Here at communication strategy consultancy Sterling Media we’re going from strength to strength, from launching the biggest films of the year to managing global communications campaigns for international high-level forums. At the centre of it all is our Global CEO Natasha Mudhar, who we sat down with to find out the secrets to Sterling Media’s success:
Please introduce yourself and Sterling Group.
I am the Global CEO of the Sterling Group – a multi-disciplinary business management consultancy with interest across entertainment, finance, communication, and media. I started my career at Sterling Group just over fifteen years ago and no day has ever been the same. We operate internationally in core markets including Middle East, Asia Pacific, USA, Africa and India.
One of the companies under the umbrella is Sterling Media, a global business services and communications consultancy with an award-winning division representing change makers and thought-leaders from not-for-profit, government, corporate, lifestyle brands, entertainment and popular culture.
In addition, we also co-operate with global organisations such as the United Nations (UN) as a business consultant to shape their marketing communication strategies. This includes tackling major social issues and achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
My role as the company’s Global CEO extends to covering brand strategy and operations, not just at Sterling Media, but also across our other businesses. These consist of Sterling Realty, a boutique luxury real-estate firm specialising in the sale, investment, development and lettings of properties both in the UK and internationally as well as Sterling 2 Ent, a film marketing and entertainment company focused on production, distribution, marketing and content acquisition.
Have you always known that you wanted to be a part of the media communications industry?
I think it is a case of progression of passion. My mother Teji Singh was one of the first women from an ethnic background to launch an international communications and business management consultancy and I was able to see it grow and expand. Her hard work and dedication was an inspiration to see as the company flourished.
However, it was not just the industry which drew me in; but the passion and vision that she had for it that had inspired me to take up the business help take it even further.
As she has passed the baton to me, I am eager to elevate Sterling Group to new heights and territories. Sterling continues to be independently run and owned, and because of that we are able to operate without diluting the company’s values and ethos.
What else inspired you?
I have always had a deep-seated desire to bring brands closer to their purpose through competitive brand strategy. As I grew up in the industry, I saw first-hand the power of communications when it comes to building profiles and creating awareness. Sterling was built on the foundation of bringing ideas to life, providing the essential vehicle to transport ideas and personifying it by giving it life and putting it into motion.
As a business consultant, we look to help many different sectors and industries including corporates, consumer brands, charities, celebrities, countries and governments to help them obtain their vision. The sense of achievement when a project or campaign you helped build reaches the end of its cause – from initial planning right through to the global stage.
In what ways have you changed the business since becoming the CEO in 2004?
When I picked up the reins of the business, I wanted to elevate our brand profile beyond the national interest. Despite it being seen as a radical thought process at that time, I sought to divide our operations to bring out different brands and to solidify our presence in more than just the niche segment of Public Relations.
With major changes, this helped establish the Sterling Group umbrella and we now operate multiple business management consultancy platforms on an international scale.
What have been some of the biggest clients you’ve worked with?
I’m grateful that my team and I have had the opportunity to play an integral role in conceptualising and realising creative, effective and strategic campaigns for some of the world’s most respected and renowned organisations.
The United Nations and their Global Goals campaign is one such campaign. I spearheaded the India brand strategy for the campaign, devised by Richard Curtis’ Project Everyone, which aims to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by 193 world leaders in 2015 to every single citizen in the world. We also strategised the launch of Aston Martin and Harrods in India.
Most recently, Sterling Media also joined the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council (CWEIC) as strategic partners and will advise the CWEIC on how best to engage with media in the run-up to the CBF and highlight the many opportunities which exist for business across the Commonwealth. I also joined the advisory board and as such to contribute to CWEIC’s on-going global communications activities.
What campaigns have you done that have made a positive impact in fighting inequality?
Sterling Media led on the marketing communication campaigns for several projects including the short film #WhatIReallyReallyWant, which evoked the classic Spice Girls’ Wannabe video on the song’s 20th anniversary. The campaign reached a global audience through influencer marketing and encouraged girls and women worldwide to share #WhatIReallyReallyWant with the help of talented musicians, actresses and dancers.
We have also led the way in raising awareness on the subject of menstruation and periods through cause related marketing. This included spearheading the publicity for ‘Pad Man’, starring Bollywood star Akshay Kumar and working with the ‘Niine Movement’ which aims at education and informing all genders and ages about hygienic and safe menstruation methods and periods – which is still a taboo subject in India.
What’s next for Sterling?
As an agent acting as business consultant Sterling is always looking at ways to grow and broaden its horizons through global communications and PR marketing. We never rest on our laurels and creating new benchmarks is what keeps us hungry. We want to accelerate our pace and leverage our profile globally as we continue to explore the exciting opportunities which come our way. We want to enhance and cement our position as content owners, eventually launching our own IP’s.
We have a number of exciting projects coming up both in the UK and internationally where will put our heart and soul in to ensure that they are a complete success. So far, 2018 has been an excellent year for Sterling and we know that the future is very bright.