Ashish Kaul : Manager, Corporate Communications,ASC Enterprises Ltd


Educational Experience

For me there never was a greater qualification than the bruises on the cricket field, badminton court and cycling track, but for the record I did my schooling from St. Joseph's Convent, Baramulla in Kashmir.

Then I did Hotel Management with specialization in Advertising & Marketing from IHM Panipat, B.A from Kurukshetra University, Diploma in Advertising & Public Relations from Welingkar's Management Development Institute and also a Management Development Programme in Corporate Communications from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Lucknow !!!

Well actually reading my qualifications today makes me a little nervous because I (my parents included) never thought I would go beyond the 12th standard the way I was playing and playing hard (No pun intended).

Professional Experience

In a career spanning about 10 years I have been exposed to telecom, satellite infrastructure, chemicals & petrochemicals, media and IT sector and well versed with corporate brand and product development, media management, advertising (creative), social communications, marketing communications (brochures, corporate films etc. etc.), event management and specialised internal communications (not just a newsletter or a house journal).

Prior to ASC, I was Assistant Manager Corporate Communications for IN Network comprising CVO Channel, IN Mumbai Channel and INCablenet. I also extended my services to Gulf Oil (all Hinduja Group promoted ventures). Our Division was instrumental in establishing CVO as the first and the largest cable delivered movie channel and the IN Channels as city specific cable channels in India.

I was also instrumental in converting the then Corporate Communications Division at IN Network into a profit center, extending services to Hinduja Group Companies.

Apart from media management on a national and international level, I have been associated with event management (on behalf of my organizations) of national and international importance: Chemtech 95; Euromoney Expo' 95 in London, Smita Patil Foundation's International Film Festival-96, launch of M. F. Hussain's calendar featuring a series of paintings on Indian Womanhood, Miss Delhi and Miss Mumbai events to name a few.

I was instrumental in launching a social communications programme in Uttar Pradesh promoting social forestry schemes and rural medical programmes on behalf of my first employer SVC Superchem.

The stall designs conceived by me in the prestigious Convergence 2000 and Convergence 2001 exhibitions held in Delhi won ASC Enterprises "the Best Stall Design Award" for two consecutive years.

I was the first recipient of the prestigious "Corporate Communications Manager of the Year 2001 Award" constituted by Media Meet & Tribune Group of Publications for outstanding work as the PR ambassador of a private company.

I would also like to believe that it is a matter of great honour and prestige to have been invited by Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad to conduct a Public Relations workshop for its students, especially for a person with an ordinary exterior and ordinary capabilities.

I was delighted when I came to know that my submission for copyright for "Tuneer" a Computer based Data Manager for Public Relations professionals was accepted.

Job Profile

At present I manage corporate communications for ASC Enterprises Limited ( - a multi-venture enterprise, promoted by Essel Group.

Broadly, external and internal corporate communications is my responsibility and specifically my present brief is to establish the "Agrani " brand of ASC Group as the front-runner in private satellite infrastructure, IT retailing and terrestrial wireless services through media and marketing communications.

Corporate Communications as career choice

Well, my Dad who recently retired, as a senior administrative officer and still believes that no career is better than 'Sarkari' and my Uncle, a distinguished serving General in the Indian Army still believes that no career is better than the one in uniform.

Between the two extreme influences on my life I had to choose what I wanted to do and what I 'can'. Cricket was a second nature but like a nice mama's boy I gave up the idea, and to be a space scientist or an Astronaut was beyond my capabilities.

No, I am not a drifter into this profession, this is something I have a natural ability for and my foray into it was a well thought move. I enjoy the 'creative & strategic' nature of corporate communications. Actually this is not a profession for me but something that I like doing.

Off course, one does hear and feel that corporate communications is all set to topple 'advertising' as a primary vehicle for brand building and it does make me feel good.

Current corporate communications scenario:

Businesses globally have seen a radical shift during the last two decades from a manufacturing-led approach to a marketing-driven approach.

Consumers no longer buy 'Products'. Consumers buy 'brands' and the 'emotional / intangible' values attached to them. In an age of industry consolidation, deregulation, mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs, the challenges of 'corporate communications management' are growing exponentially. India and what surrounds it cannot be an exception to this.

Managing image today ranks among the most critical and complex tasks facing CEOs/senior executives. Organisations today are always wondering how they can create and maintain a corporate reputation that effectively addresses key audiences, simultaneously supporting the marketing of its products and services, enhancing the value of company stock and strengthening the sense of corporate culture among their employees.

The Indian response so far has been 'advertising' but following a global trend advertising budgets too have taken a beating in India for quite sometime now. Agencies that once mushroomed on the 15 per cent agenda are trying to close shop.

On the other hand there has been a geometric growth of PR agencies. Unfortunately Indian CEOs relied on advertising to create brands not realizing that advertising, by nature, is creative and for this quality it does win awards. Today a reader is 'bombarded' with news, every minute, every moment of his life. Through emails, virtual newspapers, web-casting of events, live coverage on TV, magazines, special supplements and issues; the vehicles of communications are aggressively increasing everyday and 'reaching out to the masses' and occupying 'mind space'.

Today a Bill Gates make more news, effective and credible news, than most of advertising campaigns put together and that too even before his product actually hits the market. In such cases one has to acknowledge that 'advertising' only plays a secondary role. Indian CEOs and senior executives didn't realize that brand building (corporate or product) is a combination of many factors such as employee relations, financial communications, media management, event management, advertising, social communications, government liaison and many more, all put together and not in isolation.

I am sure someday the 'corporate' world will wake up to realize that advertising-led activities are driven by 'creative' and are a fast way to create limited awareness but don't necessarily build brands. Several other initiatives, inlcuding communications, have to work in sync to achieve brand building.

Five years from now

It is unfortunate that people in this industry do not dare to dream and if anyone dares to dream he keeps it packed under his pillow for the fear of failure and this is precisely what I don't want to do.

This may sound very clich?d but I want to keep on trying new things till the very end and I am ready to fail as many times that it takes, because in the end I know I will succeed.

Given a chance.... I don't want to spend time on a beach guzzling beer or a hill station with my pets, instead I would want to work for the betterment of thousands and thousands of Kashmiri families who are merely eking out an existence out of torn tents and inhuman conditions in various refugee camps in the country.

I want to work for a community that has a coveted place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only community in the world with 100% literacy rate but a community on the verge of extinction.


Besides visiting places of historical and archeological importance and being Dennis the Menace at home I love watching everything that Sean Connery and Michael Douglas do on the screen (pun intended).

My family is sick of having to bear watching Golmal, Chotti Si Baat, Jane Bhi Do Yaro and many more films of this genre again and again and again? Hello !!! Did you hear me saying I am a good cook ???

Sun Sign

Trust me I am yet to find out! My Hindu horoscope says I am a rare combination of Arian arrogance and Piscean humility but for official records it is Gemini !!

My idea of enjoyment

It gives me an amazing thrill and satisfaction if I am able to bring a smile on everyone around me and make them happy. In the words of Ghulam Ali - "Ghar sae masjid hae bahut door chalo yu karle, kise roote hue bachche ko hasaya jaye."

What I hate most is PAPER WORK !!!!! Hellooo is 'someone' listening ?????

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