Natasha Mudhar: An Assiduous Leader Making a Difference

Natasha Mudhar CEO | Sterling Media
Natasha Mudhar CEO | Sterling Media

In a candid conversation with Insights Success, Natasha Mudhar, the Global Chief Executive, Sterling Media & The World We Want gave some insightful answers highlighting the influences made by her and the company. Now, its time to explore the Journey of Natasha through her own Words.

  1. Brief us about you and your journey since the beginning of your career.

I graduated from City University London, with a degree in sociology and media and then began my professional career with Sterling Media just over 16 years ago, where I am now CEO. It has been a truly eventful and fulfilling journey so far, from representing countries, consumer brands, corporates, celebrities and thought leaders, no two days have ever been the same; one minute I’m leading a global campaign for the United Nations, the next I’m working with some of the most influential celebrities of our generation.
Through my work with representing Small to Medium sized Enterprises, FTSE 100 companies, governments, high profile celebrities and innovators, I have been able to assist global players partner their visions and core business strategies. Last February, I was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) as means of utilising my specialist international expertise, professional network and involvement with spearheading global campaigns.
I have also since been appointed as an India Advisory Board Member to supermodel and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova’s platform ‘Elbi’ as well as Communications Director of challenger brand ‘BOLT’, the revolutionary mobile focused video content ecosystem Given my work in the sustainability sector, I also established WWW – The World We Want, a global impact enterprise launched to unlock the collective strength of people, ideas, networks and technologies to accelerate achievement of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The purpose of WWW is to generate a social impact which can enact real change and combat the major issues our world is currently facing, aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  1. How do you describe yourself in one / two word? Who has been your guide, source of inspiration, support?

I would say that I am assiduous, you have to possess a great deal of determination in order to be successful, this industry requires perseverance, you have to dig deep within yourself to keep pushing to reach both your own and your clients’ goals. But on top of that, you need to really care about both your role and the client that you’re working with. You have to harness that emotional side to really back yourself and see your work through to the end because it makes the job so much more rewarding when you see all that work come into fruition.
As for inspiration, my mother Teji Singh has been an integral part of both my professional and personal life. She has made me the woman I am today, and her example has been the driving force and inspiration behind everything I do.

  1. State us about your passions, mission, and goals. What acts as a motivation tool for you?

As I mentioned, my mother’s example has been a real driving force behind my work, she has taught me to convert challenges into opportunities and that is something I truly live by. On top of that, what I am really passionate about is being someone who can make a difference, I have been involved in a lot of global campaigns and what I love about all of them is being involved every step of the way. There is something so rewarding about enacting real change and making a difference to the people that you reach. We set up WWW because we want to do well by doing good. The mission is to convene multiple sectors to unlock the potential and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. I firmly believe in converting awareness into action therefore my goal is to ultimately look back at my career, look at the work I have done and be able to say that I have made a difference in the world and improved people’s lives.

  1. Kindly describe in brief about your company and its services/products.

Sterling Global is an international business and communications consultancy, we specialise in generating bespoke client-focused, social and professional campaigns. Our clients range from start-ups, major corporations, innovators and disruptors, to high-profile celebrities. As a company we have a core ethos of combining purpose with profit, our work is more about the difference we can make than the money we earn. Our campaigns cultivate trends, empower the audiences that see them and shape societal perceptions in a way which will spur genuine and positive change on a global scale. I co-founded WWW- The World We Want which is powered by “Accelerator” ventures aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on convening leading organisations, corporations, public figures including celebrities, campaigners and thought leaders around the world to awaken social consciousness and drive meaningful change. Ventures include identifying and enabling the change makers of the future through events, indexes, mentorship and incubation initiatives, empowering the world’s citizens through supporting open data policies, harnessing the power of celebrity and pop culture to entertain and inspire audiences and supporting critical impact projects through an ethical investment fund. Being invited to speak at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity earlier this month was a definite highlight since launching WWW. I was invited to join the panel, ‘Call to Action for Public-Private Partnerships to reach the Global Goals’ at the Goals House in Cannes. The panel provided the perfect platform to raise awareness around the importance of not only public-private partnerships, but for a cross-sector collaborations to convene governments, corporations, media, talent, civil society, and not for profits to leverage ideas, networks and technologies to bring visions to life and to create sustainable solutions and encourage the much needed $1.6 trillion dollar annual fund needed to achieve the SDGs by 2030.

  1. State us about the most memorable and remarkable moments of your life.

I am lucky to say that I have several, but to me the one that stands out most was the work we did towards launching the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in 2015 and being a part of the Multi-Award-winning film “What I Really Really Want”, a remix of Spice Girls Wannabe track. Using the hashtag #WhatIReallyReallyWant, we helped to produce a Spice Girls video remake advocating for female empowerment and equal treatment for women all over the world. The video featured powerful female figures from across the globe, including Jacqueline Fernandez, Seyi Shay, Gigi Lamayne, M.O, Larsen Thompson and Taylor Hatala. The video received global support and ‘broke the internet’ as it amassed 150 million views in its first few days online and gaining mass international media coverage, plus support from high-profile individuals such as Victoria Beckham, Melanie C and Emma Bunton. It went on to play a vital role alongside the UN’s Project Everyone campaign and generate support and actual change to the lives of women across the globe.

  1. What is role of technology in this fast-paced changing world? Kindly highlight your achievements, awards and accreditation.

Technology is an incredible knowledge tool which has the power to bring together people from all sectors of the world. Technology plays such an integral role in the world now, it’s hard to imagine one without it. We use it for so much of our daily lives in regard to both the way we work and the way we live outside of a professional capacity. At Sterling we use the technological sphere to our advantage as means of promoting effective, industry-leading campaigns that are driven by purpose and a desire to effect change. This is why I got involved as the Communications Director of challenger brand BOLT, the revolutionary mobile focused video content ecosystem, I further wish to take forward BOLT is also the world’s first open entertainment and information platform offering the first real world application of tokens and block-chain to empower the under-banked and the under-banked communities.

  1. Kindly tell us about the challenges you took, and the risk associated with it and how did you overcome them?

Coming from an ethnic-minority background can mean I get pigeonholed, not just as an individual but also in terms of the campaigns we have launched in the UK from other parts of the world such as the Middle East, Africa or India. There’s often a perception that such campaigns will only resonate with a certain segment of the population. Early on in my career, I used to hear a lot of people say to me, “Do you just work on ethnic projects? Can you promote my brand to the mainstream as well?” It was rare to see an Asian woman taking the lead position in the communications industry. With the sector being male-dominated, it was a case of double discrimination. Nevertheless, I’ve always aimed to convert any challenge into an opportunity and being Indian and female is something I thrive on. I would never view this as a hindrance in any shape or form, and I would never allow this to limit my potential. I refuse to stick within any pre-designed barriers purely on the basis of my heritage and gender. In my experience, few clients or competitors envisage that the world-class campaigns we spearhead come from a mews in South Kensington in London. Everyone loves an underdog story, so be brave, stand proud and shock them – that has been the story of my career to date, and will continue to be the case. The communications industry is a credible and competitive profession, so sometimes people don’t like to see women running the game, but that merely acts as motivation to win. Taking up the mantle at Sterling was a major challenge for me, my mother Teji had moved mountains to shape Sterling into the company that it is today, as both a woman and one from an ethnic background, she fought tooth and nail to make her dreams a reality, so continuing her legacy was a major step as well as a challenge that I faced. I overcame this by digging deep and working hard, it takes a lot to be good at your job, but it takes even more to be the best, something which I have always strive towards and always will.

  1. Share your point of view on the current scenario of the finance industry and its future.

If there is one thing that the finance industry craves, it’s security. Knowing that investments are going to be safe and secure is vital to the growth and longevity of the industry. We are going through a somewhat turbulent time in our global political history which has certainly presented its fair share of hurdles but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel and we have certainly endured worse before. The financial sector is also facing severe under banking as people and organizations do not have sufficient access to mainstream financial services and are often deprived of banking services such as credit cards or loans. Finance is an equaliser and it needs to address these inequalities in the industry for a better future.

  1. What would you advise to the budding entrepreneurs who are willing to make carrier in this field?

If you encounter obstacles, you’re headed in the right direction. Nobody has ever achieved anything without having to overcome some form of adversity – there are always going to be people who tell you that you can’t, people who say that you won’t and those who simply doubt what you are capable of. The truth is that their opinions are irrelevant! Many great and inspirational people have made something out of nothing, and this will always be the case, but, the question you must always ask yourself is “what can I do to be one of them?”

  1. Please tell us about your future business plans.

Both Sterling and WWW have ambitious plans and a lot of faith in the future. We aim to expand and use our experience thus far to propel us towards bigger, better and bolder projects that can generate real, constructive and positive change around the world. Currently my current focus is the SDGs Impact Summit in India in November 2019 with our partners India’s largest media conglomerate, Times of India Group. We are all aware that the world cannot achieve its SDGs targets without India’s support. As a continuation of my work with Richard Curtis’s campaign to popularise the UN’s SDG’s in India, the Summit will be supported with a 10 year campaign Agenda 2030 India, starting in 2020, to launch a nationwide movement to popularise the SDGs through a multi-sector collaborative approach that will bring together corporates, celebrities, NGOs, young changemakers, technologists, media and civil society. Our vision with the SDGs Impact Summit is to curate a truly global platform inviting 500+ global delegates across government, media, talent, civil society, NGOs, corporates to spotlight the Global South and India’s international rule breakers, problem solvers, storytellers, thought shapers, global leaders and renegades with a cause who are committed to achieving the SDGs. The plan is to encourage people everywhere to raise their voices, help build awareness of the SDGs, and hold their government leaders accountable for progress. The summit will encourage people everywhere to raise their voices, help build awareness of the SDGs, and hold their government leaders accountable for progress. The Summit supports a wider ten-year strategy commencing in 2020 to activate activations across multiple sectors to support India in achieving its SDGs targets by 2030. This is where much of my day is focussed on currently.        

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