Reflecting on my individual award win at the World Marketing Congress 2019

I received an email from the World Marketing Congress in June that I had been nominated for their annual listing of the “Most Influential Global Marketing Leaders”.

The automatic initial response was one of skepticism. “What? Is this for real?”

Immediately I got down to work and started on my research. I discovered that the World Marketing Congress is an initiative of CMO Asia – an organization dedicated to recognizing the best marketers in the Asia and MENA region for the past decade. They have held events across the globe with marketers from the top brands in attendance.

The winners for the listing are selected for their marketing competencies, strategic perspective, track record, integrity and a commitment to sustainability. How well had I embodied each of these elements? This made me reflect on my journey of the past 8 years.

As I walked down memory lane, I remembered the hundreds of business owners I had advised on their marketing and how I had picked up new digital marketing skills through getting my hands dirty. The strategic perspective was to build up a sizeable portfolio with excellent case studies showing the results I had gotten for my clients (I could have accelerated this but that is a story for another day). Integrity and ethics have always been a top priority. I’ve worked to ensure that I only share the right strategies with clients. Even if this meant leaving money on the table. Lastly, we’ve always had an eye on sustainability especially from a social angle. We’ve given our time to speak to students at universities, to mentor people looking to build a career in digital and we are currently considering running pro-bono classes for the less privileged.

It was clear that I had embodied each of the criteria and I chose to accept the recognition.

Five months later, I was in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai, India. The World Marketing Congress 2019 was held in the luxurious Taj Land’s End with over 600 marketers from around the Asia Pacific in attendance. It was an event to bring together the Asia Pacific’s top marketing leaders and to celebrate their accomplishments.

I was surprised to meet