A Dance With The Corporate Ton by Lata Subramanian

What is expected of me?

This is a question that often comes to the mind of employees while working in an organization. Only sometimes the answer is clear but most of the times employees are left wondering as to what the implicit expectations are, and what it takes to smoothly navigate through the journey in the Corporate World.

A Dance With The Corporate Ton


What if your beliefs and perceptions are different from the expectations of the corporate environment?  Must you always give in to the expectations? What do you stand to gain or lose?

‘A Dance with the Corporate Ton’ is a book that addresses such questions that frequently come up in the mind of most professionals. In the book, Lata shares the experience of her journey from Room Service Order Taker in a luxury hotel to Senior Management cadre of the corporate world. What does it take to gain acceptability and credibility in the corporate world? How does one live up to the myriad expectations of the corporate environment?


Who should read the book?

Though Lata writes about the Advertising and Marketing field in India, but her observations are equally relevant to professionals working in any industry. There’s a lot to gain from the insights shared by a person who has treaded the path.  The book is a must read for young professionals, particularly for women professionals, who have embarked on their journey in the corporate world.

This however does not imply that the book is less relevant for professionals in the senior rungs of the Corporate World. For those Senior Management professionals who want to understand their employees better in order to align their motivation with the corporate objectives, the author, through her reflections provides a window to the minds of the employees – their needs, apprehensions and, sensitivities.


Management Gyan with a touch of humour

Having worked in a creative domain, Lata surely knows how to deliver her punches.

All the Management Gyan is delivered with sufficient dose of humour, in a manner that is not preachy at all. Through several anecdotes, satirical references and sketches Lata has managed to pique the interest of the readers. I must mention that the sketches in the book are remarkably well done. Here is a sample below.

Management Catwalk
A Pedigree in Management Catwalk

The stories of behind the conception and execution of Lakme Colours campaign,  the campaign for the soon to become infamous Harshad Mehta and his company, and some famous campaigns done by Lintas catch the reader’s attention.

The book shatters the myth that one needs to be a fashionista to be successful in the advertising world.

In the Indian advertising scene, it helps to be desi in your upbringing and outlook because it brings experiential understanding of the average Indian consumer to the table.

Another moot point that the book highlights is that the measure of success is not the same for all individuals. Even in the corporate world, each person can have his/ her own yardstick. To extract the best performance from employees, Management needs to understand the motivation and aspirations of individuals and accordingly give each person something to look forward to.


Reservations and Expectations

A point worth mentioning is that Lata has been very upfront about her own reservations and shortcomings that were looked upon as deterrents in the way of her aspirations in the advertising field, or even her mistakesIn details she has written about how her colleagues came together to form a ‘Save Lata Commitee‘ in an unsuccessful attempt to style her up in accordance with the norms of the advertising world.

She has also talked about the instances when her own values and beliefs came in direct conflict with the corporate norms and expectations. She was told to get off her moral high horse, or how she felt limited in her scope when she had to fit in the performance of her team in the Bell’s Curve. Lata admits that she learned the true meaning of job dignity after her stint as a waitress in a restaurant in the US.

Having spent a long stint as a corporate professional, I could easily relate with her writing, and I strongly feel that the experiences shared in the book will resonate with many professional women, and offer them many a insights.

Last, but not the least, a special thanks to Lata for mentioning my name in the Dedication page of her book.

You can view a sample or purchase the book by clicking on the link below.


** Copyright of the images are with Fingerprints Advertising, India.

Images have been reproduced with permission from the author.

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    By: Somali K Chakrabarti

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Somali K Chakrabarti

Hi there! Welcome to Scribble and Scrawl! Here, I delve into themes related to positive lifestyle - from making smart-living choices, savvy financial decisions to nurturing the mind, body and soul. I share my travel experiences, explore facets of art and culture and highlight inspiring stories. Hope you enjoy reading my posts.

  • I am going to read the book. For your review Somali. And many more reasons. I am a woman in the Marketing Technology world. Also I follow Lata’s blog for the wonderful wit and wisdom. A must read.

  • I would like to hive it a try as I started from ad firm.

  • Very insightful take on the book Somali. Thanks for sharing.

  • Smart review and an interesting read it seems. I’d love to make a temporary switch to the ad world to be exposed to creativity on a different level.

  • I’m so tempted to read this book now Somali! Corporate life is second nature to me after spending close to a decade and a half there. I’m sure it would be easy to relate to this book. Thanks for the review – added to my TBR list!

  • Working in the corporate world is not a cakewalk for women many a time. The book sounds to be an interesting one. Thanks for such an insightful review, Somali….:-) It’s great that the author has mentioned your name in the dedication page. A well-deserved mention… :-)

  • The book laced with humour from Lata’s wonderful stable is a delight, and the temptation to read it was purely on your review Somali.
    Her writing is forthright and straight from the heart and I could relate to the contents of the book in more ways than one. Her Tambram background with similar eclectic mix of tradition and orthodoxy, the dabble at creativity and ingenuity, the myriad expectations from an employee, her wit.. Her journey and rise in the corporate world has been phenomenal backed by true grit and determination.
    I was big eyed with the title and beseeched to implore further and was magnificently led to a treasure trove of subtle writing interspersed with anecdotes and clip art that capture the readers’ minds brilliantly.
    Kudos to the brilliant recapitulation.

    • Thanks a lot Sunita. I am sure you would have loved the book, given Lata’s brilliant writing and the similarities in cultural background. In fact, the book not only makes us question the norms of the corporate culture but also gives insights into human psychology.

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