Shweta Shukla | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2017
Charting the future of public relations

2017 Innovator 25 AP - Shweta ShuklaThe Innovator 25:

Shweta Shukla

Director - Sustainable Business & Communications

Unilever 
Singapore

“Work backwards from the problem and think of all (im)possibilities without any restrictions”

Shweta Shukla’s career reflects the considerable strides being made by FMCG giants to better integrate business, brands and sustainability. After beginning her career as an intern at Unilever India, Shukla rose to lead external relations for P&G across India and South Asia, in the process helping to develop memorable product marketing campaigns for Gillette and, perhaps more importantly, the Shikshaa multi-brand cause-related marketing program that is now in its 11th year. Since then, Shukla has exhibited a flair for sustainable business and brand purpose. At Kimberly Clark, for example, she oversaw the ‘Toilets Change Lives’ effort, and as Unilever’s sustainable business and communications head in Singapore, she now plays a key role at a company that has placed purpose at the centre of its business strategy.

How do you define innovation?
Thinking and doing what's never been done before — could be the same thing differently or an entirely new way!   

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider ‘innovative.’
Conceptualizing and leading a multi-stakeholder/ influencer campaign to drive advocacy for lower taxes on sanitary napkins & diapers as ‘essentials’ of health & hygiene and getting the Governments to reduce manufacturing & sales tax on both.

In what area of marketing/PR do you see the most innovation?
Content & creative. 

How would you describe the communications/PR industry’s level of innovation?
About the same as other marketing disciplines.

Where do you see the greatest opportunity for marketing & PR to become more innovative?
Social media & online marketing.

Who most influences how innovative a brand’s marketing/PR is?
CMO

Who is your mentor and why?
I have several formal and informal mentors from my previous jobs and family members.

How do you find inspiration?
From great to ordinary people...Nelson Mandela's apartheid campaign to my children's new world ideas! 

What is your advice for people seeking to bring new ideas and ways of doing things to their organizations?
To work backwards from the problem and think of all (im)possibilities without any restrictions! 

In your opinion, what’s the most innovative place in the world?
Level 3 Foundry of Unilever

What’s your favorite time of day and why?
Early morning runs by the bay when I get the most ideas buzzing in my head!