In September last year, Heeru Dingra was elevated to CEO of Isobar Group in India, as parent company continued to retool its operations in the market. Since then, she has been the lodestar for Dentsu in India, registering double-digit growth and adding 85-plus new partnerships in 2021 alone. Along with this red-hot business growth, Dingra has also been an innovative and empathetic leader through a pandemic-addled year.
These are a few of the key reasons why Dingra was named Woman Leading Change of the Year for a second consecutive year, as Campaign Asia-Pacific announced the winners of its sixth Women Leading Change Awards. (Catch up with the full list of winners here).
In an industry with a constant churn of contracts, over 75% of the retainer relationships at Isobar have grown over three years, giving the agency a strong suit of legacy clients. Today Isobar Group has a total of 300-plus client partnerships on a retainer basis. Additionally, the group gets a fifth of its business from international clients.
As the market has slowly come back to life, Dingra has been busy cranking up her innovation engine. Some of her business innovations in the past year include Isonomy, an e-learning platform, Brand Innovation Toolkit to equip Isobarians with a mix of existing tech, future tech, past tech, social media formats and new platforms, NFTeen, digital artwork created to commemorate WATConsult’s 15-year milestone and IsoBot, an intelligent chatbot that works as a customer care executive for Isobar Group.
Dingra has also shown she isn't just a hard-nosed number-chasing leader. During the lockdown and through the months that followed, she ensured her unit kept morale high and was in touch with her teams for a diverse range of topics. She also she ensured mental wellness by encouraging employees to take up regular sessions with MindPeers – the group's wellness partner. To top it off, Dingra introduced a four-day work week for the month of May.
As an empathetic leader, Dingra is also keen to give back—both to the industry and community. She launched IsoPower, an initiative that offers students, employees and young professionals an opportunity to access one-to-one mentorship by Isobar leaders and Queenpreneurs, which is a customised business solution development and mentoring program by the women of Isobar Group for the women of ‘Bharat’ (India's hinterland), who are keen on upskilling and empowering themselves.