+91-22-61064600 | info@zistaeducation.com

Navigating Careers in Advertising

Navigating Careers in Advertising

Welcome to the latest episode of The Zista Podcast. Today, we’re exploring the challenging yet rewarding domain of food startups, with a special focus on the Quick Service Restaurant sector. It’s about more than just delicious food—it’s about business acumen, determination, and innovation.

We’re joined by Biraja Rout, founder of Biggie’s Burger. From its initial days as a small kiosk to now being a prominent name across several cities in India, his story offers a first-hand look at the challenges and triumphs of the food business. In our conversation, we’ll explore Biraja’s inspiration, the growth of Biggies Burger, and the nuances of making a successful transition from one industry to another.

If you’ve ever wondered about the real grind behind the glamor of starting a food business, this episode is your backstage pass.

Welcome to a new episode of The Zista Podcast! Today, we’re exploring the dynamic world of advertising, focusing on its diverse roles and the opportunities it offers. Our goal is to give listeners the insights they need to navigate effectively through the ever-changing landscape of advertising. We have the pleasure of hosting Vigyan Verma, an expert with 25 years in the field, covering domains such as brand management, advertising, digital marketing, and business development.

Vigyan’s vast experience spans multiple sectors, and he has played crucial roles in enhancing various brands, making his insights essential for a wide range of listeners. His journey is marked by significant contributions in renowned organizations and entrepreneurial pursuits, reflecting his versatile approach to the industry.

In this conversation, we’ll explore the core aspects of advertising, discuss different career paths, essential skills, and evolving trends. Vigyan will share practical advice and stories, helping those eager to succeed in this field. Whether you’re starting or looking to expand your knowledge in advertising, this episode offers valuable insights and experiences. So, tune in as we, along with Vigyan Verma, navigate the exciting world of advertising on The Zista Podcast!

Welcome to a new episode of The Zista Podcast! Today, we’re focusing on the extensive and vibrant field of advertising, uncovering its varied roles and the paths it opens. Our goal is to present crucial insights that can aid listeners in traversing the ever-evolving advertising environment effectively. We are joined by Vigyan Verma, a seasoned professional with 25 years of experience, who has enriched brands across domains like brand management, advertising, digital marketing, and business development in industries ranging from luxury to consumer technology.

Vigyan has contributed to the growth of notable brands Van Heusen, Nike, Britannia, Acer and Black Dog and held pivotal roles in prestigious organizations like JWT, Contract Advertising and DDB Mudra. His journey also features entrepreneurial endeavors, showcasing his diverse approach to the industry, including his consultancy, The Bottom Line, which emphasizes his multifaceted expertise.

This episode will explore the essence of advertising, covering varied career paths, essential skills, and the latest trends with Vigyan offering valuable advice and illuminating anecdotes for those keen to thrive in this dynamic sector.

Whether you’re new to advertising or aiming to enhance your existing knowledge, this episode promises to be a source of substantial insights and inspiring narratives. Join us and Vigyan Verma as we unravel the world of advertising on The Zista Podcast!



  • Explore different fields and reflect on your interests and inclinations. Early interests and fascinations can be indicators of your true calling.
  • Advertising offers diverse streams including Conventional Advertising, Digital Marketing, Media Agencies, and Content Production, each requiring different skill sets and offering unique roles and paths.
  • Success in advertising requires an external orientation and an ability to understand and prioritize the consumer’s perspective over one’s own.
  • Articulating thoughts effectively through words or expressions is vital. Being able to communicate observations and perspectives in a meaningful way is crucial in advertising.
  • Acknowledge that, despite the evolving mediums and technologies, the fundamental goal of advertising—to influence consumer decisions—remains constant.



Q1: What drew you to the field of advertising, and can you share insights for those currently exploring and evaluating diverse career paths?

A: Vigyan reveals that the clarity about one’s professional journey often unveils itself over time. In the early phases, individuals often find themselves exploring diverse avenues, contemplating fields such as financial planning, medicine, data science, and others. It is during these phases of exploration that Vigyan encourages introspection, to understand one’s true interests and inclinations. He emphasizes the need to reflect on one’s drives; whether one aspires to contribute to science, innovate a groundbreaking product, or delve into intensive research, each represents a distinct pathway of pursuit.

Vigyan, reflecting on his own journey, shares that his childhood interests were early indicators of his inclination towards advertising. He recalls being captivated by brands, advertising snippets, and packaging designs. These early impressions, he believes, are signs of a natural inclination towards the world of brands and communication and warrant deeper exploration and consideration. He also recognizes the possibility of having multiple interests and the accompanying confusion it may bring. He stresses the importance of understanding whether these interests are intuitive, resonate genuinely with one’s core, or are fleeting fascinations.

Engaging in discussions, having conversations, and reflective thinking are crucial in identifying one’s true calling, Vigyan states. He narrates his own progression, where after acquiring an MBA in marketing, he entered the world of brands and brand building. Despite his first job being unrelated to branding and advertising, he soon transitioned into the advertising domain. Vigyan’s narrative highlights the essence of exploring, questioning, and eventually pinpointing the career that aligns most authentically with one’s inherent passions and inclinations.


Q2: What are the different roles and career trajectories available within the advertising industry? How can students identify what is a good fit for their skill sets and interests?

A: Vigyan describes advertising as a field that is diverse and continually evolving, offering different zones or streams, each with its unique roles and paths. He stresses that the insights provided might evolve as the field does.

The first stream Vigyan identifies is Conventional Advertising, comprising large, seasoned agencies with a wealth of knowledge and experience, shaping and servicing major brands like Pepsi or Nike. This stream allows for holistic perspectives on big brands, involving strategic content creation and extensive brand positioning, covering diverse forms like packaging, design, television, digital, and social media. It’s characterized by grand-level thinking and extensive execution, providing a solid foundation in the advertising sector.

The second stream is Digital Marketing, an expansive and active domain focusing on digital content creation and handling, such as advertising campaigns on various platforms like Google and Instagram, website content development, mobile app creation, and SEO. This dynamic and evolving field allows for ample experimentation but requires constant adaptability and learning, sometimes demanding technical skills, especially when delving into website or app development aspects.

Thirdly, Vigyan highlights the Media Agencies stream, where the focus is on optimizing brand investment through strategic media placements. Roles in this stream necessitate a robust understanding of numbers and strong negotiation skills, ensuring optimal investment returns and spotting valuable opportunities for brand promotion.

Lastly, the fourth stream involves Content Production, focusing on producing diverse content forms like film, commercial videos, and animation. While AI has a role in content generation, this stream also necessitates specific skill sets for producing content that AI cannot create, like certain commercials or YouTube videos. People in this stream work closely with advertising agencies but are primarily involved in executing visions conceived by the content teams at agencies or by clients.

In summary, the advertising field offers varied career paths ranging from conventional advertising to digital agencies, media agencies, and content creation agencies, each with distinct roles, responsibilities, and requisite skill sets, allowing individuals to find a niche aligning with their interests and capabilities.

Q3. What skills and qualities do students need to be successful in the field of advertising?

A: Vigyan advises that to succeed in advertising, including marketing, individuals should be externally oriented, meaning they should be tuned in to the environment around them, absorbing what’s happening in the consumer world, being interested in diverse topics, and having a broad array of interests. This external orientation is crucial, as advertising requires understanding and prioritizing the consumer’s perspective over one’s own. It involves being perceptive and responsive to trends, preferences, and brand interactions, rather than being self-focused. It’s not about being an extrovert but having an interest in others and the external world.

The second fundamental aspect is the ability to bring thoughts to life through words or expressions, possessing a perspective and articulating it effectively. This means being perceptive and able to communicate observations in a meaningful way.

Additionally, a successful individual in advertising should be comfortable dealing with novelty and uncertainty. The industry is dynamic, with changing requirements and little streamlining, demanding the ability to manage chaos and adapt quickly, often with limited resources. The work can be unpredictable, requiring on-the-go learning, and sometimes, there might not be much initial help, but figuring out one’s way is crucial.

Vigyan also emphasizes the importance of enjoying the work, despite its demanding and unpredictable nature. Even in situations, like working at 3 a.m. on a Saturday, it’s essential to prefer this job over others.

Interpersonal relationships play a crucial role as well. Navigating within an agency, engaging with clients, and managing external stakes require strong interpersonal skills. Being externally oriented and observant while having the resilience to handle surprises is crucial. Mistakes are inevitable, and it’s vital to learn from them and pass on the knowledge acquired over time.

In summary, to thrive in advertising, one needs to be externally oriented, articulate, adaptable, enjoy the demanding nature of the work, have strong interpersonal skills, and be resilient, learning from every experience.

Q4: What are some of the emerging trends in advertising? How can students adapt to advancements like AI?

A: Vigyan stresses the importance of staying engaged with technological advancements and maintaining an awareness of external developments, as technology is more accessible and familiar nowadays. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining a consumer-oriented perspective, especially in an environment where conversations are dominated by developments in AI and concerns about its impact on employment and career opportunities.

Vigyan suggests viewing AI as a tool rather than a threat, focusing on the unique value that individuals can bring to roles that AI can’t replicate. Human skills like teamwork, inspiration, relationship building, and motivating others are aspects that AI lacks. Despite the advancements in AI, critical functions and the need for intelligent prompts still require human intervention.

It is vital to stay updated with technology, consider it as an ally, and be prepared to interact with it as creators, participants, or users in the technological field. Vigyan encourages acquiring as much knowledge as possible about new technologies, understanding their essence, and anticipating their future developments, even if one cannot grasp every detail. In essence, embracing and leveraging emerging technologies and trends are crucial in preparing for and navigating through the evolving landscape of advertising.

Q5: Can you share an anecdote or lesson that has been instrumental in your advertising journey?

A: Vigyan articulates his journey, depicting a career span that transitioned through different phases of media evolution, from the pre-Internet era to the burgeoning of digital platforms. He started when the predominant channel was Doordarshan, saw the inception of cable, the opening of digital in the mid-2000s, and the latest rapid advancements.

He recalls the intrinsic intrigue of experiencing the media’s evolutionary journey, mentioning that the crux of advertising—conveying a compelling concept to consumers—remains unchanged, irrespective of the medium’s transformation. The modalities may differ, but the underlying essence of influencing decisions stays constant. For instance, the strategies may have evolved to interventions like pop-ups on digital interfaces, but the end goal to influence remains.


Vigyan reminisces about an episode early in his career, during which his agency was tasked with pitching for Internet services in a time when the concept of the Internet was largely unknown in India. This required intensive learning and external consultations to grasp the Internet’s global landscape.

Vigyan’s experiences underscore the importance of adaptability and continuous learning, highlighting that while mediums and technologies will continue to evolve, the core principles of advertising and the essence of influencing decisions, remain constant. The readiness to learn swiftly and adapt to the unknowns is crucial, while embracing changes, and leveraging available resources optimally.

Podcast Host: Amit Ahuja, Associate Director, Communications & Digital, Zista Education
Podcast Guest: Vigyan Verma, Founder, The Bottom Line
Video & Audio Editing: Raj Soni, Communications Associate, Zista Education
Podcast Manager: Russel Aldridge, Sr. Manager, Creative & Digital, Zista Education
Podcast Transcript: Tanya Kakka, Freelance Copywriter