newer and bolder experimental offerings.

As a designer who helps bridge the gap between brands and consumers, I have always felt a huge chasm between what printers and convertors can offer to make this purpose-driven narrative a holistic one. Their wishes notwithstanding, cost is a barrier for brands in adapting environment-friendly solutions. We need more viable solutions as consumers are willing to pay a premium for meaningful outcomes that walk the talk.

Brands that use print-packaging the best

A packaging execution I have come to admire is the ingenious human story-telling on Amazon boxes. Something as ubiquitous as the brown carrier package ordinarily fails to retain the attention of its receiver. But the Amazon StoryBoxes have managed to build human-focus narratives that made me engage with it longer than the product inside.

Not only do they tell a story, but they brilliantly weave technology without disrupting the visual portraiture. It is an impactful example of integrating empathy, interest and technology in the most unexpected and economic way.