Aishwarya Ramesh

Ambi Parameswaran takes on personal brand building with latest book

The book is a deep dive into the how-tos of personal brand building, told from the POV of friends attending a college reunion.

On Amazon, Ambi Parameswaran’s latest book is described as a concise, crucial guide on the what, why and how of personal brand building. The topic is relevant in this digital age, where people turn to social media to make their presence felt to their professional network, friends and family too.

It’s not just young men and women who are looking to build their careers, many CXOs of companies take to LinkedIn and Twitter to share updates about their brand, thoughts and career movements.

Parameswaran’s book is titled 'All the world’s a stage: A personal branding story'. It has a somewhat intimate narrative. The book unfolds at Parameswaran’s college’s (IIM Calcutta) silver reunion. The story comes alive through the eyes of his friends Shankar, Rita, Kunal and Joe.

Parameswaran’s book is meant to act as a roadmap to build a personal brand effectively. He has been doing this for the last 40-odd years, and chronicles his experiences doing so, in the book. When asked about the inception of the book over a call, he mentions that it all began in April 2020.

“During the first (COVID-induced) lockdown, I was approached by IIT Madras to do a seminar on personal brand building. I realised that there was interest around this topic. To write my book, I read 5-6 books as well as 30-40 articles on the theme/topic,” he says.

Parameswaran adds that personal brand building is not new, by any stretch of imagination, and has been around for at least the last 25-odd years. “If you look at how well known personalities, like Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King, built their brands, it was all done even before the phrase personal branding became popular.”

He explains that various tools of personal brand building, include what is said publicly, the written word, etc.

“An online presence helps you amplify your brand better. At the core, you need to offer something useful and stand for something. Simply being active on social media is not enough to build a personal brand. You have to stand for something solid and decide who you want to be. If you want to be active on social media, you have to figure out what you want to do there. Randomly sharing stuff isn't going to help.”

Parameswaran mentions that as important as brand building is, it is equally important to be able to take feedback. “Whether it is from your boss, colleagues, friends or family, you have to be able to take that feedback and make corrections, as you go.”

He adds that it's equally important to be honest and clear about sources of information, while sharing content on social media. His advice makes sense, considering how woke modern social media audiences are. One misstep can lead to a person being called out publicly, which can lead to negative side effects on one’s personal brand.

This is Parameswaran's 11th book. His last book, published in 2020, was titled 'Spring - Bouncing back from rejection'. In 2016, he penned the book 'Nawabs, Nudes, Noodles: India through 50 Years of Advertising'. This book chronicled some of India's iconic brands and revisited the ad campaigns from a behind-the-scenes point of view. He also wrote a book, titled 'For God's Sake: An Adman on the Business of Religion', which was released in 2015.

His book, titled 'Sponge: Leadership Lessons I Learnt From My Clients', is based on his experience as an adman. He worked at FCB Ulka for nearly three decades, creating campaigns for iconic brands, like Tata Motors, Santoor, Amul, ITC, among many more.

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