Name: Charles Santhakumar
From: Chennai / India
Current job title: Senior PR Executive
When did you arrive in the UAE?
I’ve only just arrived. I landed in Dubai on October 10, 2013.
Where did you work prior?
Back in India, I worked for various leading PR agencies including Edelman, Vaishnavi Corporate Communications, Hanmer MSL and Good Relations.
Had you been to Dubai before accepting your new role?
No, I had never been to Dubai but I had heard a lot about it. This is my first visit and I am excited to explore.
What are your first impressions of the media industry in the Middle East?
Before I decided to move to Dubai, I had done a lot of research about the Middle East media industry and it is growing rapidly when you compare it to India. This is what really sold it to me and gave me a good feeling about moving here.
Tell us about your new role…
Well, I have only been in the role for one week and already, it has been a great learning experience. I am involved in client servicing, media relations, social media branding and many more exciting areas.
What challenges are you facing?
As I am still very new, the only challenge that I have faced so far is sometimes a difficulty with the language, as I do not speak Arabic. Hopefully I will pick this up in good time.
How do you plan to make your mark?
I am focused on the current work, no dreaming, just concentrating on the work I do. I want to make sure I give it my best shot to deliver what my clients expect.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I would say the most important and rewarding aspect of any job is when you work with a great team and in a good working environment.
What’s the most exciting thing to happen so far?
I think it’s too early to say as I have been so focused on work, but each day when I get to interact with new contacts – journalists, clients etc – this is exciting for me.
What do you think of the quality of media publications in the region?
I am very impressed with the quality – it is very good. It is a mixed community even in the media industry, so it’s really healthy.
What sets you apart from other PRs?
I don’t have a right to compare myself with others, but as a PR person, I set goals for myself and I try to achieve that. I like to be measured by my deliverables… I work hard to prove my skills and I always try and put my experience to good use. That’s what drives me every day.
Work calls via landline, mobile or both?
I am always contactable – it’s part of my job. So I am happy to be contacted on both mobile or landline.
Describe yourself in five words…
Jovial, sporty, energetic, a team player and flexible.
What’s your most overused saying?
Everything is possible for those who believe.
Five things you can’t live without?
God, my parents, my sweet wife, food and water. Really.
If you weren’t a PR, what would you be?
I would be a Sports Journalist – it was my first choice after my Masters in Electronic Journalism, before I chose PR.