#GettingToKnow Shradha Bhatia, Strategy Director at Wolff Olins

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Tell us a bit about your role! Is there a “typical” day?

There’s very little typicality or predicatability in the work that I do, so I like to start my days with structure. A typical morning for me begins with a workout and a coffee. I like to read a couple of quick news briefs (Quartz and Finimize are my go-to) and create my to-do list for the day, organised by importance and urgency.

A wholesome breakfast is crucial. From there, it depends on whether I’m working for home, heading into the office (where you’ll find me three days a week) or meeting with a client.

I’ve always had my head and heart in brand strategy. And in recent years, I’ve grown to enjoy and focus much more on corporate brand transformations, which I hope to do more of at Wolff Olins. The more knotty, the better. And the more space to create something truly transformative, the better.

What was the biggest challenge in getting to your current position?

You can’t get to know an organisation in five days or even five weeks. It takes time, storytelling, shared experiences and working with different people on different projects to truly pick up the pulse of a company. Especially a company as unique and iconic as Wolff Olins. So it’s a steep learning curve, no doubt, but I’m enjoying the process!

What is your personal background and what role did it play in your career?

I was born and raised in Australia for the first part of my life, grew up in India for the next, pursued my MBA in Singapore and France, and now I live in London. A journey that has impacted me in so many ways, but if I could point to just one – it gave me empathy and as a result, my ability to connect with people, which has always held me in good stead, personally and professionally.

What is your biggest career-related win? What is your biggest loss?


Always a hard one to answer – winning is a moving goalpost, and what feels like a huge loss in the moment becomes less so overtime. Having said that, one of the most satisfying pieces of work I’ve done recently involved a major Swedish bank and democratizing access to financial education – a topic that I am personally hugely passionate about.

Which individuals and/or agencies do you gain inspiration from? Do you have any heroes in the industry?

I take inspiration less from people, and more from brands themselves. Patagonia is an evergreen source of inspiration, as it Depop – I love their relentless focus on community in all that they do. Doconomy is another one – operating at the intersection of brand, product and experience to bridge the intent-action gap we all face when putting our money where our values are.  

If you could go back to your teenage years, would you have done things differently? Do you have any regrets?

No changes, no regrets. I’m a big believer in the fact that every life experience I’ve ever had, no matter how big or small, has shaped who I am today. And I can proudly say that I’m very happy with that – professionally, but especially, personally.

If you weren’t in your current industry, what would you be doing?

I’d probably be working for a brand-led fund. I’m fascinated by the intersection of brand, capital and community.

What’s your one big dream for the future of the industry?

To embrace diversity in every way.

What are your top tips for aspiring creative professionals?


Firstly, bring your conviction and curiosity to every conversation, every challenge, every client. You will learn the rest along the way. Secondly, never lose sight of the ultimate problem you are solving for.

What are your top tips for other creative leaders?

Learn, unlearn, relearn.

Do you have any websites, books or resources you would recommend?

The Culture Map for anyone who works with clients or colleagues from diverse cultures. 

Courier Magazine for the low-down on the latest businesses, brands and bold entrepreneurs shaking things up. 


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