If you’re looking for ideas for how to live a better life, and expand your career prospects, you must listen to our conversation with the brilliant marketing thinker and futurist, Rishad Tobaccowala. Rishad shares his secrets for career success and the six skills every business person must possess (Hint: It’s a twist on the 3 C’s), as well as the dangers of your own echo chamber, and how to give and receive feedback in an age of diversity. Bonus: Listen in to find out what TV series Rishad claims is the “best ever.” At the end of the 30 minutes, you’ll be eager to sign up for his weekly Substack newsletter, “The Future Does Not Fit In the Containers of the Past.”
"Be a creator, a maker and a builder, and not just a shuffler, delegator and blamer." Rishad Tobaccowala
About Marketing Legends
Marketing Legends, a series in the WVU Marketing Communications Today podcast, features marketing thinkers, innovators, practitioners and founders — legends of the marketing world — who will talk about their careers and share their wisdom with the marketers of today.
About our Guest
Author, Speaker, Teacher and Advisor
Rishad Tobaccowala is an author, speaker, teacher, and advisor with four decades of experience specializing in helping people, organizations and teams re-invent themselves to remain relevant in changing times. He specializes in unleashing talent and turbo-charging productivity by delivering perspectives, points of view, provocations and plans of action but no PowerPoints!
Rishad’s best-selling book “Restoring the Soul of Business: Staying Human in the Age of Data” was published globally by HarperCollins and focusses on helping people think, feel, and see differently about how to grow their companies, their teams and themselves in transformative times. The Economist Magazine called it perhaps the best recent book on stakeholder capitalism and Strategy Magazine named it among the five best business books and the marketing book of the year. Rishad’s weekly thought-letter, “The Future Does Not Fit in the Containers of the Past” is read by over 30,000 leaders every week across industries and around the world. Rishad is currently working on his next book to be published globally by McGraw-Hill in 2024 tentatively titled “Re-Thinking Work” which will help leaders and companies adapt to the coming new world of work which is far more than the challenges of remote but will include demographic changes, AI and much more. Rishad is also the host of “What Next?” a podcast where he speaks with a range of leaders across business, technology, academia, and the arts on how to make sense of the cultural, social, and business changes transforming us all.
Rishad speaks on change, future trends and transforming work forces to a range of industries from platforms (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, LinkedIn, Snap, Tik-Tok), to technology (Akamai, Juniper Networks, Intuit) media ( NY Times, Conde Nast, Univision, Paramount, NBCU), to blue chip firms ( Walmart, Procter and Gamble, H&R Block, Bayer, Pepsi, Colgate-Palmolive) to Financial Firms ( Zurich Financial, Bank of America, Citibank) to Industry Associations (Blue Cross Blue Shield, Illinois Department of Tourism, US Olympics, Radio Advertising Bureau, Outdoor Advertising Association).
Rishad’s advisory clients include global firms such as Publicis Groupe and many executives at Fortune 500 and FTSE 100 companies, private equity organizations such as Growth Catalyst Partners, Venture Capital firms such as Abundant Ventures and Greycroft, and technology platforms such as Crisp, Firework, Quilt, Shift Paradigm, Dumbstruck, Work Reduce, Spores Networks.
Rishad spent nearly four decades at Publicis Groupe an 80,000-employee firm comprising companies like Epsilon, Sapient, Digitas, Leo Burnett, Saatchi and Saatchi, Starcom and Zenith dedicated to delivering marketing and business transformation. Before Rishad stopped being a full-time employee with Publicis Groupe (where he remains active as a Senior Advisor) he was Publicis Groupe’s Global Chief Strategist and Growth Officer and served on its Management Committee.
Rishad has also been the Chairman of Digitas and Razorfish, two of the largest marketing transformation agencies in the world with over 11000 employees.
Over his 40-year career Tobaccowala has worked across almost every area of marketing and strategy including brand advertising, media, database, direct and interactive marketing. As a pioneer in digital marketing, Tobaccowala helped create one of the first interactive groups and digital agencies 25 years ago and has helped launch a series of initiatives over the years from groups focused on gaming, social, mobile and search engine marketing. Starcom IP, Play, Giant Step, SMG Search and Denuo are some of the brands Tobaccowala helped incubate.
Tobaccowala was named by BusinessWeek as one of the top business leaders for his pioneering innovation and TIME magazine dubbed him one of five “Marketing Innovators. He is the Ad Age Interactive Hall of Fame and has received a lifetime achievement silver medal award from the Chicago Ad Federation, an Inspire Award for motivating and building talent from the Advertising Education Foundation and the Association of National Advertisers and was named an Advertising Legend by the Advertising Club of New York.
Rishad is also is chairman of The Tobaccowala Foundation, which helps over 10,000 people gain better access to health and education in India.
Tobaccowala holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Bombay and an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago with which he remains closely involved.
Meet the Hosts
Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.
Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.
Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.
Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.
WVU Marketing Communications Today: Marketing Legends is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications. Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!