24 Hours with… Sumati​ ​Nagrath of Tickled Media

Working for a media company that targets parents and being a mum herself tends to blur the boundaries of work and home for Tickled Media head of business planning Sumati​ ​Nagrath

5.30 am: Yes, that’s how early my day starts. It’s not to see the sunrise, though that is a great fringe benefit.

My absolute essentials are: A quick 15 minutes of breathing (Pranayama/meditation), a cup of (very) strong coffee and a quick scan of the news headlines. Then I have about 40 minutes to go through emails ⎼ both work and personal ⎼ to see if anything needs urgent attention.

6.45 am: My daughter is up and the next hour is wonderfully spent discussing whatever she wants to talk about ⎼ a welcome relief from today’s headlines and emails. Then I walk her to the bus stop and make my way to the office.

Mother and child

8.15 am: The first hour and half at work is quiet time – spent focussing on emails, approvals and requests for my input. If there are other brave souls out there, I have breakfast meetings as I find that I often get the most out of my early meetings (plus another round of coffee).

10.00am: Two hours of meetings with the teams, one-on-ones, calls and addressing any concerns they may have while going over deliverables, where they are stuck and any help they need.

Sounds pretty standard, but when your teams are spread out over eight countries, there’s never a dull moment. I sometimes find myself humming It’s a small world after all at the end of all these catch-ups and firefighting sessions.

The Tickled team

12.00pm: At this time of day I’m usually in the CBD meeting with either marketing, digital, consumer insights leads of various FMCG, travel, healthcare and nutrition companies – or strategy and content leads at media agencies such as GroupM, OMD and Denstu Aegis – but today instead it is lunch with a colleague from a different department for the most interesting of knowledge-sharing sessions.

There’s something cathartic about listening to the’ day-to-day triumphs and struggles of others and then brainstorming.

1.00pm: This is the time of the day that I dedicate to my real passion, which is listening into what our mum community is thinking, feeling and saying. I pore over our analytics, social media pages and communities to understand what are the real concerns of our mums, what topics are trending and anticipating what’s going to be the next change in habits and attitudes.


At the same time, I work with my team to create short surveys in order to get specific insights into our audience. This understanding of mums across South East Asia, is at the heart of what we do at Tickled Media.

4.00pm: Okay, so the metabolism and the brain both slow down by this time. To perk up, I spend it reading articles on industry news and trends.

5.30 pm: Time to wrap up the ‘official’ work day, plan the next, tie up any loose ends and head home.

6.00pm: The next two and a half hours are committed to my daughter (yes, there is the occasional email or call, but they are exceptions). This is the moment I either truly live the industry I work in, which is parenting, or the moment I work in the true industry of my life – which is parenting.

In many ways, this is the most challenging and most rewarding part of my day. I am exhausted, so how do I give my daughter the best of me? We share what happened in the last few hours since morning, do homework and some reading, and then visit the playground.

We eat an early dinner together as a family, then it’s bedtime with a book and a prayer of gratitude. Once she is asleep, it’s couch time for me and my husband, where we simultaneously chat, catch up on emails and watch Netflix with a glass of wine in hand.

A couple of nights a week, we have social drinks or dinners, but our daughter’s school nights often turn out to be ours too.

10.30 pm: It’s bedtime, but never before reading a real, proper book. No screens before lights out.

Sumati​ ​Nagrath, is head​ ​of​ business​ ​planning at the publishing house ​Tickled​ ​Media


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