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YOUNG believes in creating a culture that enhances creativity and innovation, creates delightful customer experiences and drives business growthÂ?.

By making collaborative generosity the norm, YOUNG – to unleash its creativity.

By making collaborative generosity the norm, YOUNG – to unleash its creativity.

True to any start-up, the first couple of years went into setting up infrastructure, people, technology etc. Not that any of these will cease to see any future upgrades, as change is the only constant. More importantly, with so many knowledge workers putting their heart and soul in the creative process, the time is ripe to create a culture at YOUNG.

The sole objective of creating this culture: “Enhance Creativity and Innovation, Create Delightful Customer Experiences and Drive Business Growth” giving a boost to employee morale and job satisfaction.

To take a straight dive, few things leaders and colleagues at YOUNG should acclimatize to:

  • Encourage a helping behavior
  •  Beyond simple workload sharing, collaborative help comes to the fore – Lending perspective, experience and expertise that improve the    quality and execution of ideas
  • Helpfulness will be actively nurtured in the organization. The trickiness of this management challenge is to increase a discretionary behavior that must be inspired, not forced
  • We believe our organization is full of knowledge workers working on complex problems. It too needs to boost the productive creativity. It will produce better outcomes for customers and provide a more attractive working environment for talent to be engaged in effective mutual help.

There are four keys to achieve these goals- beginning with a challenge to the people at the top of the organization.

1.  Leadership Conviction

Our leadership should explicitly be focused on helpfulness. It’s not only because the problems we solve require extreme creativity, it’s also because clients are more complicated. We must believe that the more complex the problem, the more help we need. And that’s the kind of stuff we’re getting asked to tackle, so we need to figure out how to have a culture where help is much, much more embedded. Essentially this is a conviction that many minds make bright work.

2. The Two Sides of the Helping Coin

There are going to be two sides for every helping encounter and both must be encouraged and supported. People initially might hesitate to extend such an invitation. Because most cultures have norms of reciprocity, getting help from others can put you in their debt. Even if you are unfazed by the prospect of a future request, you might worry about seeming weak or incompetent if you ask for assistance, especially from someone of higher status. The culture or openness or helpfulness makes a conscious effort to sweep that hesitation away. From the beginning of every project the team/planners/designers should be encouraged to assume that they’ll need help. A project team with a demanding client learns that it would be irresponsible not to ask a colleague who had a lot of experience with that client to review its work.

At YOUNG – There is no shame in asking for help.

People will cheerfully accept an all office email blast. In most cases, however asking everyone for help isn’t particularly effective. The help seeker must figure out whom to approach.

Mainly there are three characteristics: a) Competence (how well the person did his or her job). b) Trust (how comfortable the respondent is sharing thoughts & feelings with the other person) c) Accessibility (how easily the respondent could obtain help from the person). Everyone has their own area of accessibility. So in most cases trust and accessibility will matter much more than competency.

One has to be trustworthy to get to the top of someone’s helper list. We are sure as groups we will work much more effectively when members feel safe discussing mistakes and problems relating to cracking an idea or innovation or simple hooks or positioning lines. More importantly “there’s trust in the room that the intention of the person popping in is to help the project.”

Accessibility involves being available, willing and able to lend a hand.

3. Processes And Roles

It would be hard, we think, to achieve this simply by communicating the devised culture. 

When help is not seen as an integral part of the process, teams rush through their project and get quite close to the end before they realize “Wow, we completely missed something- which we wouldn’t have missed if we had stopped and asked for help”. 

We have to build the “value of help into a formal process and explicit roles”. HELP has to be embodied in the entire creative/design process. 

  •  Capturing the brief from the client.
  •  Creating a sharp brief
  •  Structured email blasts if required
  •  Create structured brain storming sessions.
  •  Brief to the creative team
  •  Teams seeking feedback on mapping ideas
  •  Formal internal design reviews
  •  Create “Design Community Leaders” (DLCs)
  •  Informal meetings between Project teams & DLCs
  •  Community meetings
  •  Focus groups management for research useful enhanced creativity
  •  Creating an eco-system with industry leaders/ external experts or specialist.
  •  Review client presentations internally
  •  Most Importantly “ Help those outside your own team”

 Each of the above will need expansion through well-defined processes that will act as benchmarks to achieve better creativity, efficiency and drive business growth.

4. Slack in the organization

Part of the case for building a help-friendly organization is that it produces greater efficiency. It may seem paradoxical, then, that one of the keys to collaborative help at YOUNG is allowing slack in the organization. A certain

amount of give in employees’ schedules pays off because; the accessibility of potential helpers is very important. It allows people to engage with one another’s work in unplanned ways.

Also we have to remember, helping is a discretionary behavior. A potential helper may or may not be able or be willing to respond to any given request hence we have deliberately not overloaded colleagues with tasks of your own. Notice the implication: Time that might be spent on billable client work is made available to facilitate ad hoc assistance. This strongly reinforces messages exhorting people to help their colleagues.

It’s an expensive commitment, given the opportunity cost, but it makes sense in light of the nature of creative/design work, with its complex, open-ended projects, and the role serendipity plays in it. “In the creative process, help is something you often don’t know you need until it’s there in front of you”. Over a period of time help should occur organically, as part of everyday life in the organization.

The Surprising Omission

Collaborative help may seem uncontroversial; it requires effective and appropriate mix of help. The helper or receiver has to be selective and be sure of the precise nature of help. It should not be mere delegation of assignments.

Also one cannot rely on fancy collaborative software tools or other technologies. Most pointedly financial incentives don’t play a prominent role in promoting the culture of help.

Our recruitment process should also eliminate the “I “, “me” and “myself” kind of candidates. During job interviews/day to day working, when people repeatedly say “I” not “we”, when recounting their accomplishments, one must get suspicious. But if they’re generous with giving credit and talk about how someone else was instrumental in their progress, we know they will give help as well as receive it.

Helpfulness will be considered in promotions as well. It is a value that everyone in a senior position is expected to model. But on a daily basis, the incentive to help comes from the simple gratitude it produces and the recognition of its worth.

We would recommend everyone to read a book on prosocial behavior, Give and Take, Adam Grant describes reserved a spot for people to post “Love messages” to those who had helped them. The helpers found this deeply rewarding.

We suspect the explicit incentives in the form of, say; bigger bonuses for the most helpful people might well give rise to competitive helping – rather than the oxymoron.

Rewards will be based on the assumption that people begin with prosocial motivations and are happy when their helping is recognized.

Our simple message is that the thing to beat is the best work you could have done without help- and that when the firm produces the best work possible for clients, all its employees do better. Subsequently, it enables business growth.

Great Ideas need a great environment: Young work culture

Young invests continually in maintaining a work environment that’s OPEN

• Optimistic
We understand that the greatest of ideas are fragile and therefore, require an optimistic approach from the organization to aid it’s development.
• Pragmatic
We ensure the enthusiasm and efforts generated through each work day get filtered through ground checks for relevancy to set goals.
• Enterprising
We encourage employees to think beyond roles, conventions and boundaries.
• Neutral
We make conscious efforts to keep influences and factors that adversely affect productivity and morale, to a minimum.

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Veena Kotian

Accounts Manager

Living life with the Sound Of Music soundtrack playing in the background, Veena is one of those few people who can say things like life is beautifull and power is within us and make it sound believable and inspiring. When not spreading smiles, she can be found sprawled on a secluded beach at a beautiful somewhere with a book, living by the famous motto: You get the drinks and all get the suntan lotion.

Swati Khandera

Account Officer

Swati likes to dance through life on the tune of Working Man, her magic fingers expertly playing with numbers, feeding her life-long affair with finance. When not busy trying to keep us away from her box full of change, she enjoys going to places, buying things, reading and music.

Sudhir Bajirao

Sales Executive

Sudhir is just passionate about his work and believes in hard work, he aims to be the very best in whatever he does. A compulsive foodie, loves to travel and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Sanjay Patil

Head - Client Solutions

Everyone close to Sanjay knows that the way to his heart is a little bit of affection and a lot of chicken. His gastronomic love affair takes him around the city searching for food to satisfy his soul. A fiercely loyal friend, he constantly strives to excel at work and otherwise.

Abhay Manjrekar

Client Servicing Executive

A young, energetic and extremely committed man, Abhay Manjrekar, is the secret of our energy. Loved by everyone at Young and appreciated for his dedication by clients, Abhay is always the ‘go to man’ whether it comes to everyday work or impossible deadlines. With an experience of over 5 years in handling various brands, Abhay always gives his hundred percent to everything. His understanding of creativity and brand strategies along with the flexibility to adopt multiple roles, make him a formidable team player who takes it all to the finishing line with commendable effort. Apart from advertising, loves to have a ball watching a game of cricket with buddies.

Sachin Pirkar

Office Assistant

While the rest of us sing a different tune, Sachin happily spends his day humming the latest Rakhi Sawant hit. With a smile that can light up a country, he the proud keeper of the offices playlist.

Ramdas Pawar

Office Assistant

Ramdas, with his crisp collection of shirts, is the man who will patiently wait with you late into the night. Everyday management aside, you can always count on him for everything from keeping you up to keeping you fed.

Baban Lokhande

Studio Executive

Baban likes the speed of his curveballs to be directly proportional to the speed of his bikes. However, when not indulging his need for speed, he dabbles in mellower things in life such as discovering new albums, action movies, and photography.

Sandeep Sinnarkar

Creative Head

Doing work that works, for the clients, the brands and the agency – that’s the simple mantra Sandeep Sinnarkar adheres to when he gets down to work. With an experience spanning 25 years, he has to his credit a diverse body of work across categories such as Automobiles, FMCG, Lubricants, Real Estate, Hospitality, Pharma and Medicare, Banking, Fashion and more. For more than a decade he drove communication and creative strategies at Lowe Lintas – a stint where his work many won accolades. He strives to produce work that’s founded in insights, aimed at building an emotional connect with the TG. And guess what, he does it equally well in English, Hindi and Marathi as well.

Amit Rane

Studio Executive

On an ideal Sunday, you will find Amit lounging in the grass humming along to old classics, as he waits for his turn to bat on the field. Also, if he had his way, he would drop everything and travel the world on his bike.

Jitendra Boricha

Business Head - Media Alliance & Sales​

Jitendra, along with being an expert media strategist, is also an avid learner. Armed with an MBA in marketing, he has previously lent his expertise to leading media establishments such as Times of India, Mid Day and Radio City. Needless to say, he brings vast knowledge and experience to the agency. At Young, he has taken up the challenge of creating and
marketing new business initiatives in the media vertical. Interested in fresh, innovative avenues to explore, heÂ?s always on a lookout for new and effective media offerings for our clients.

Anup Kotekar

Co-Founder & Director

It's a question that bogs down virtually every entity in the space of creative communication. How does a brand get itself to be seen, heard and remembered amidst all that media clutter? Young gets its answer to this one with Anup Kotekar, a senior media expert with top drawer experience in media marketing and management. Anup's career has had long and rewarding stopovers at the Times of India - where he was involved in hard-core media marketing for 12 years, WPP Â? where he set new benchmarks as the National Head (Sales) and Group M. Anup has also been a part of the core team which set up India's first retail media company Future Media Â? where he served as the Business Head for the audio visual media vertical.

Wilfred Fernandes

Founder & Director

Innovative thinking at Young begins right at the top. With a reputation for cutting through marketing clutter with fresh business approaches, Wilfred Fernandes keeps the momentum at Young going with initiatives that take it out of the league of its contemporaries. The founder of Young distributes his zeal and energies between overseeing the performance of all Young verticals, driving new business development, and thinking up big ideas to set Young apart from the crowd. Not really a surprising package to expect from a professional who has pioneered several innovations during his 14 year stint at the Bennett Coleman Company Group, the Times Property supplement being a fitting example. Wilfred has also been the Chief Marketing Officer at Ekta World.