What was the breakthrough point in your career?
When I finally earned the title of Creative Director. At that time, it was the be all and end all of our creative journey and it didnít come easy (today it does). It was the ultimate goal for me as creative person to work hard and earn that, and there was nothing beyond that Ė actually nothing Ė as the rest of the progress is administrative designations. Creative Director is first real designation of having arrived, to have very important responsibility. Itís a pity that thrill no longer continues to be so.
If you had to choose one work from what you have done that is special, which one would it be and why?
Balbir Pasha, the HIV/Aids awareness campaign that I and my team had done. We did the campaign with the sole intention of making a difference in society. We didnít do it for fame or glory. The client backed us completely for the idea. And to hear people on the street playing back the name, the campaign and the results being achieved, was the most satisfying and wholesome experience. Thatís when you realise that we as advertising people really do have the power to change so much if we want to.
Unlike what is seen in media agencies, where about a third of the companies are led by women leaders, in a creative agency, the top posts still do not see many women creative leaders. What about this space makes it more challenging for the professionals here?
There is a lot of time that you need to spend out of home, be it on shoots, recording or travelling, late nights early days. Creative is one of those streams where as you grow in designation and job description, the job itself physically becomes more and more, and not less and less. The reason for this is because the expectation on your expertise then gets sought out all the time and you as an individual want to give that because you owe it to the brands and the clients. Thus, in this stream it means being physically present all the time.
However, as a very senior woman professional in the field once said, once you have children, everything else seems smaller. You donít want to be away from your children for endless hours; hence, they are more important to you. And thatís why the family takes priority and rightfully so. Itís the choice you make as to what is more exciting and bigger. Thus, the creative job is far, far more demanding of your time.
And whatever anyone might say, here in India, a woman takes care of the house. So, even if you are working, I donít think you can come home to your family and kick you shoes and wait at the table for food to be served.
Is there any extra edge/ anything different that a woman creative head could give to a creative idea in comparison to her male counterparts?
In terms of idea, it depends from person to person and personalities, which, I guess, works for both men and women. In terms of running a department, there is a lot of detailing that a woman creative head can bring to the table. A lot of commitment and, most of all, discipline in thinking and performing. However, that at times may be resented, but in the long run, it grooms the younger creative professionals to grow faster and better.