Koral Dasgupta | The Innovator 25 Asia-Pacific 2019

Koral Dasgupta



“Train the front-liners like they are leaders. They actually are”

As founder of #TellMeYourStory, Koral Dasgupta is encouraging people to write at a time when the practice is on a rapid decline, putting not only the art of writing at risk but also the millions of personal stories that simply disappear because they aren’t preserved in the written word. An author, speaker and communications professor, Dasgupta is a staunch believer that all of us have something to tell (or, as she says, “Every life has a story …Every voice is unique … Every person is a character), and is motivated by wanting to help generations capture their narratives. Her mantra is resonating. 90% of the authors who have posted short-stories, poems or excerpts of their work on #TellMeYourStory are not part of a creative industry, and are first-time publishers. In addition to work written by professionals, the site is populated with stories written by homemakers, seniors and kids in a special section for contributors younger than 18. Dasgupta has mentored people so that they can find their voices through their stories, and also serves as a content strategist for corporates.

How do you define innovation?
Every business is driven by demand and supply. Innovation is to bind the two with a need, following an unexpected but effective path, which communicates value while impacting masses.

What is the most innovative comms/marketing initiative you've seen in the last 12 months?
Spotify's ads with Anil Kapoor and Ishan Khattar. They communicate their offer while connecting to the contemporary father-son dynamics.

In your opinion, what brands and/or agencies are most innovative around PR and marketing?
Zomato, Kotak, Shaadi.com

Describe a moment in your career that you would consider 'innovative.'
Starting up #TellMeYourStory, an intellectual empowerment initiative to engage people in their own stories.

Who do you admire for his/her approach to innovation? 
Shah Rukh Khan, Ratan Tata

How do you get out of a creativity rut?
I read books, talk to senior citizens or converse with auto drivers and vegetable vendors and others from that strata. They have amazing solutions to the weirdest problems.

What advice would you give to the PR industry around embracing innovation?
Train the front-liners like they are leaders. They actually are.

What would you be doing if you weren't doing your current job?
I am an author when I am not in my current role.

Favorite book/movie/podcast/article that's not related to PR/marketing/business?
To Sir With Love/Anand

What's your favourite time of day and why?
Early in the morning. 4.30am. That is when I write my books.