When a person is thrown in at the deep end of a pool, they can either swim or sink. Uma Rajan swam, and swam hard, every time life tried to keep her down. Take for instance her stint with J Walter Thompson (JWT) in Bengaluru. Uma was only 29 when she was given the daunting job of re-launching HUL’s tea brand Red Label. She had just returned from the US in 1992 and had taken up a job in the client servicing department. A few months into the job and her senior – the account director – resigned, and she had to step into his shoes.
She had no prior experience in this, but she dove right in. After two years of number crunching, locating markets and finding the best ad spots, the re-launch was finally executed in 1994. It was a hugely successful one, though she was miles away from her comfort zone.