First up is Gaurav Mishra. From selling cars, which, according to George Monbiot, has ‘contributed to an increase in individualism and fewer social interactions between members of different socioeconomic classes’, to becoming CEO of 2020 Social, a company that focuses on social business strategies, Gaurav has probably been the full circle. Teaching Social Media at
From selling cars to devising social business strategies… what explains the move?
Both as a marketer and a consumer, I saw that the campaign-oriented push-driven one-way model of marketing was in trouble, and felt that there must be a more human way to connect with consumers. A marketing approach that is permission-based, pull-driven, and rooted in the values of communities, conversations and collaboration appealed to my instincts and started the journey that has led to 2020 Social.
What were some of the key experiences from your Tata experience that are still relevant for you at 2020 Social?
My experience in the Tata Group gave me a very strong grounding in how business and marketing works, at senior levels, quite early in my career. I also worked with both McKinsey and BCG on big business transformation initiatives, from the client side. That client-side experience is immensely useful now that I am running a business consulting firm and helping CXOs leverage emerging technologies to transform their businesses.
Tell us a little bit about Vote Report
The idea of Vote Report
Define gauravonomics in one paragraph.
At Gauravonomics, I write about the intersection of social technologies, business and society. It’s a potent combination because businesses, civil society organizations and governments can learn a lot from each other when it comes to understanding and using social technologies.
You have contributed to two books. When are you writing your own? What will it be about?
I think I’ll be writing a bunch of book chapters before I write a full book. I have three chapters overdue on digital activism, citizen journalism and government 2.0 and have just signed up to write another one on branded communities. My book, when I write one, will be about a new way of doing business, which is both social and sustainable.
If you were to write fiction, which genre will you choose?
I think I have already lived three or four lives and I haven’t even turned thirty. If I were to write a novel, it will be a thinly veiled autobiographical narrative in first person.
Do you have an interest or hobby that you escape to when you want to get away from what you are doing for a bit?
My life is very WYSIWYG. I am doing what I am doing because I don’t feel the need to get away from it.
Who would you deem your inspiration(s)? Why?
I am inspired by naïve activist-types who believe that they can change the world. Most of them fail, but some succeed. That’s all we need.
If you were to start life afresh and choose a different area to focus on, what would that be?
I am very happy with my present life. If I was to start afresh, I would want to do exactly what I am doing now.
One good idea you’ve heard recently that is worth spreading?
It’s time to move beyond business as usual and create organizations that are both social and sustainable.
Twenty little-known facts about Gaurav Mishra?
I’ll tell you three:
- I gave away everything I owned last year, to six strangers.
- I have an unpublished anthology of love poems lying around in my laptop.
- I like making lists of three.