adobo SERIES: Transformation and quick reframing according to VMLY&R Asia’s CEO, Tripti Lochan

MANILA, PHILIPPINES— As part our International Women’s Month tribute in adobo magazine, we talked to ad agency leaders, of which many are women, to tell us how they view the future of the ad industry: what’s the most exciting emerging area, the risk and threats to the industry, and their fearless predictions.

A barometer and dip stick into the ad business as seen from remarkable women leaders, after traversing their business through a full year in lockdown due to the pandemic. Let us hear what they have to say. #adoboSheCreativeNetwork

For Tripti Lochan, CEO at VMLY&R Asia, leapfrogging transformation is the permanent constant from hereon. Beyond this, experience remains a stronghold for brands


What is the most exciting emerging area or skill that agency leaders are looking for today?

I think agility and adaptability are extremely important, though they are more attitudes than skills. The world shifted gears last year and those who drove the industry forward are the ones who were able to adapt quickly to the new ways of working, and deliver against the new parameters we were all seeing.

It’s agility of mindset—that is, how quickly can you reframe briefs to fit what consumers are looking for today, and adaptability of character—can you take on new things which you perhaps didn’t need to do before, and do so with passion and drive to learn and excel? Any professional who has these will learn to survive and thrive in this ever changing industry.

What are the pivots that agencies need to make it in the next few years?

The pandemic has shown us the possibilities of what we never thought possible. Shift to digital is permanent, leapfrogging transformation is permanent, but experience is going to still be the cornerstone of a brand’s connect with consumers. Experience can be digital or unboxing in their homes – or physical in environments that we will be able to experience again.

What is the biggest risk or threat that the industry and ad people are facing?

More a challenge than a risk, is that consumers are becoming increasingly more aware, smarter and more savvy. It takes a brave and fast moving brand to stay ahead of the game, use data in a smart way to build an authentic connection and create loyalty that lasts.

At the heart of this is the experience that customers go through in their interaction with a brand, and more and more, we’re seeing that brands who are not able to sustain an authentic, genuine experience, who don’t build brand purpose into their ethos, have the hardest time connecting with their audience. This brings a fun new challenge for the industry, and allows us to expand our creative thinking into using a brand platform to make an impact, rather than just raising awareness as it used to be in the past.

What is your fearless prediction about the ad industry’s future an evolution in the next 10 years?

We’re hurtling towards transformation and consolidation. Clients no longer want to work with 5 agencies working in silo, they want a cohesive strategic plan that will propel their business forward. Over the next 10 years I believe that advertising and marketing will become more closely integrated into business planning and solution. You’re already started to see it in part today, where for example, VMLY&R is a business partner to clients, solving business problems not communication issues. In 10 years this transformation will be complete and agencies will need to adapt or shut down.

Do you have any advice for those young talents who want to enter the field?

There are very few jobs in the world where you can come to work and be working on a different challenge every single day. Our industry is one such place. You get to use your creativity, logic, reasoning, your mind in ways that very few careers allow you to. Bring your passion, your curiosity to work. Bring your ideas. Bring your energy. Bring your desire to change the status quo. And stay resilient – keep at it. Then watch the fun unfold.

About Tripti Lochan

Tripti is responsible for the strategic vision, growth and operations of VMLY&R across Asia. She has been the driving force behind the company’s expanded capabilities in business transformation, steering offices to becoming award-winning agencies in their geographies. Regularly sought for opinion on all matters digital, Tripti regularly judges award shows and speaks at a number of conferences. She is on VMLY&R’s Global Executive Leadership Team and the board of VMLY&R Singapore.

Beyond this, Tripti also finds time for her passion point: sustainability. She is an advisor for Global Initiatives, a company dedicated to driving awareness of some of the biggest sustainability challenges facing the world today.

A graduate from the Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra with a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Electrical and Electronics, Tripti spends her free time with her husband, and their two children.  She enjoys vipassana, reading, running and yoga.

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