Gandharv Sachdeva

Forging New Paths in Leadership Resilience

Gandharv Sachdeva

Country Head - India,


Destiny has its own plans, and for Gandharv Sachdeva, those plans led him on a journey filled with resilience, adaptation, and steadfast determination. His career path unfolded organically, shaped by a series of experiences that moulded him into the capable leader he is today, holding the position of Country Head at Hybrid in India. Gandharv embarked on his professional journey in the call centre industry, propelled by ambition and a drive for excellence. His entrepreneurial spirit guided him to establish call centre operations across India, but the global economic downturn of 2008 forced their closure, prompting a shift towards seeking employment opportunities amid turbulent times. This period of adversity served as a catalyst for personal growth, fostering resilience and adaptability in the face of uncertainty. Transitioning to the field of media from insurance sales, Gandharv joined organisations like Timesjob and Dainik Jagaran, immersing himself in media operations, advertising, and market dynamics. These experiences broadened his skill set and honed his strategic thinking, laying a solid foundation for future endeavours. However, it was his tenure at Mediascope that proved pivotal. Assuming leadership of sales operations, Gandharv navigated the complexities of the digital landscape with determination, further refining his leadership abilities and deepening his understanding of industry dynamics. Today, as Gandharv leads Hybrid in India, his leadership is characterised by a strategic vision and genuine concern for his team’s well-being, fostering a culture of collaboration and growth. Reflecting on his journey, he acknowledges the challenges faced and the lessons learned, each contributing to his growth as a leader. Gandharv shared more insights into his experiences, failures, and learnings in an exclusive interview with TradeFlock.

What entrepreneurial traits do you bring to leadership, and how do they enhance your skills?

Launching my call centre venture at 26 was pivotal, teaching me the importance of team solidarity. Understanding their challenges firsthand became paramount, encouraging empathy. I instill this ethos in both my team and upper management, emphasising mutual respect. This shift from a boss-employee dynamic to a cohesive unit has transformed productivity and nurtured camaraderie, propelled by lessons from mentors and former bosses.

What strategies have fuelled your success in these changing times?

Sales management success hinges on continuous learning and adaptability. Embracing a growth mindset, I seek insights from peers, seniors, and juniors, transcending traditional boundaries. Each interaction provides invaluable lessons. Implementation of newfound insights is crucial for fostering growth and innovation, ensuring resilience and relevance in an everevolving market.

Can you share a failure experience and what you learned from it?

I’ve never seen setbacks as failures but as opportunities for growth. As a sales manager, challenges like missed ad campaigns prompted strategic adjustments and a commitment to improvement. I stress the importance of contingency plans for my team, as I learned from a former boss. Having a backup strategy ensures resilience and success across all facets of business operations, a principle I stand by for continuous improvement and success.

What have been the key elements and your contribution towards the establishment and growth of Hybrid in India?

My pivotal role in Hybrid’s journey in India encompasses three crucial pillars that have fueled our establishment and growth. Firstly, I’ve been a driving force behind fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration within our organization. Through various initiatives, I’ve encouraged team members to think outside the box, collaborate across departments, and strive for excellence in everything we do. Secondly, I’ve been instrumental in devising and executing strategic plans for market expansion. By identifying key opportunities and leveraging our innovative solutions, such as the Hybrid Platform, Contextual Marketing Suite VOX, Hybrid Places, and TV Sync technologies, I’ve amplified the impact of our digital advertising campaigns, thereby solidifying our presence in the Indian market. Lastly, my unwavering commitment to Hybrid’s core values—trust, integrity, excellence, and customer focus—has been instrumental in our success. By embodying these values every day, I’ve helped cultivate a strong sense of purpose and dedication within our team, driving our growth trajectory forward with passion and determination.

What plans are in place for Hybrid's future?

Our plans for Hybrid encompass accelerating revenue growth by capitalising on emerging market trends. We’re expanding into new geographies in India, tailoring our offerings to meet the needs of diverse brands and agencies. Additionally, we’re committed to solidifying our position as a leading ad tech company specialising in contextual and programmatic advertising. Through these strategic initiatives, we aim to achieve sustained growth and establish

What is success to you, and where do you see yourself in five years?

Success is fluidity—eembracing change and turning challenges into opportunities. At Hybrid, I aim to elevate us into a premier adtech company across Southeast Asia. Over the next five years, I see myself leading this charge, navigating new territories, and driving personal and organisational growth.

How do you stay rejuvenated?

For me, fitness is key. I prioritise early morning gym sessions, regardless of my schedule or location. This hour is sacred—iit recharges me mentally and physically, preparing me for the day ahead. Fitness isn’t just a routine; it’s my lifeline, ensuring I stay energised and focused, even on minimal sleep.

How did you adapt from running a call centre business to succeeding in sales?

Transitioning from entrepreneurship to sales posed unique challenges. In 2008, upon returning to employment, I pondered my next move amidst industry shifts. Despite uncertainty, I recognised my innate sales skills and charismatic presence. With confidence, I pursued a position at an insurance firm, leveraging my natural ability to communicate and persuade. While unfamiliar with insurance sales, my aptitude for selling proved invaluable.
This pivot showcased adaptability and fortitude, underscoring the importance of embracing change and leveraging existing strengths to navigate new terrain.

Sales management success hinges on continuous learning and adaptability. Embracing a growth mindset, I seek insights from peers, seniors, and juniors, transcending traditional boundaries. Each interaction provides invaluable lessons.

How do you transfer your knowledge and expertise to your team, peers, or ecosystem as a leader?

Transferring knowledge and expertise involves fostering a culture where every team member feels empowered to lead. I encourage open dialogue and treat all team members equally, regardless of their role. Each person’s contribution is valued, and I lead by example, nurturing relationships built on trust and mutual respect. Whether current or former team members, I maintain a supportive environment where learning is shared freely, transcending any sense of competition.

What are your roles and responsibilities at Hybrid, and what challenges keep you awake at night?

At Hybrid, my role as the leader in India is all about fuelling growth—aiming for a meteoric. But it’s not just about numbers;
it’s about assembling the dream team and ensuring everyone’s happy and thriving. From revenue streams to team morale, I’ve got my hands in everything, building a workplace free from office politics and full of camaraderie. Challenges used to keep me up at night, but now, with strategic planning and a tight-knit team, we’re conquering them head-on, fuelled by a relentless drive for success.

What challenges arose during the growth journey, and how were they overcome? Highlight the key strategies used for mitigation.

Throughout our growth journey, we navigated challenges such as market saturation and talent acquisition. To establish Hybrid’s presence amidst competition, we executed targeted marketing campaigns and hosted events, showcasing our unique offerings. Additionally, we prioritised recruitment strategies centred on cultural fit and competitive compensation to attract and retain top talent. These approaches facilitated market penetration and ensured the assembly of a high-performing team, crucial for our sustained success.

Describe Hybrid's work culture and the key elements you've instilled to make it an attractive workplace for talent.

At Hybrid, our work culture revolves around our core value of “people first,” underscoring our commitment to employee welfare. We attribute our growth and success to the dedication and commitment of our team members. Trust and collaboration are foundational, ensuring every employee feels valued and empowered. We prioritise work-life balance, recognising its pivotal role in personal and professional development. Our well-curated annual offsite events, enjoyable Fridays, and team lunches foster camaraderie and boost morale, enhancing productivity. Our move to a spacious, modern office in Gurgaon reflects our commitment to growth and expansion. As we evolve, we actively seek fresh talent, offering unparalleled opportunities for growth and fulfilment and cementing Hybrid as a sought-after employer in the AdTech industry.

Do you plan to return to entrepreneurship?

With Hybrid, I already feel like an entrepreneur. As Country Head, I treat it as my own business, overseeing everything from P&L to operations. It’s my baby, and I’m committed to its growth. Viewing the organisation as my own propels me to excel, fostering a mindset where success is a shared journey between myself and the company.
















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