Alok Gadkar : Advertising Creative All Rounder

An alumnus of the famed JJ School and Mohammed Khan School of Communication, a sharp thinker of ideas and a sharp shooter on the pool table, Designer and communicator par excellence, brand builder who doesn’t hesitate to call a spade a spade, Fish lover and funtoon… all these put together would describe Alok Gadkar, the young award-winning firebrand General Manager and Executive Creative Director at The Classic Partnership Advertising in Dubai.

DesiCreative caught up with him to get his take on what makes him tick in advertising and how he sees the future of the industry going forward.
Why are you into Advertising?
I am not into Advertising, Advertising is in me.

Did you attend a school for fine art or design or Communications?
Oh yes, I have a B.F.A. degree from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai.
It was a fun-filled 5 years with specialization in Photography. Later, I enhanced and honed my communication skills at the Mohammed Khan School of communication (Enterprise Nexus).

Eggfirst : Agency Profile

Eggfirst is a full-service, mid size advertising agency offering end-to-end creative solutions. It is now a ten-year case study of value creation and building beliefs. It’s passionate about delivering what is now known as ‘Eggfirst quality’. The team is an embodiment of the ‘work hard play hard’ work ethic.

What made you start Eggfirst?
I was in the thick of marketing strategy and consulting before I started Eggfirst. I wanted to get closer to consumers and connect with them some more. There’s nothing like advertising that touches human lives and changes behaviours; perhaps on a daily basis. Equally importantly, advertising is one step closer to action than consulting advisory. It helps us make a visible tangible difference to the lives of our clients and their consumers.

Ian Pereira : In A Chat With A Photographer

Ian grew up in Colaba. He was educated in Mumbai and graduated with a B.Com degree. He went to London in 1979 and studied photography at the Polytechnic of Central London, UK and worked at Colorama Processing labs too. Spent 3 months in Chicago assisting various photographers. In 1984, Ian returned to Mumbai and begun his career as an Advertising & Industrial Photographer and have successfully completed 30 years in the profession. He specializes in Still Life, Industrial, Jewellery, Food, Industrial and Product Photography.

Why are you a photographer?
As a teenager I began to love photography. My Dad is a serious amateur photographer. I got interested in photography and on a holiday, one day, he let me use the camera. My parents then realised that I had some talent and encouraged me to pursue photography as a career. They then sent me to London to study photography


Do you remember any decisive moment when you felt “I want to be a photographer”?
As I mentioned, my talent for photography was obvious from a young age. My parents took us on a holiday to the UK and US in 1976. I shot a lot of images on the trip. My Dad, who was Co-founder of Chaitra Advertising, was able to use one of the images of the Statue of Liberty that I had shot, in an advertisement. It was then that I decided that I would make a career out of photography



Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari : My First Job In Advertising

How did you land your first job in advertising?
My first job in advertising was as a summer trainee in network advertising. I remember Rajan giving me my first assignment on Jet Airways. It was a bunting and dangler. And when it got printed i could not believe that this is my work. I had flaunted it to everyone i met.
Later I joined Leo Burnett as a trainee. And that was a very funny interview. I had gone with my huge portfolio and was called into Aggie’s room. I desperately wanted to join LB. He looked at my work and as he was about to say something there was a cockroach running on the carpet. It was the very old LB office. (but still my favorite one. we could hide or runaway from office and servicing would not know 🙂 He asked me ‘ Are you scared of cockroaches? I was quiet smiling.. and then he said ” if you are scared I wont hire you” I took it very seriously and said “No i am not”. He laughed and said “There will too many here to hound you, including me” So when do you want to join… I smiled and said “tomorrow”.

Rahul Singh : Interview with a Designer/Illustrator

Rahul Singh Ydav has a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media and he is currently working as an Designer/Illustrator at HB Design, Mumbai. Besides this he has started his own venture OZO apparel which supports Hip Hop culture and Street art.

Why are you into Advertising?
I always wanted to satisfy my hunger for creativity but I didn’t know which path to follow. It became more concrete when I took admission to BMM and specialized in advertising.

Did you attend school for fine art or design or Communications?
No, whatever I have learnt till now and whatever have been learning all these years is because of a wondrous thing called INTERNET. I started learning stuff from sites namely ,, youtube and many others.

Were there any particular role models for you when you grew up?
When I started designing, few of my friends helped me a lot. They were masters in their own right, I really look up to them. Another artist whom I have admired for his individuality and spirit is Banksy.

Who was the most influential personality on your career in Advertising?
There are many actually but the most influential personality in my career is my friend Sajid Wajid Shaikh.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Inspiration is the most important part to keep you going in advertising and for my daily dose I prefer to surf on sites like, illustration served.comand

Tell us something about the freelance work environment. We know lots of creatives would love to go freelance…
There are some creatives who are big on independence and love to work on their own terms. Though the income maybe uncertain i think freedom is very essential to the creative process. The market for freelance creatives is also very good but its the uncertainty and instability which may be bad.

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?
I think india is doing really well in print media and its going to do much better in future.

Do you think brands who’s advertising wins awards, do well in the market?
No, not entirely. Awards serve a completely different purpose. Creating brand awareness and making the brand a success among consumers are the two most important goals of any advertiser. Award winning ads may not always strike a chord with the masses. It can either make advertisers work very hard or it could result in them straying from their goals if they focus too much on awards.

What advice do you have for aspiring creative professionals?
I advice them to start early and chalk out a plan that they wish to follow. creative professionals should constantly up their game and update their skills. The most important thing is to develop a style of their own because they have to stand out and put something of their own on the table.
If you can dream of what you want in your life then you can achieve it too.

What’s your dream project?
There are many concepts going on in my mind but one of the best concept I would love to work on is illustration of all the gods coming back on earth and how the world would react. Ill name the project “Return Of Gods”.

Where do you see yourself in 15 years?
I see myself having developed my own venture OZO into a big recognisable name that promotes Hip hop culture. It will have joined the ranks of major brands that identify itself with hip hop. I also see myself working as an artist having honed my skills to perfection, because art is something I will never quit.

Who would you like to take out for dinner?
My lovely girlfriend.

What’s on your iPod?
I don’t have one. but on my player i listen to breakbeats, nu metal and hip hop tracks.

Mac or PC?
I am actually ok with both of them but ill rather prefer Mac over PC.

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10 Downing Street Pub by Dentsu Bangalore


Advertised brand: 10 Downing Street Pub, Chennai Traffic Police
Advert title(s): Had a Drink? Think!

Advertising Agency: Dentsu India Group

Executive Creative Director: Ashwin Parthiban, Shiv Parameswaran
Creative Director: Rathish P Subramaniam, Sachit Sadanandan
Art Director: Rathish P Subramaniam, Shiv Parameswaran
Copywriter: Sachit Sadanandan, Ashwin Parthiban

Additional credits:
Production House – Silent Picture Company
Director – Mark Manuel
Executive Producer – Balaji Selvaraj
Camera – Anbu Dennis, Vignesh Vasu, Jagadeesh Ravichandran
Assistant Director – Al Hoon
Music – Timothy Madhukar
Sound Engineer – Sean Bout
Post Production – RGB
Offline – Manohar
Online – Mohan
Computer Graphics – Velu

Short rationale (optional):
‘Don’t drink and drive’. Its a message that is so ubiquitous in big cities, it has actually become a blind spot. What this jaded ‘public’ message needed was a personal touch. An emotional connect that would not only make people notice this message, but act on it.
Had a Drink? Think!

Merry Men : Agency Profile

Merry Men is a media neutral creative agency that loves audacious ideas,  challenging the status quo, and of course being merry. We bring together the best of what a traditional and a digital agency have to offer – loads of experience, passion for ideas, a sound understanding of building brands, and youthfulness. We also pride ourselves on our strong ethics. For example we never test any of our concepts on animals because it would piss off our co-founder- Wagger, the in-house dog.

What made you start Merry Men?
When I saw the kind of integrated work that was happening abroad, where brands were taking ideas seamlessly across media and changing the rules, it made me want to do the same for brands in India. Basically a desire to create an agency that could be and act as a media-neutral solutions partner to brands.

Tell us about your Art Professionals. Did they go into fine art or design schools? How do you pick them up?
Actually we have never cared too much about art schools. A lot of agencies only pick art graduates but at Merry Men we look for nimbleness, flexibility and of course a good design sensibility/ taste. In fact almost all our art people have been from a non-art background. Our last art director was a trained pilot, and one of the guys in the current team actually came for a copywriting interview.


TOI Literary Carnival by AdSyndicate

Advertising Agency: Adsyndicate Services Pvt. Ltd.
Advert title(s): TOI Literary Carnival: Booklovers
Creative Directors: Vinay Saya, Utkal Mohanty, Anand Venkatram
Art Director: Vinay Saya
Copywriters: Utkal Mohanty, Anand Venkatram
Photographer: Deepak Vijay

TOI Literary Carnival ad 1