Raj Kumar Bhattarai: An ad professional to be reckoned with

During his college days back in 1994 AD, he and his peers were discussing the possibility of starting some venture together. They decided to do something in the service sector by opening an advertising agency. There were basically two reasons behind this. The first one was that commencing such a company did not demand huge capital. And secondly ad business was vital for vibrant media, which, in turn, could ensure political/economic freedom.     

After agreeing to open an ad agency, he and his three friends had even made a plan to collect Rs 1 lakh in total as start-up capital.  But they later refused to act as per this plan in an unexpected way.

“As such, I  decided to move head alone to execute the plan of commencing new agency.   Finally, Spectrum came into operations in 1994,” recollects Raj Kumar Bhattarai, CEO, Spectrum Advertising and Media Consultant.

In order to smoothly run the newly established agency, he started to take some steps. “Being a student of science, I had not been acquainted with the fundamentals of management. So, I bought and read management related books to get ideas for managing the company,” shares Bhattarai adding,” Likewise,  I also visited several other ad agencies to know how they carry out their daily operations.  This helped me to adopt the systems and processes necessary to effectively run my own company.”

In 1998, he also participated in a workshop titled “Know advertising thoroughly” held by the Advertising Association of Nepal. “The workshop proved pivotal for me in terms of enhancing my knowledge and skills regarding the advertising profession,” he divulges.

In its initial years, Spectrum was focused on conceptualizing and executing creative advertisements only in print media.

 But after three years of starting operation i.e in 1997, it also ventured into the area of event management.  In the same year, Spectrum was appointed as the official agency to handle CAN Info-tech, a mega annual ICT fair in the country.     

“With meticulous planning and strategic mobilization of resources, Spectrum successfully executed the very fair for eight years in a row,” he shares adding,” Moreover, such execution facilitated me and my team to get acquainted with the fundamental aspects of event management.”

Bhattarai is also among very few advertising entrepreneurs who have actively contributed to the institutional growth of Nepali advertising industry.

In 2056 B.S, he joined the AAN as its member and finally became its president in 2066 BS.  He was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the umbrella body of Nepali advertising fraternities because of passion and determination towards the well-being of the advertising sector.

“During my tenure as president, I took certain efforts to help expedite the growth of Nepali advertising industry. Such efforts were primarily related to establishing Advertising Club of Nepal and conducting advertising monitoring,” he states adding “Though such efforts were not materialized during my tenure due to the problem of groups in the AAN, I hope they will see the light in the future.

The current executive body of the AAN incorporates only the owners of ad agencies, not the advertising professionals working in creative and marketing fields. In this context, the idea of Adverting Club of Nepal was proposed to incorporate such professionals under one umbrella and develop it as a knowledge centre.

“ Similarly, the concept of ad monitoring was aimed at creating an integrated data of the various crucial aspects of print, television and radio advertisements being made in the country,” informs Bhattarai adding,” Such data could well be useful for the business houses to gauge the general advertising trend and chalk out their communication campaigns accordingly.”

During his presidency, Bhattarai also focused himself on enhancing the contents of the City Awards, the awards ceremony being held by the AAN to honour advertising excellence.  “On the one hand, City was playing a vital role in improving the overall quality of Nepali ads. On the other, it was becoming a good source of revenue for institutional development of the AAN. As such, I did my best to establish City as a landmark event of the Nepali ad sector.”

His Management Mantra

 1. Have a Clear Vision

For a boss to lead his or her team effectively, he/she must have a clear vision of what exactly they want to achieve at work and in which direction their team should be heading. The one whole leads a team in a common and unified direction is a good boos.

 2. Be Supportive

Working with a difficult or uncaring boss is something that no one desires. A good boss is one who has qualities like kindness, sympathy and compassion.

This does not allude that the boss should be a wimp or a push-over rather the opposite is true. The boss, in fact, shall be confident enough to show their human side.

 3. Considering the Well-Being of Staff

A good boss genuinely gives priority to the happiness of his or her staff.

Some ways of considering the well-being of staff are providing good and safe working conditions, enabling career growth for employees and providing monetary rewards such as promotions, pay raises and bonuses.

4. Delegates Appropriately

A good boss is well aware that he/she cannot do everything alone. He/she recognizes and acknowledges the benefits of delegating work to subordinates.

By appropriately gauging the skills and capabilities of his or her subordinates, he/she decides what tasks to delegate to which staff.

5.  Listening to Employees

A good boss truly listens to the staffers as it is a surefire way to show that he/she cares about their emotions and feelings.  

Listening to the employees without interrupting them and allowing them to fully articulate their issue is a hallmark of a good boss.

A good boss also asks questions for a reason. And it is about learning more or clarifying what he/she has just heard.