Kumar Suryavanshi is Creative Professional at Interface FCB Ulka Group, Mumbai.
Writer, poet, lyricist, adman, storyteller and a hard-core biryani lover . . . Kumar is a great mix of the creative and the marketing. A strategic planner before he moved to creative, he is a friend to many of his clients and a great motivator to his team. He has won many awards and accolades for his outstanding work. He is a versatile talent and has worked in Pepsi, Interpub, Rediffusion Everest Brand Solutions, Leo Burnett, and is currently with the Interface FCB Ulka Group. His journey from marketing to advertising is truly an inspirational story for many young minds who want to follow their passion against all the odds.
Why are you into Advertising?
Because I love writing and believe in creation more than following the line.
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I am still attending the school called ‘LIFE’. I personally don’t believe in any school that can teach you how to communicate your ideas. To some extent in Art, it is required because you need a certain kind of skill set and a sound knowledge of tools but for writing, either you have it or you don’t have. Period.
Tell us about your recent work campaign?
My recent campaign is for the Mahindra commercial range. It was a superb experience working on it.
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My role model is and always will be my mother; she has been a great support and a great friend. I have inherited the fighting spirit from her. Whatever I am, big or small, it is all because of her and her immense belief in me.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
Though I have never worked with them but I always look up to Piyush Pandey and R. Balki.
There are some people who really inspired me and contributed to build my career . . . Dilip Chabria, Rashida Patel, Padmakumar, Nitesh Tiwari, Rajesh Mani, Rupesh Kashyap and my friend Nikhil Mehrotra.
Tell us something about the Interface work environment.
The work environment is very comfortable. People are nice and believe in teamwork.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
How do you think Advertising should move into a new age with severely segmented media, short attention spans and declining print and TV viewership amongst the young?
Advertising is not something that you can restrict to any age. We are in the business of communication and over time, communication has changed its medium and it will change continuously. We need to know the pulse of the newer generation and understand their language and needs. We need to upgrade our skills to new media and match the demand of communication without losing the power of content. The new generation is digital and it is happily overtaking print and TV. So I feel it is just a matter of upgrading to new media.
Tell us about your first job in Advertising.
My first job in Advertising was at Interpub. It was a superb encounter in my life.
After I did my MBA I was placed in one of the big MNC beverages companies. I worked there as a Brand Manager for almost a year but I always wanted to write and do something creative. So one day I just left that job and started looking for a foothold in my dream profession. I went to many ad agencies but all of them said I would be a better planner than a creative because of my qualification and experience. But I was adamant and finally I landed at Interpub where Mr. Dilip Chabria (Ex- CEO Interpub ) interviewed me and told me to take a planner plus servicing job at first and then if I prove myself, he said he would help me get into creative. I proved my worth sooner than later. However, by the time I could ask him for a transfer into creative, he resigned.
After that I got a planning job at Everest Brand Solutions, and after seeing my proactive work Paddy (Padmakumar ex- NCD Everest Brand Solutions) took me into the creative department and thereafter I never looked back.
What do you think of the state of Print advertising right now? At least here in India, the released work is most often too sad.
Nowadays, it is in a bad state but as I mentioned before it is not because of lack of interest in print but because brands are getting a much bigger platform in digital and other innovative media. However, there is good work still happening in print.
Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
To some extent I believe in it. I feel that if you create work, which will create awareness in the market and move customers and influence their buying decision, then it will definitely win the janta and jury at the same time. And that is what I call award winning work.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
Follow your heart; listen to your gut. Always believe in yourself and work hard. Success will follow.
Do not let your career depend on any person and place. Remember, if you work for clients, you will keep solving their difficulties. But if you work for brands, you will always create opportunities for them.
Your dream project?
Creating opportunities for brand India.
Your upcoming campaigns, if you can talk about it?
There are many, but they are still taking shape.
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
Most definitely my wife.
What’s on your Mac or PC?
A Royal Enfield pic.