Manish Bhatt : My First Break In Advertising

Job hunt was way more complicated back in the late 90’s. Mobile phones were still a rare luxury. Personal landline numbers of Ad People were hard to come by. One had to camp in a STD booth and chase the ad-people through a labyrinth of receptionists and secretaries.
I got my first brush with the ad-world as a summer trainee in Mudra Communications back in 1996. For this, I had to chase down Atulit Saxena, an alumnus of my MBA college. He was a senior ad-exec in Mudra, at a time when Mudra had Santosh Desai still in the process of revolutionising the Planning Function and the creative team of Freddie and Naved were at the height of their powers.
I think it was my sheer desperation more than anything else, that finally made him cave in. 3 years later, I was looking for a job in Delhi, and had made some friends in ad-world, who were way more with-it than I could ever be. One of them, Sandipan Bhattacharya, better known as Sandy and currently ECD at BBDO, landed me an interview with Debasish Paul at Saatchi & Saatchi. Mr. Paul was heading the Delhi branch. I don’t remember much of that interview. I think my passion for internet got through to him and he decided to give me a chance as a Management Trainee. And as Atulit, my first mentor, used to say, Advertising is like a spinning Mary-go-Round, hard to get on. But once you’re on it, it’s impossible to get down.