“Communication is going through transition.”, says Vinod Philip of IKS Health

I worked with agencies for couple of years and then shifted to clients side . With Future group , I first executed communication strategies as a manager . Even after 8 years , some of my works are being used there still , says Vinod Philip , 37, the Corporate Communication Head of IKS Health, a brand owned by Mumbai based Inventurus Knowledge Solutions Pvt Ltd , a company where Asia’s biggest private equity investor and India’s investment world’s pin-up boy Rakesh Jhunjhunwala has invested.

I met Vinod in his office in Mindspace in Airoli in New Mumbai in an afternoon over a cup of coffee. He is two in one – a visualizer and corporate communicator . Studied in Mumbai , a post graduate in communication from KC College of Management with also an additional formal study in fine arts from Rachana Sansad , he has started his career in NAC advertising as a copy writer . This creative person later moulded his travel on the unbendable road of communication with different agencies which had given him opportunities to work with brands like Ceat Tyres and Orange, and companies like Hinduja and Cipla before he joined country’s largest retail chain Future group.

Rich Exposures : Having a thorough exposures into both Below the Line (BTL) and Above the Line (ATL) marketing, his decision to work with client side brought him to join Future Group when this retail leader started setting up its corporate communication department in 2006 . “I joined with a team of 3 people. It grew to 11 when I left .” He had designed the website of Pantaloon from scratch with Future group when he started his career as a Manger  with  Corporate Communication.

Any communicator will envy of his exposures in communication domains . Evolution of retail industry in India also gave him exposure to ATL, BTL and Digital communication. His stint with alcoholic beverages major Diageo gave him exposure to the domain of internal communication. A fun filled span in Diageo’s internal communication structure had witnessed many introductions by him who is a writer-communicator in one hand while an artist on other side. His creative mind had given shape to many events in workplaces there. Regular Town hall , Drink IQ sessions, setting up intranet for Global Supply department of Diageo makes him nostalgic . He had introduced the concept of Bar Night during his stint at Diageo in India. Bar Night is a one day bar set up in office once in a month where Diageo ‘s portfolio of luxury spirits will be served free for employees turning a corporate environment into informal meet ups. It eases the bonding between different hierarchies and results in better communication. Even after his departure from this global spirit brand , Bar Night still continues today at Diageo in India. His intranet too stood best  globally in Diageo. He appreciate still the way Diageo organises Drink IQ where Formula Championship winner Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton were ambassador to create awareness about responsible drinking.

He is bullish on the future of digital communication. He observes , “Cloths are being bought on mobile and news is being read on mobile . Print media will stay , but, readership and reach will reduce . 30% people are reading news on mobile .”

Life in IKS Health : With his current company IKS health , he stepped into a new domain – health care communication . His team is managing IKS Health’s website, Glassdoor, and social media presence . Website for him is an outreach vehicle . He has been using his corporate website as the face of IKS Health . Leadership message, event communication design, newsletter etc. a regular work where he puts his skill in action. He fondly narrates about his company’s participation in American Medical Group Association ( AMGA) in USA in Napa Valley last year for which his department had designed entire communication.

IKS health has mostly USA centric services in the field of healthcare management . It offers real business transformation with a very specific focus on provider/patient interactions. Answering a question on the role of communication when his company senior management is having cross-culture leaders , he says , “ One has to carefully architect and develop innovative leadership communication strategies in line with the company’s overall vision. One has to engage with internal and external stakeholders to accentuate group profile in alignment with corporate objectives .” IKS has offices in USA and India in Mumbai and Hyderabad with a workforce of close to 3000 employees which includes 400 qualified doctors.

Social Media Expertise: In one phrase, one can describe him as “ LinkedIn Expert” . He believes in LinkedIn and gladly shares that each of his updates on LinkedIn company page is able to attract 3000+ visitor . He posts updates on his company page on LinkedIn 4 to 5 times in a month. His efforts grew followers in his LinkedIn company page to 5500 + today from 1200 without any paid promotion. Sharing his strategies behind LinkedIn success , he says, I use internal newsletter to advertise about our LinkedIn company page and promote this page among employees and in our internal events like INFIESTA” . With a satisfaction , he narrates that people are visiting his company’s LinkedIn page for updates of his company.

Son of a banker , Vinod lives with his wife in Borivali in Mumbai.

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