Why are you into Advertising?
Well frankly I finished college with English Literature and at that time the three professions were teaching (which meant I had to study more) journalism (which I was not keen on) and advertising (that like everyone else thinks I thought was yummy to do).
Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
I did a diploma course in copywriting. That kind of initially outlined even if it was scratchily so an idea about the business .it also made me do an assignment that got me a job at DART advertsing .
Tell us about your recent work campaign?
Recently the work we have done is on Emami Vasocare, Fairever Spinz and Rasna.
It is all FMCG . Challenging in terms of communication in a highly crowded market.But I particularly feel good about vasocare lotion which I feel has been done on a powerful insight.
And I really like the spinz photo animation tvc that we did. It is different and stand out in terms of technique .
Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
My first role model was Chax. My boss. And the second was Balki. Again my boss.
These two people are the two most honest people I have met Honest to the profession, the brand, the people that work for them. They truly are mentors.
Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
My mom and dad.
Their outlook to life, approach to people and the way they handled emotions overall provided me with wholesome perspective as I moved forward in advertising.
Their way of life and living, observing it day in and out is what taught me how and why advertising is a people’s business.
Like they say in medicine –you are not treating a broken limb you are treating a person who might be handicapped for life .
Where do you get your inspiration from?
From life. And observing it with a smile. You need to keep your eyes and ears open. You have to keep absorbing. You have to try and gather experiences as much as you can. Meet people. Go to places. Have different food. Joke laugh. Watch hindi films. There is so much out there that you can learn from, no book in advertising can ever give you that.
Do you have any kind of a program to nurture and train young talent?
Somehow I have realized even as I went through my younger days (oh I miss them), there is nothing you can orchestrate to train younger people. You have to take it on your self that everyday when you deal with them, they are learning and you are teaching. That is the best way to learn. Let them experience it. Throw them into the action with you holding their backs.
Structured workshops are often forgotten once you leave the conference room. My bosses were brave enough to throw me into facing and experiencing the business and I am returning the favour by trying to the same with people who have put faith in me.
Tell us about your biggest challenge as the Creative Director and head of Curry Nation?
I guess for every start up the biggest challenge is clients and brands. Getting them to put faith in you when you are small and have just started. Touch wood and god bless all our clients who put faith in us. And have believed in our commitment and passion for their brands.
The second biggest challenge is all the non creative director stuff you have to deal with. Which up till now someone else took care of .
So paper work. Chairs. Tables. Lights. Leakages. It is all your problem. And you need to solve it. But you know what… it is fun. It makes you feel your baby is truly yours.
What inspired the name “Curry Nation”?
Having travelled extensively abroad. I have realized that we Indians have multiple layers. We are multidimensional emotionally. And I believe it has a lot to do with our food. It is textured and it keeps surprising your palette as your try it. It is wonderful. You keep stumbling upon the unexpected everytime Just like our culture and our people.
Besides that it is my undying love for Indian food and Indian culture that inspired the name Curry-Nation.
Do you believe Viral Advertisements for social networking sites can be next big thing?
I think it already is. The way something good that gets put up on Facebook snowballs into being the most talked about is amazing… the speed, the number of people talking about it.
The only thing here is that it is short lived that frenzy, since quickly something else takes it’s place. So it very volatile. And cant be viewed with long term lens.
Tell us about your 1st work as a creative director in the field of advertising.
The first piece of work I did which I can remember is the coca cola lyric logo for India.
It was a fascinating experience. There is potentially fertile and youthful format that coke used to have. All done with photo animation and lock camera but the result was outstanding. So I had done a really fun jingle and lots of fun stuff happening graphically and in photo animation around the coke logo. It was produced in Chicago and I regret not having that copy with me anywhere. (And yes I have done a Google search).
Pick and tell us about one of your past campaigns, your personal favourite…
Balbir Pasha. And think it will remain that for a long time. It is not just about what we achieved but the whole process. It was team work at it is very best that I have ever seen. And a client that was totally supportive and encouraging and most of all brave to back us for the task at hand. I never ever get tired of talking about this campaign. The true joy of advertising is what I experienced when we did this.
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?
Well it is not good what is released. I don’t know if the clients are playing safe. Or it is the money involved that is making them play really safe on print. But you seldom see any breathtaking print work that you see showcased at award shows.
Do you think brands whose advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
Obviously not the ones that are done solely for awards.
But we have enough examples today of solid brand building work that has shown it ‘s worth in the market shining at awards.
Cadbury’s methe mein kuch meetha, Airtel har ek friend, Vodafone, Hippo to name a few.
What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
If you truly are interested in advertising please do something about. BUILD A PORTFOLIO. Don’t just go to meet Creative directors saying I love advertising. It really gets my goat when I meet people who just come with no attempts made to showcase what their creative thinking capacity. Being creative in advertising is not some glamorous easy job. It is difficult and scary and challenges you and your being everyday.
So please look at the things around and start doing ads for those products. Or watch ads keenly, see what their positioning and campigns are and write the next campaign for them. That will show how committed you are. Not “I like writing” and “I love ads” .
Mac or PC?
Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My brother Samir who is a true foodie and appreciates food like no one else. He relishes it. And if it is dinner for the food I am going for I would take him anyday. I hate to go for lunch or dinner with anyone who finds fault in the food or eats for the sake of eating .
I would order Fish curry rice ))))))
What’s on your iPod?
Only 3 playlists (1)All masaledar dhink chak latest hindi music (2) Really Old hindi songs (3) Marathi songs that pull at your heart.
Your upcoming campaigns if any?
There are some really exciting big idea ones around the corner but they are taking some time… but like we Indians believe …umeed pe duniya kayam so hoping waiting praying.