Seeking Kunj Shah: the chief of Amazon India’s creative empire

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 She talks about her experience working across advertising agencies for 18 years before joining the tech behemoth in the midst of lockdown.

A great duo will always rule the world.

Tom and Jerry always have their audience, Batman and Robin still make great movies, and Sherlock and Watson have yet to see a better detective pair on the pages and screens.

Adland that faqs! packaging for a living, he often paired a copywriter with an artist to distribute work based on client requests. It takes two to make a tango sound like a fact rather than a proverb.

This pair usually brings their own unique strength to the table. One is often the creative enforcer while the other make sense of the business reality and chooses the right path for the enforcer or both to describe the trail of bodies, the creative work. Remember Jobs and Wozniak and the fruit they built?

Kunj Shah may never fit that bill. She is the executive creative director of India creative at Amazon. However, she says, “her designation is also marketing manager in the role of executive creative director.”

She leads the creative mandate at the tech giant, but her first responsibility is to align herself and her team with the company’s business vision and goals. “It’s not just about raising the bar for creativity.

Shah spent 18 years working across agencies such as DDB Mudra, Ogilvy, Gray and McCann before joining Amazon in September 2020.

The creative soul now had to learn the ropes of business thinking at Amazon. The left and right sides of the brain had to assimilate, there was no duo, it was just Shah.

She spent her first year at Amazon doing things beyond the core creative function… planning and calendar cycles, growth, goal tracking, data decoding and finance… “I was like, sitting in meetings and feeling like the first standard kid. giving the 10th standard exam,” says Shah.

Nine stages of Amazonia

Shah never thought of joining a tech firm. In 2019, she was in Seattle visiting the Amazon Sphere at the Globe Building with a friend who worked for the tech giant.

She was inspired by the installation and asked her friend, “Hey, why don’t you get me a job at Amazon?” When asked such a question, a common response is to visit LinkedIn first. The two did just that, and Amazon had a job offer that suited Shah. Talk about a coincidence.

I haven’t encountered much of the corporate way,” she admits.

The Indian advertising world is a small one where everyone knows each other. A few conversations, a written test and you’re done. The interview process at Amazon turned Shah on its head.

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