The creative industry was abuzz with various views on August 11, 2009 on Ogilvy India’s decision to elevate Abhijit Avasthi and Rajiv Rao to National Creative Directors. Some said ‘merit gets credit’, while others said, ‘brave move, great move’. The NCD role was so far held by none other than Piyush Pandey himself, who continues to be the Creative Director and Executive Chairman for the region.
According to Pandey, the core thought behind this decision was to “refresh and recharge” Ogilvy India. He explained, “We are always ahead of the game and we have done this to stay there. This will bring more youthfulness in our work, across disciplines. We are certain that this will pay rich dividends to the agency, and our clients, in context to the future growth of the agency, and the kind of work that comes from Ogilvy India.”
All disciplines that Ogilvy India is in, across all cities, would be reporting to Avasthi and Rao. They would also be responsible for the operations of Meridien and David.
While Avasthi and Rao are looking forward to the task ahead, Avasthi was quick to point out here, “We don’t have a reporting structure in that sense. All of us are partners, and we collaborate. Piyush has never used the word reporting with us. He has never led the agency with that structure – if one wins, all of us win. And that is the kind of work style that would continue to be there at Ogilvy.”
Avasthi also informed that they already had some thoughts in taking the new role forward, a strong component of which would include more disciplines in the Ogilvy fold. He said, “The agency has many talented people, and Rajiv and I are looking at opportunities where the agency can be in newer areas, both advertising and non-advertising. The intention is to continue taking steps that would benefit all involved – that is the people in the agency and our clients.”