Your success mantra(s) to manage work-life balance

Sandeep: Work hard. Vacation hard. I have been doing 16-18 hour work routines ever since we got married, be it when I was an account executive at HTA Delhi or Chairman of Dentsu. Tanya used to sometimes do 7-day weeks while at Hero and Grindlays. But a month long summer vacation, and at least 2 weeks in winter (for some years now 3 weeks) is non-negotiable. This is when mobiles, emails and all else is switched off, bar a rare emergency.

Tanya: Don’t carry the office home, and don’t carry the home to the office. At least try hard not to do that. I never calls Sandeep at work, unless really really important. Sandeep just puts his mobile on silent once he gets home. If he has a work emergency to tackle, he tells me he is not-to-be-disturbed. And I totally understand that.

Board room strategies that you have borrowed from each other.

Sandeep:  Tanya is cool as cucumber, no matter what the provocation while I am emotional and excitable and can sometimes veer to extremes. From Tanya I am learning the virtue of keeping cool. Tanya can say ‘no’ with a straight face. Zero emotion. I am learning to do just that.

Tanya: Sandeep is very thorough with his Board preparations and agonizes over every agenda point before he takes the Chair. I have learnt to emulate that eye for detail, and preparedness.

How do you collaborate/inspire each other in your profession?

Sandeep: Honesty is the key. When things go wrong, we don’t try to hide the problem. Career decisions, investment opportunities for the firm, collaborations, and exits are all discussed and debated openly. Disagreements do happen, but criticism is not taken amiss.

Tanya: When I wanted to quit a high-profile corporate job to start a family, Sandeep was fully supportive. When Sandeep quit as Group CEO of Zee Telefilms (he was at that time the highest paid CEO of a listed Indian company), he and I would sit out on our 22nd floor terrace planning his next moves till the sky went from blue-to-black-to-blue again. A JV with Dentsu Inc., the world’s No.1 ad agency resulted.

Power and couple…perhaps an oxymoron…who do you think as a power couple.

Sandeep: The Clintons!!! Each has earned the power. Earned the success. And together they are a power brand.

Tanya: The Beckhams are another great example. Each is independently famous. Together they are an enviable package.

Favourite topic of discussion at your dinner table?

Sandeep: Food and friends. We love food. Cooking, experimenting, tasting, eating, and sharing. Our very large circle of friends are welcome to an open-house anytime.

Tanya: Our annual parantha party, for example, in August (monsoon time in Mumbai) starts at 11am with breakfast/brunch and goes onto nearly 6pm for those who started a late lunch … 30/40 couples, friends, associates, neighbours keep pouring in at their own time. Each welcomed with a with a tawa-fresh parantha of at least 12-15 types! But it is the nuance of every filling, every recipe, and every ingredient that is really discussed and savoured.

Who has a last word on family vacations? Your memorable vacation and why?

Sandeep: Daughter Carol decides.

Tanya: Most memorable vacation has been to Peru, in South America. Sandeep’s school buddy was the Indian ambassador there. That was the decider, above all. We stayed with him, were grandly hosted, but spent almost 3 weeks touring Machu Pichu, Cusco, Lake Titicaca, and the amazing Amazon. Peru was far, twenty-two hours flying time. But very much worth both the time and the expense. Quite unlike any of their holidays in Asia, Europe or the US. A very different culture, country, cuisine, and a very different climate. Beautiful. Bewitching. Picturesque. Memorable.


Tanya Goyal is the Director at Mogae Media. Tanya  has 30 years of corporate experience and she joined her husband, Sandeep Goyal, in setting up a joint-venture with Dentsu Inc. In 1992, she launched her own head-hunting firm, Mogae Consultants, and ran mid-level to C-mandates for many companies: Nerolac, JWT, Hero, Airtel, and Supreme, Dalmias, Perfetti, Benckiser, Rasna, Bhutan Board, Oswals and more. She has been on the  national governing bodies of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF), and ISA (Indian Society of Advertisers), she is also a past Executive Committee member of the Indian chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA).

Sandeep Goyal is the Chairman at Mogae Media. He is the owner-promoter of the Mogae Group, was also the Founder Chairman & former JV partner of Dentsu India. A well-known name in the world of media & communication, Sandeep has been in advertising for nearly 30 years. He has worked at JWT, Grey, Mudra and at Rediffusion DY&R where he was President from 1997 to 2001. He was head of the agency team at Rediffusion that helped launch brand Airtel in 1994. He has, over the years, also worked on diverse clients like Nestle, Smithkline Beecham, Colgate-Palmolive, Citibank, Maruti Suzuki, Apple, Aircel, HDFC Life, Reliance, Toyota, Honda, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, Yamaha, SAIL, Indian Oil, Department of Tourism (GOI), NACO, Delhi Government, and many many more. Sandeep wrote ‘The Dum Dum Bullet’, a bestseller on the business of advertising. The book was published by Penguin in 2004.


Power Couple is a series initiated by Paul Writer featuring successful couples in the profession of marketing, media and advertising. 





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