Keep distance but practise virtual proximity: Ashish Bhasin

?OUR BUREAU Mumbai | Updated on March 27, 2020 Published on March 27, 2020

Ashish Bhasin, CEO APAC and Chairman India, Dentsu Aegis Network   -  Ramesh Sharma

Advice to business leaders to connect more with teams



In these times of social distancing, it is time to practise virtual proximity. Ashish Bhasin, CEO APAC and Chairman India, Dentsu Aegis Network has said it is only in times of adversity that one can prioritise and seek solutions to problems that could have never been envisaged before.

Dentsu Aegis Network is a media and digital marketing company.

"These are testing times and the adversities we face now seem severe and almost impenetrable. However, this is not the time to be grim. Or to slacken. We have got to put our head down and work - now more than ever," Bhasin said.

Adversity teaches us to decide, he added. "Adversity also teaches us to concentrate on achieving short-term goals, which eventually translate into the long-term vision," he pointed out in a statement.

Bhasin has spent over 32 years in the advertising and marketing industry. Noting that though he has been an advocate of work-from-home (WFH), the current situation is as much new to him as it is for many others across the world.

"I am learning, just like the rest of us are. In fact, the one clear learning I have is that in times like these, we need to communicate more. Not less. While we are practicing social distancing, we must practice virtual proximity. People are anxious at times like these and so, it is doubly important for leaders to connect more, and not less, with their teams," he added.

Dentsu Aegis Network formed and activated a Management Incident Team as soon as news of the virus broke out. This has now become part of its Business Contingency Plan framework on Covid-19.

"It met every week and monitored the situation right from the time the first case was announced in India. IT and tech-support were systematically put in place to support WFH in anticipation; travel advisories were issued, and everything that could potentially prove to be a roadblock to Business Continuity was discussed and taken care of," continued Bhasin.

The CEO added the agency has been leveraging technology to engage in face-to-face communications and using video calls with its team members.

Published on March 27, 2020

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