I’ve had writer’s block for the past few weeks. My book – Marketing Without Money – was finally with the publisher, Bloomsbury, and I just couldn’t think of anything to write about! Pre-launch copies are available on Amazon and official launch is on December 30th – so it’s definitely a merry Christmas for me 🙂

Thanks to all of you who have been on this book-writing journey with me and helped with interviews, reviews, and blurbs! COVID rules permitting I’m planning to sign books in Bangalore on 30th December and in NCR on Jan 8th. I think the book is ideal for anyone who is looking for ideas on taking a brand to market and doesn’t want to needlessly blow money in the process. You can find out more about me – and the book – at https://paulwriter.com/jessie-paul/

The Mint Banking Conclave gathered a lot of attention on LinkedIn, though it wasn’t along the lines they wanted. They got panned for running a full page ad with 30 speakers – all men. Banking is an industry with a decent representation of women at all levels. Heck – I’m on the board of India’s largest Microfinance companies – Credit Access Grameen myself.

So what went wrong? I think it’s because sponsors and organisers don’t include diversity of speakers and attendees as a parameter of success. Recent trolling will change that. I’m running a poll on LinkedIn yesterday on whether sponsors ought to put a clause demanding that 25% of the speakers ought to be women – 72% of the voters said yes. The dissenting voices are those who say that speakers ought to be chosen on merit. Fair enough – but merit lies in the eye of the beholder and is often defined as “People Like Us” not “People Like Them”.

Women speakers are rare in most industries and potentially more stretched as in many cultures they carry more of the domestic workload as well. So in order to get more diversity, this may require conferences to also reconsider their timing and dates – for example, I rarely agree to professional conferences that fall outside weekdays/office hours as that eats into family commitments. Brunch formats work better than dinners on weekdays. That’s true for men too – so adopting these best practices might be good for everyone!

Also I get why knowing the gender of a person might lead to discrimination, but I’d find it super handy if I could search by gender on LinkedIn. 

Virtual experiences and hybrid conferences can help make learning and networking more accessible and inclusive. I recently began advising Kestone which is a pioneer in this space. The past couple of years have been a major reset in being location independent, and I am totally enjoying the freedom of being able to work globally without leaving my Herman Miller. 

Having said that, it was so nice to do an in-person meeting after years! I was in Mumbai for the listing of PB Fintech (PolicyBazaar and PaisaBazaar) and the energy and the excitement of ringing the bell are hard to replicate virtually – at least for those brought up in the er, olden days.

In other news, I’m seriously trying to reduce my social media time. Anyone else in this boat?

Season’s greetings and don’t forget to ask Santa (or the Amazon Wishlist) for my book!

Also: if you write in and tell me why you missed my newsletter, I’ll pick the five best answers for a complimentary copy of my book. So send those in along with your postal address!

Happy holidays!


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