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7 Questions on Leadership with Dipanwita Burman

Name: Dipanwita Burman

Title: Account Manager - India & Gulf Region

Organisation: & (Division of Info Edge India Limited)

Dipanwita Burman is Account Manager for India, U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait at and

Dipanwita is a Marketing and Analytics Leader with a cross-functional experience of 8 years in diverse industries - Internet ( and, Media (ABP News) Apparel & Fashion (Anita Dongre) FMCD (Reliance Retail Limited), Financial Services (Reliance Capital), Automobile (Volkswagen) & Education (Kotak Education Foundation).

Dipanwita has earned her Master of Business Administration from Institute of Technology & Management, Mumbai; Master of Economics from Christ University, Bangalore; & Bachelor of Political Science from St. Xavier's College, Kolkata.

She has also completed Executive Education Programmes from :-

• IIM Bangalore in "Business Analytics - The Science of Data Driven Decision Making"

• IIM Ahmedabad in "Customer Relationship Management"

The aforementioned Management Development Programmes (MDPs) were fully sponsored by Reliance Industries Limited, Mumbai as part of Learning & Development (L&D) trainings.

Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!

I hope Dipanwita's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Jonno White

1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?

Bridging Gender Pay Gap. Women are often paid less than men for the same job and marginalised in leadership roles which offer greater compensation and job security.

The World Economic Forum recently ranked India at 135 out of 146 countries in its Global Gender Gap GGG Index for 2022. According to the World Inequality Report 2022 estimates, men earn 82 per cent of the labour income in India, whereas women earn 18 per cent.

I as a Leader ensure that the women I hire in my team are compensated equally.

2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I joined Reliance Retail Limited, Mumbai Head Quarters as Assistant Manager (Marketing Analytics) through on-campus placement. My role was to lead multiple cross-functional teams of Business Analysts and DevOps Engineers. Also, I led vendors such as Nielsen, GfK and KANTAR IMRB to conduct category, brand and shopper researches.

That was the stepping stone of my Leadership Journey.

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I sync my wakeup time with sunrise. I kickstart my day by getting a good dose of morning sunlight by standing on the balcony of my 29th floor residence. Morning sunlight helps in Vitamin D production, regulates circadian rhythm, stimulates production of serotonin, regulates melatonin, triggers the release of endorphins and improves overall productivity.

After finishing my healthy and hearty breakfast prepared by my Doctor mom, it's time for team huddle. I allocate the KRA for the day to every team member via teleconferencing.

Then it's time to check emails and client calls.

Now it's time for balanced lunch. Post lunch I schedule Domain Training for my teammates. Followed by Team Huddle, client calls and wrap up for the day.

Evening time is for family. Before hitting the bed, I like to do Yoga and read a book.

4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?

Initially I used to do all our social media, ATL & BTL campaigns showing all our Product Categories. A deep dive into our POS Data showed seasonality of products. Now I do targeted campaigns showing specific product category. This has resulted in a significant spike in Marketing ROI.

Data-driven Leaders make better decisions.

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

"Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions" by Dan Ariely. In Chapter 7, Ariely speaks on The Problem of Procrastination and Self-control. In our cool state we make rational long-term decisions, whereas in our hot state we give in to immediate gratification and put off our decisions made in the cool state.

As leaders we must always practice self-control and avoid impulsive decision-making.

6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?

Never stop learning. As a leader of your organization, you need to make learning a part of your culture. Moreover, personal development is a way to guarantee us serenity from within.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?

One of the consistent Star Performer in my team was underperforming and exhausting all her leaves. I had set up an internal meeting along with HRBP to identify the root cause. Turned out that she was facing nervous breakdown since her wedding was called off. We decided to put her on sabbatical and suggested psychotherapy sessions with a Healthcare Professional. When she came back to work we were happy to see her old self.

Demonstrating empathy is what sets great leaders apart, which requires you to respond in a way that is understanding of someone's needs. In other words, great leaders aren't only understanding of other people's needs, they're respectful of them.

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