HRTech Interview with Ankoor Dasguupta, CMO at Shisham Digital

Get expert insights and strategies for leveraging audience intelligence technology amidst challenges and opportunities in affiliate marketing.


Ankoor, in your current role as CMO at Shisham Digital, please share insights into the challenges and opportunities in performance and affiliate marketing, especially with the use of proprietary audience intelligence technology?
Affiliate marketing is entering a new era of sophistication. With privacy changes, rising ad costs and fragmentation, performance marketing faces headwinds. But opportunities abound to evolve through —

  • Multi-channel strategies spanning content, email, social beyond just ads – Build integrated platforms optimizing partnerships across mediums.
  • Testing emerging formats like streaming audio and CTV – Leverage high-engagement new mediums with interactivity and personalization.
  • Localization for global niches – Create region-specific content and offers aligning to local interests.
  • Leveraging income analytics and contextual targeting – Precisely engage high-value users in relevant environments.
  • Optimizing full purchase journeys from awareness to retention – Map user paths and influence across funnels with cross-partner collaboration.

Our audience intelligence technology helps with advanced attribution and measurement to fuel the next wave of performance marketing. It is a catalyst in tracking users across devices and journeys, providing a 360-degree view of marketing effectiveness. This powers smarter budget allocation and partner relationships globally. In addition, our content marketing process is well defined as contextual content, keyword research and planning accordingly is a sizeable task, however, we have structured our efforts in focused way by thorough research and driving actionable priority wise.

The future is bright for brands investing in audience-centric performance marketing and technologies to unlock attribution.

Shed some light on the most important values in your life that have helped shape you as a person and as a leader.
Almost at any given point of time, I was lucky to have some people be my guiding light. What they primarily taught me was how to become more self-aware and how to ensure people would want to work with me and look up to me. They have also been my source of strength and also helped me with certain practices that have helped me become a better version of myself and also help people become better in their life and work. My grandfather has been key to imbibing certain strong values in me, certain leaders that I have worked with guided me as mentors on my approach and to become more self-aware while also being my best critics. I am also grateful that my wife has always been my pillar of support. She has been and will always be my source of inspiration too. I always go to her when I am stuck, she makes me laugh and also gets me connected to my inner self better.
My top four values as an intrinsic part of me are –

  • Self-awareness
  • Respect and Compassion
  • Integrity
  • Concentration

All my able values I followup with myself daily, as a practice during my reflection sessions. The fourth value which is concentration implies that the ability to keep my mind at one thing in it’s most absolute state not only helps in accomplishing the goal but helps with the self-actualizing the means to the end, which in turn helps better this process. All these values have a direct and positive impact in shaping me up in my personal and professional life.

As the President’s Select Member of Leaders Excellence at Harvard Square, what responsibilities and opportunities does this prestigious position bring, and how do you plan to contribute to this esteemed community?
It has just been a couple of months since I have been inducted into this and one of the exciting things about this is that it will pave the way for me to doing some select executive education courses. Established in the iconic Harvard Square in 2014, Leaders Excellence is an exclusive institution for leadership and online continuous education.

I believe in the power of communities and network effects; I am happy to have been selected for this membership which opens the doors to a new network of professionals globally and access to a lot of reading material an reports that are only for the members. As I am an avid reader and writer, my take is that reading helps me evolve and enhance my approaches. It also extends me a platform to network, exchange perspective which also helps me in my writing works.. It offers innovative courses, leveraging its close ties to Harvard’s academic community. I love the virtual kickoff event, where the president of Leaders Excellence at Harvard Square personally welcomed the participants for us to experience the prestigious Harvard Faculty Club virtually, immersing ourselves in its profound academic legacy.

Coming to the main question for this interview, considering the spectrum of your work experience spanning 24 years, what is your take on Emotional Intelligence and its significance in CSuite Leadership across industries ?
As am doing my PCC Level certification in Coaching from International Coaching Federation, this topic is of even deeper interest to me.

What I have learnt, EI helps us to understand better – that as aware human beings we can choose to respond rather than react to situations in our life and work. If we can become more emotionally intelligent, we become capable of an expanded consciousness and helps with sustainable changes in behaviour that improves the way we manage ourselves and with others.

For CXOs and senior leaders Emotional Intelligence (EI) takes conscious and consistent efforts to get better at it. Honing EI can be a game-changer in the dynamic and complex landscape of the business world. For ease of our readers, allow me to share some examples :

Effective Decision-Making Amidst Uncertainty
Imagine a scenario where market conditions suddenly shift, creating ambiguity. A leader with high EI can navigate this uncertainty by staying composed, assessing the emotional tone within the organization, and making informed decisions that inspire confidence. This adaptability in the face of ambiguity sets the tone for the entire team.

Conflict Resolution and Team Dynamics
Consider a high-stakes project where team members clash over ideas. A leader with strong EI can detect emotional undercurrents, facilitate open communication, and mediate conflicts, fostering a collaborative environment. This not only resolves immediate issues but also strengthens team cohesion, ensuring sustained success.

Building Authentic Client Relationships
In the realm of client interactions, EI becomes a potent tool. Picture a client expressing concerns about a project. A leader with high EI can empathize with the client’s perspective, address their emotional needs, and build a relationship based on trust. This emotional connection often transcends transactional boundaries, fostering long-term partnerships.

Inspiring and Motivating Teams
In times of challenge or change, a leader’s ability to inspire and motivate is paramount. An emotionally intelligent leader can recognize the team’s emotional state, provide authentic encouragement, and instill a sense of purpose. This emotional resonance creates a motivated workforce that is more resilient in the face of obstacles.

Adapting Leadership Styles
Consider a scenario where a company undergoes a major transformation. An emotionally intelligent leader can assess the emotional impact on employees and adapt their leadership style accordingly – offering support during uncertainty, celebrating successes, and ensuring that the emotional tone aligns with the company’s vision. For example, if the leadership style is only participative, one can enhance it immediately to participative and democratic.

What has been your inspiration throughout your professional journey and how does it help in being motivated after all these years?
All the struggles and challenges that I have faced has been my inspiration. My childhood days is also a source as from there I started to know more about myself. Apart from spending time with my family, plants and books keep me going.

With more than 50 published articles and guest columns in international portals, what motivates your writing, and how do you choose the topics that align with your expertise in marketing and leadership?
I have fond memories of starting to write poetry when I was in 7th grade. The appreciation from my teacher was perhaps the first step in motivating me. My only improvement area till a long time was that I wa not doing enough of reading as my writing. Thankfully I have my close circle of friends and leaders to help me reflect better and to guide me as well wherever I seek. I learnt that reading is equally important to enable me to write better as it will help me think deeper and wider.

Coming to how I choose the topics boils down to one word – research. This is more of a practice that I have developed over the years. Researching about what all has been written, what has not been covered and how differently I can bring in some key takeaways for my audience. The treatment of the topic is equally important as the topic. It must convey what the reader must expect to find. In addition, accepting feedback from my circle and adapting my writing style as well.

What would be some of the accolades that you would want to mention and how has these impacted your career and also personally?
Apart from some of my interviews covered in international magazines, I would love to highlight some of the most recent recognitions.

  • Collector’s edition award, Cover Story in Circle of Excellence 2024 | Passion Vista
  • Man of Excellence award, 2024| Indian Achievers’ Forum
  • Brilliant Minds-Top 5 Influential Personalities to Watch 2024 (Cover Story) | CIO Today
  • Leader 2.0 award | adgully
  • Digital Dragons Awards – Top 10 Digital Leaders -Veterans | Indian Business Council
  • Scholars of Advertising and Media| Digital Kaizen Leader – DigitAdCon 2024 (nominated by MMA India)

As a member of the Advisory Board at ISBR Business School and an active speaker in esteemed forums, how do you contribute to the education and development of future marketing professionals?
I thank ISBR for having me as an Industry Expert in their Advisory Board for the Marketing Department. I have done multiple sessions for their wonderful students and it’s the positive feedback from them and the professors that drive me more. In a nutshell, my role as a part of a select group of industry leaders and visionaries who share ISBR’s passion for Academic excellence and filling the gap between Industry- Academia. My role would involve advising and providing strategic input on matters pertaining to Global Education and share my observations, insights that may help shape ISBR organization’s future endeavours, drive innovation, and identify emerging trends and opportunities. Special thanks to Dr. Supriya Lamba Sahdev at ISBR Business School for her time, efforts and inducting me in their Board.

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Ankoor Dasguupta
Ankoor Dasguupta CMO at Shisham Digital

A Marketing practitioner, and advocate of social impact, driven by kaizen, Ankoor believes in the power of Energy and Energize while bringing to the table a pedigree of 23 years with a rare combination experience across the spectrum of media - print, digital, mobile, event productions & successful pilot projects. Worked across functions - ad operations, business operations, content, strategy, sales, events, media planning & buying. Ankoor is a six Sigma Green Belt and also worked in cross functional roles with - conglomerates and start-ups. Ankoor has been part of the core pilot team of launching International IPs such as ad:tech, iMedia Summits and TechCrunch events in India. Ankoor has directed and enabled the winning of multiple pitches while actively involved in overall and tactical strategy. Trained from Dale Carnegie in Mentoring, Ankoor is a knowledge manager, avid writer with more than 50 published articles and multiple interviews in the international Authority Magazine: speaker and jury in multiple forums including reputed B-Schools. Most recently Ankoor has been onboarded on the Advisory Board -Marketing Department at ISBR Business School and also on the prestigious Advisory Board of MMA Smarties APAC. Ankoor has a regular guest column with Businessworld, Reputation Today apart from multiple international publications as well. Ankoor has been recognized by DMA Asia as a marketing Ace. Ankoor is POSH Certified and has been selected to be part of core Committee for POSH at two organizations during his work tenure till now. In his personal front, Ankoor is doing his PCC level education in Coaching which is slated to complete in 2024. At present, Ankoor is working with Shisham Digital wearing the hat of a CMO. Ankoor loves the vibrancy of the team here. With offices in Dubai, USA and Singapore, we specialize in optimized marketing and content solutions, with audience intelligence to deliver branded content optimized for quality engagement in a privacy-safe environment for our clients across categories.