Archives for posts with tag: sai pradhan

Trufflepig Search is pleased to report our success in Asia.  We opened as a division of Berkhemer Clayton, Inc. 18 months ago (Jan 2011) to help American corporations find communications and digital marketing executives in Asia.  Already we have handled senior-level communications searches for Gap Inc., GE, Coca-Cola Japan, and large public relations agencies in China. Our Managing Director in HK is Ms. Sai Pradhan, who previously worked here in LA for Berkhemer Clayton.  Our experience demonstrates that even service businesses like ours can export or expand into Asia. We consulted with Invest Hong Kong  to learn the legal and technical requirements of opening our business there.

Research recently published by Committee of 100–Chinese-American business leaders here in U.S. who do business in China—spotlights current opinions in both China and U.S. today.  The Committee of 100 researchers interviewed 4,000 people in China and U.S.—private citizens as well as business leaders. Findings showed that in both countries, there is a considerable gap between the views of general public versus the views of business people and political leaders. Looking at improving relationships between people in China and America, findings showed that increased understanding of language, culture and travel back and forth build trust.

Some of the observations:  People in China have favorable impressions of American culture and way of life, and see a cooperative relationship.  Chinese people are optimistic and confident about their own futures.  They now see themselves as a superpower.

Both groups value each other’s prominence in the world—they see need for cooperation to benefit global financial stability. But sometimes we don’t trust each other’s governments, Charlie Woo told Betsy Berkhemer-Credaire and Renee Fraser on their radio show UnfinishedBusiness.  Charlie owns MegaToys in Los Angeles  He is a C-100 leader, along with Chancellor Frank Wu, from UC Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, who said the Chinese cite problems in their own country with government corruption and an inadequate legal system. The U.S. participants cite a significant problem with Chinese copying American intellectual property. The research shows a trend for the first time that an increasing number of Chinese people see IP as a problem as well.

Charlie says China is soon going to be the world’s largest consumer economy—not just exporter of products, but consumer of goods, especially high-value big name American products.  That’s good news for companies expanding their business in China.  We are there to help.


Sai Pradhan, Managing Director, Trufflepig Search Hong Kong, was featured on the keynote panel at the Women Media Networks last month.  The two others who spoke at the panel were Jocelyn Liipfert, Head of Social Media at TBWA, and Jay Oatway, digital consultant and author of Mastering Story, Community and Influence: How to Use Social Media to Become a Social Leader.  Jocelyn, Jay, and Sai together stage the popular #HKSocial–a networking event focused on the power of digital and social media.

Sai explains how LinkedIn helps recruiters:

“In my experience as a headhunter for PR and communications positions, we do use LinkedIn, but very selectively. It’s a research tool, but we develop candidates more by personally reaching out to existing contacts and to sources in our networks and by developing specific research to find top talent for the position we are handling. So, yes, while professionals who are keeping an eye out for new opportunities should certainly create and use LinkedIn profiles, it cannot be the only way, nor should it consume all your job seeking time. But if you are on LinkedIn do make it easy for a recruiter to contact you.”
For more of Sai’s discussion on the WMN panel.

Our very own Sai Pradhan, Managing Director of Trufflepig Search in Hong Kong was interviewed and featured in a story featuring Hong Kong’s ‘Digital Dreamers’–the digital and social media entrepreneurs making a deep impact in the Asia Pacific’s digital scene.

Sai is focused on recruitment of social media-savvy communications and marketing talent for client organizations.  Prior to her appointment to head the Hong Kong office, she was an Associate in the corporate communications and marketing speciality practice at Los Angeles-based Berkhemer Clayton, retained executive search consultants.  Previously with public relations agencies Ruder Finn and Fenton Communications, she has worked with a range of clients and industries, handling messaging, branding, positioning, corporate social responsibility, and media relations.

 Photo Credit:

A few highlights from Sai’s conversation with TimeOut Hong Kong:

How do you find your candidates?
If it’s a Hong Kong position, there are four or five names I can name off the top of my head, mainly because I’m so ingrained with the social media community here.

Describe the ideal candidate.
The ideal candidate in Asia is someone who can speak multiple languages, so if it’s a position in China it would be a bit silly to go with someone who only speaks English.The placements I’ve done have been 90 percent expat, but I don’t want to classify because it’s such a blurry line.

Is the salary which clients offer here on par with other cities in the world?
Of course, but you need to take into account that people don’t pay so much tax here, so base salaries are a little lower. In general, social media jobs tend to be a bit overpaid, that’s what I have been finding; just a little more than your average PR job.

Why is that?
I think perhaps people based in Asia feel less need to educate themselves on it than their counterparts elsewhere.

How educated do you need to be to succeed?
I’ve seen a lot of people just take it upon themselves to become the digital or socialmedia person within their company, but If you don’t understand whatever is applicable to your role, like brand messaging, then you’re going to be quite lost.

But isn’t it true that Hong Kong is far behind other world cities?


Complete Interview at TimeOut HK’s website

For more on Sai’s take on social media in China

This January marks our inaugural year in business, and we just wanted to say “thank you” as we wish you Happy New Year.

We launched our Trufflepig Search division to help client companies find social media and digital communications professionals below the executive level.  And we opened our office in Hong Kong–Trufflepig Search Ltd.– to serve client corporations in Asia.  Our clients include AutoTrader, GE, Gap, Huawei and Coca-Cola/Japan.

As the economy builds momentum in 2012, Trufflepig Search is here to help find your next great social media or digital communications team member in the United States or Asia.

We wish you a new year full of health, enjoyment, productivity and profitability.

Women Media Networks recent event in Hong Kong focused on leadership in an era of rapid change with speaker Jason Oke, regional strategy director at Young & Rubicon.  Sai Pradhan, our Managing Director in Hong Kong, emphasized the importance of networking-based events through WMN.  WMN is a non-profit organization focusing on networking in the Asia Pacific region.

The event was about planning and forecasting for business to be successful in the world of rapid change.  Women Media Networks used examples from marketing, space exploration, the media industry, and the military to explain how to create a successful business in this time of economic evolution.

Women Media Networks has a mission based on three pillars.  The first is to promote individual development, innovation, creativity, and productivity by holding events.  Second, to address the so-called “leaking pipeline” of women filling executive roles, and third is to inspire companies to improve opportunities and benefits for women.

Sai Pradhan co-organized and emceed this month’s HKSocial.  Seventy people arrived at 8 am to participate in this event where guest speakers Jay Oatway, Karen Tam, the Assistant Manager of Marketing and Promotions for Harbourcity and Times Square, and Kay Ross, copywriter and consultant, provided suggestions for utilizing social media marketing in business.  Jay Oatway, named “Hong Kong’s answer to Twitter royalty” by Marketing Magazine, led the social media monthly wrap up. Karen Tamspoke on how she used social media to popularize Harbourcity and Times Square as shopping and eating destinations and  Kay Ross stressed the importance of the character biography on Twitter and outlined what not to write.

For the last part of the social, discussion groups listened to feedback about Google+ and Twylah, a new tool which organizes tweets and has built-in SEO.

Technology has been able to reduce work hours for some professions, but for all the PR, marketing and social media professionals we place, hours have increased as file sharing systems and a profusion of smartphones make it all too possible to work from home at all hours. Employees in Hong Kong work 48.4 hours on average per week, 21% more than the International Labour Organization recommends. In a world where it is commonplace for people to work such hours, what should employers do to ensure that employees maintain some semblance of work-life balance but stay productive?

Bess Hepworth runs Bonzapie, a coaching and performance consultancy in Hong Kong, and in a recent presentation for Women’s Media Network, she shared her insights on how to make work environments more fun, which in turn increases productivity and keeps employees creative and happy. We aren’t talking about run of the mill leadership seminars here where employees are being assessed for potential, but simple activities that get everyone up and moving, and create interactive opportunities between people who are otherwise chained to their desks and cubicles.  Incorporating a little fun into the routine can have a big difference on attitudes, moods, and as a result, happiness and stress levels.

Slideshow presentation here.

By Sai Pradhan, Managing Director HK, Trufflepig Search Limited

In August 2010, Ogilvy PR’s 360 Degree Digital Influence Practice’s Social Media team in China put together an infographic to show China’s social media equivalents in an expansive list of categories: wikis, deal-of-the-day, instant messaging, blogging, and SNS to name a few. While the equivalents may have different features, they take on enough similarities to be comparable in terms of user demographics and usage. The most basic example is China’s Ren Ren which is a Facebook equivalent.

On March 2, 360 Degree Digital Influence released an updated version which showcases just how much change has taken place in the short six-month period. The new infographic gives a quick snapshot of the increase in platforms. Groupon’s commitment to China is reflected, as are Quora (compare to Yahoo Answers) and Tencent’s (Internet service portal) micro-blogging services.

“Making graphics like this is, of course, far from an exact science,” writes Thomas Crampton, Asia Pacific Director of 360 Digital Influence. We agree, Thomas, but it’s a great, easily digestible visual regardless.

Read the full article here: China Social Media Evolution

By Sai Pradhan, Managing Director, Trufflepig Search Limited, Hong Kong

Burson-Marsteller has predicted 11 trends in the digital communications realm in China for 2011. “If 2009 and 2010 was a period of ‘digital foreplay’ for companies at large, then 2011 and 2012 are pegged to be the year of ‘digital embrace,’” said Zaheer Nooruddin, director and lead digital strategist at Burson-Marsteller China in a recent article in Campaign Asia.

Burson’s predictions hit the nail on the head. Trufflepig Search in Hong Kong is witnessing the digital re-think in China as companies seek sound, integrated social media strategies versus the usually scattered tactical approaches everyone took to in previous years simply to be on the bandwagon. ROI is more important now than ever, as better services become available. More senior-level executives are taking to Twitter and Sina Weibo (China’s Twitter equivalent) as the need to engage and promote transparency becomes more apparent. Other predictions include the rise of the use of infographics to convey data, marketing based on the use of location-based communications, increased group buying activity, and the recognition of the value of the mobile web market in China.

Hand in hand with China’s predicted ‘digital embrace’ as Nooruddin cleverly calls it, is the increasing demand for excellent social media fluent professionals.

BM’s Digital communications Trends for China in 2011

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