28 Sep 2020 16:44 IST

Seek discomfort to keep growing: Myntra’s Marketing Head

At MICA, Harish Narayanan spoke of the importance of empathy and empowering team members for marketing growth

“Don’t be picky, be the best at whatever you are offered initially,” said Harish Narayanan, Chief Marketing Officer, Myntra, to the second-year students of MICA, Ahmedabad. In a session ‘Marketing lessons from P&G, Google, and Myntra,’ Narayanan spoke about the importance of empathy, optimised learning, empowering teams, and seeking discomfort over comfort. The virtual session was part of the ongoing MICA Leadership Series (MLS), aimed at bridging the industry-academia gap.

Speaking to the second-year students entering the workforce next year, he advised them not to be picky and said, “Be the best at whatever you are offered, it doesn’t matter what you do initially. Put all your efforts and resources into one thing and try to make the best of it. When you have the momentum, accelerate yourself, and do everything in your power to make it a success.”

Empathy first

Drawing from his first marketing experience with Unilever, he underlined the need to empathise and said, “Step into the shoes of not just your customer but all other stakeholders, including your boss and colleagues. It is imperative to understand the person, their perspective, and their outlook to make your output more relevant and relateable to the context.”

On the importance of learning, he said, “Optimisation in value will happen when you optimise your learning. The rarer your skill is, the more in demand it is. The way to increase this value is not by doing what everyone else is doing but by learning so much that you hone your craft and become sought-after and valued.”

Seek discomfort

As a part of the talk, he also delved into some of the significant learnings from his stint at globally reputed firms varying from FMCG to digital and finally to the fashion industry. Taking a leap from the FMCG sector to a technology sector was not a cakewalk for Narayanan. “Though the roles were challenging, I kept seeking discomfort. I have always chosen discomfort over comfort, and the new and uncomfortable stuff has always given me the best results,” he added.

He concluded the session by focusing on the dynamics of marketing and said, “The decision making mode has changed from process to people. I can solve only four problems, but if I train four more people, they can solve infinite problems. Taking the ‘people first’ approach has helped me in empowering my team at Myntra and helped me ensure that the right people are working on the right products.”