Bianca Ghose | The Innovator 25 Asia Pacific 2018
Charting the future of public relations
Innovator 25 AP Bianca Ghose

Bianca Ghose

Chief Storyteller

Wipro
New Delhi/Bangalore

“Innovation happens when you give yourself the permission to experiment, to make change, to try something new”

As the first chief storyteller for Wipro, Bianca Ghose works at the intersection of marketing, business, leadership and influencer communications to craft and tell the Indian software giant’s story to positively impact market perceptions and improve brand permissions. Ghose works with Wipro’s executive leadership on storytelling opportunities and thought leadership, leading the company’s ‘owned’ content efforts, which include business and corporate content, organic and paid social media campaigns, Wipro’s thought leadership platform ‘WOOL’ and global content partnerships. She has also championed the shift to creative and visual storytelling across owned digital platforms and customer touchpoints. Prior to joining Wipro in 2017, Ghose was global content head for HCL Technologies, after a stint at Weber Shandwick. A journalist at heart, Ghose spent several years in senior editorial roles at NDTV, Thomson Reuters and CNBC TV18.

How do you define innovation?
Innovation happens when you give yourself the permission to experiment, to make change, to try something new. New, but RELEVANT. Spend time understanding your business and its challenges, ask questions beyond your remit, and you will be able to identify a gap in the wall. Then have the courage to experiment, to find a solution / a product or a campaign to address that gap. Innovation is finding a creative solution to a problem people didn’t know they had.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
GE's Unseen Stars campaign, as part of its Balance the Equation initiative.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
The usual suspects, like Nike, Apple etc. But there are now so many local brands from India and Asia that are doing — piecemeal — but excellent work on the brand and PR side.

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Can't possibly give specifics, but one of the client pitches I led in 2013 for a global beverage giant was so well received that the agency 'almost' won the pitch. Why not? Agency client conflict. I had brought to life a routine corporate development using an innovative storytelling approach, and showed real-time how, and why, it would work. One of my best pieces of work to date.

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
I delegate, turn off email, and spend a day of complete detachment from ongoing work, doing something new, something possibly completely unrelated to work. These are not pre-planned, elaborate downtimes, and these happen usually during scheduled work travels. Traveling clears my mind. I mostly just need some time, in a new surrounding to think afresh.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
New ideas don't flourish in an old bottle. The business landscape has turned on its head, which necessitates that brands and agencies look at – and pursue – new ways of winning. And for any brand or team or campaign to win differently, you must accept change and new ways of working.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
Oh I love my job, and wouldn’t dream of being in a different role! This is a great time to be a marketer and a communications consultant. My team and I can break new ground every day, we can influence perceptions, we can impact the very social fabric of our industry. I also get to meet many interesting people thanks to my work engagements and travels! Of course, there are a hundred other things that I want to do/learn/accomplish, but those are personal growth aspirations, that I hope will eventually add more nuance to what I bring to work and to my teams everyday.

Favorite book/movie/podcast/article that's not related to PR/marketing/business?
Tough to choose. I used to read a lot of fiction, but that's mostly replaced by news and current affairs now – ‘on-the-go’ digital information and sometimes editorials / analyses. I listen to various kinds of podcasts when I’m traveling. Podcasts are still so effective!

What's your favourite time of day and why?
Late at night, the hour or so post dinner and before sleep. Quiet nights, post work, with dimmed lights and fading sounds from the traffic out somewhere are great for me to evaluate, plan, dream in. It feeds my imagination.