Get to Know: Santosh Mane, Team Leader, Ad Services for Newspapers

Team Leader, Affinity Express Ad Services team for US Newspaper

Santosh Mane with his team behind him

Santosh Mane just celebrated his second anniversary at Affinity Express, and those two years have been anything but uneventful. He joined as a designer in Pune in June 2008, and was promoted to team leader in June 2009. He is one of the two team leaders for a 39-member team that works on ad production for a top ten U.S. daily newspaper.

This team works on approximately 800 ads per week, and Santosh supervises ad production, ensures quality, and coaches and guides his team towards continuous improvement.

He starts his day by looking at the job orders that have come in. These are categorized based on creativity and complexity, and handed out to team members based on their experience and skills.

Santosh’s team follows a rigorous process to ensure quality. For each order, instructions are documented as numbered checklists that the team can easily revisit as tasks are completed. Once ads are assigned, each designer consults the creative mentor team and builds the ad based on the instructions provided. Once the ad is created, it goes through one round of proofing (or two for certain kinds of ads, such as those that contain legal language). Then the team leader reviews the ad one last time before it is returned to the client.

Errors are rare, but if they occur, they get fed into the feedback loop and incorporated into initiatives for improvement. Each person on the team gets detailed input on his or her performance and the quality of work, and Santosh considers it an important part of his job to provide employees with the training and coaching they need to improve further.

Affinity Express uses AdWatch software to manage ad production. Client sales representatives upload inputs and instructions into the system, and the client contact directs them to the Affinity Express Pune or Manila teams as appropriate. The process workflow is managed through AdWatch, and clients download completed ads directly from the system. This makes the entire process much more efficient, and ensures easy sharing, transfer, and storage of information.

The project started in May 2008, just before Santosh joined Affinity Express. At the beginning, the client had offered no standard specifications. The Pune team documented errors that occurred more than once into a document that they had the client review and approve. Santosh is proud of the fact that his team now consistently delivers over 99% quality.

The members of Santosh’s team undergo various training programs to enable them to work effectively. There is, of course, technical training in the areas of design, quality and using AdWatch. New members also undergo training on client requirements that they need to follow. Apart from a significant amount of on-the-job training, Santosh also often schedules industry-specific training based on team members’ skills and interests.

Another important aspect of training is familiarizing team members with American culture and language. In fact, Santosh says that he is extremely proud of the fact that he and his team effectively bridge the cultural divide so the ads they produce can be published in a newspaper in the U.S. This sense of satisfaction arises from the realization that he understands what the clients expect and that the differences in location or culture do not prevent him from and the team doing a great job.

Everyone in the team has, of course, undergone some formal training in graphic design, and Santosh says that 60% of his team has more than five years of experience in the field.

Santosh is passionate about the contribution he makes at Affinity Express. He loves his work and is proud of what he has accomplished.

When he is not working, he likes to spend most of his time with his family: his baby girl, his wife and his mother. He is happy to go home each day with the feeling that he put in 100% at work today, just like every other day.

About Unmana Datta
Senior Marketing Manager at Affinity Express, Unmana is an obsessive consumer of blogs and social media, and fascinated by their use in marketing.

11 Responses to Get to Know: Santosh Mane, Team Leader, Ad Services for Newspapers

  1. Dhananjay says:

    And Santosh is just one of the many talanted guys we have around!

  2. Shaunak Vilekar says:

    This blog is really amazing..i have worked with Santosh Mane for 4 months. He surely needs the credit to what he is good at. A good inspiring team leader.
    All the best Buddy!


    Shaun Vile
    AUT University, New Zealand

    • Unmana Datta says:

      Thank you for the kind words, Shaun! I’ll pass this on to Santosh as well.

      (By the way, I deleted your phone number from the comment, but I’ll pass it on to Santosh directly.)

  3. hardik says:

    Nice Stuff Sir Ji….

    May be Everyone who read this got really Inspire…..

    Be Ready For Hardest Situations in Life……

    “A bump in the road is either an obstacle to be fought or an opportunity to be enjoyed…it is all up to you”

  4. R Satyaprakash says:

    it’s been very grate to see some from us shining as light to enlight our team….he is one of the fastest i ever seen, in terms of ad production, managing team.
    Working cool in the high time, such as critical delivery for the ad production.

  5. Unmana Datta says:

    hardik, R Satyaprakash: Thank you both for taking the time to comment and saying such nice things about Santosh!

  6. Amol B says:

    Congratulations! Santosh….
    Its huge happiness to see you to ride on a success like that way…and very thankful to Affinity for opportunity given to him to develop in such a short time of period.

    Jay Ho!!!!…..

  7. Santosh is awesome! He makes our Co. Proud!!
    All the affords goes to Unmana Datta for this blog!!!

    Best Wishes from San Antonio Team!!!
    Vijender M & Nitin V (San Antonio TL)

  8. Naveen says:

    Yeah!! Dude…. Good to see you shining like a star in Affinity not everyone can do this, I am very happy for you… Keep continuing your good work!!

    God Bless You!!!

  9. amol devare says:

    Santosh is very good person…A good inspiring team leader. i m proud that i m part of his team….amol devare

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