Started many moons ago as copywriter.
Currently Regional Creative Director, Mumbai and South, Contract Advertising.
Last position: Executive Creative Director, Contract Mumbai. Personally written many memorable and award winning campaigns on brands like Cadbury (brands like Eclairs, Halls, Celebrations), Shoppers Stop, Tata Indicom, HSBC (Bank brand/Premier/PowerVantage/MyHome/MyTerms), Asian Paints, Bajaj Auto, NIIT, Kinetic Auto, SKF Bearings, Allianz Bajaj, Waterburys Compound, Blues Bizaar, JK Tyre, Ceat Tyres…
Juror, Cannes Direct Lions, 2011.
#66 on MEDIA Top 100 Creative Directors, Asia.
Winner: The CUP for newnationalanimal.com
Best Of Show – Direct Integrated, 360 Lotus and Lotus Root at Asia AdFest 2010 for www.newnationalanimal.com
Silver + 2 Bronze Spikes 2009 for www.newnationalanimal.com
Cannes Nomination 2009 for www.newnationalanimal.com
Winner: Over 200 International and National Advertising Awards and Certifications.
Why are you into Advertising?
Quite simple, really. My parents wanted me to become an engineer. (It’s kind of a Malayali thing, some of you will get it.) Then, despite seeing me fail the various engineering college entrance exams miserably, they then insisted that they still saw a professional buried somewhere in the recesses of me. And made me enroll for B.Com in the hope that I would become a Chartered Accountant, one day. Needless to say, I flunked that miserably as well.
I started out in life trying to make people sample a then (late 1980s) popular brand of cigarettes. Couldn’t. Standing on pavements in hot and sticky Calcutta made me dizzy and nauseous.
I almost made the grade to sell Vacuum Cleaners, door to door. (No prizes for guessing the brand. Discovering that lugging it around wasn’t exactly the lift my career needed.)
My father then got me a job in a company called National Plywood Industries. He knew the Managing Director and, suddenly, I was the assistant to the Purchase Officer. (That sounds fancy. It wasn’t. I pushed registers. The only thing fancy about it was that the office was, incidentally, at 5, Fancy Street, Dalhousie, Kolkata.)
But it was here that I had my first close encounter with advertising. Apart from pushing registers, I also had to disburse payments to suppliers. One of which was the advertising agency, Clarion. I saw illustrated storyboards for TVCs attached to bills. And I started to think, “Hey, perhaps I could do this?”
Now, it’s safe to say that about the only thing I did reasonably well in school was dream. And write a bit. Essays I wrote got published in the school mag.
But there wasn’t any magical break in advertising in store in Kolkata for me as my parents relocated very soon to Kerala.
I then, tried to get a job in advertising in Chennai. But I just couldn’t plumb the dank, dismal, dark depths of a hell – hole called Triplicane. So I packed my bags in less than a week and ran back really quick to Kochi.
I finally got a job in Kochi itself in a small agency called Space Ad run by a gent called Gireesan who introduced me to Bill Bernbach, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and copious quantities of Hercules XXX rum, not in any particular order.
After about a year of having a ball in Kochi with Gireesan and almost losing my liver to jaundice, rum, arrack and various other spirits, I finally landed in the Field of Opportunity that is Mumbai.
And got my first job here in a small set up that handled Eagle Flasks and Fantasie Chocolates (among others) called DART (Dynamic Advertising & Research Team – fancy that!!!)
Very early into the game, I realized that there was really little else I could have done in life. Sure I was a drop – out from conventional life, especially professionally. But I was born for this. I was born to dream. To conjure words and pictures out of my head. And I found advertising a great medium to help people appreciate the essence of what I’m trying to say. And I also found the ability to be able to influence people to make choices with my words and pictures quite thrilling. (Of course, this need not necessarily mean that all of society’s drop – outs will do well in advertising.)
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