‘My boss is a tough taskmaster’

Monday, 7 August 2006 - 9:01pm IST

From working with dad — Madison’s Sam Balsara — to her indulgence for shoes, Lara Balsara gets candid.

From working with dad — Madison’s Sam Balsara — to her indulgence for shoes, Lara Balsara gets candid.

“It wasn’t my childhood dream to get into advertising, but being exposed to advertising talk at home, I figured it was quite an exciting profession,” says Lara Balsara at the outset. After graduating with a degree in Economics from St Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Lara did her Masters in marketing from England and returned to join father Sam Balsara’s firm, Madison. “Dad prodded me to join saying there are tremendous opportunities which will help me become a better business woman,” she justifies.

Having taken up the portfolio of diversification Lara’s current task is to “identify areas where Madison does not have an offering, identify the right talent and get the unit going.” She adds, “My task is also organisation building. Dad feels I am best suited to look at this area.” Attached to the firm for the last two and a half years, Lara’s plans include, “Expanding to new countries. Some are international projects and others are new to the Indian market.”

When it comes to assessing her work, her father takes the call, “I am preparing for my performance review. My salary increase depends on it. My boss (Sam) is a tough taskmaster, and he’s even tougher on those he’s close to.” As for taking his advice, “Since I have easy access to him it is tempting to consult him all the time. He now pushes me back, saying ‘It’s your call’.” However, she is thrilled that at times roles are reversed with her being the advice giver, “I find it flattering when sometimes he agrees with me.”

Often labelled as her father’s daughter, Lara says, “It is more difficult than easy. I do enjoy a few privileges, but the flip side is there’s lots of work which I can’t say no to and the tension of responsibility that I can’t run away from!”

Away from work, she admits, “I have recently become a health and fitness freak and have started going to the gym whenever I am free and I continue to do Yoga at least once a week.” Apart from this she admits, “I have a weakness for shoes! Its also fun and an experience to spend time with my elder sister Tanya.” Sharing a close bond with her sister Lara says, “Tanya is visually challenged. However, handicap makes her bring some unique perspectives to life in different situations.”


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