(Read preferably on a treadmill or roller-coaster, or at the least on a fast moving Mumbai suburban local! And watch our wonderful world of advertising life flash by.)
Seven glorious years of looking at life in your mind’s eye, capturing, innovating, creating ideas that charm and persuade consumers, and never flinching or blinking as we lived the ambitions of our life’s calling. Purpose is everything in our world. Having a life agenda, a plan to spur us onwards in the face of the most daunting and challenging times.
Always an industry that lives life to the fullest, the last seven years have only been more full, more successful, more colourful, more youthful, more creative.
#1.We took on an economic downturn by declaring it is "Too good a recession to waste". Our clarity that for brands to succeed, a clear and exacting understanding of the priorities was required. What was critical to address to emerge from the recession successfully was paramount. We succeeded.
#2. We created fantastic new media avenues, properties, and ideas - if anything, advertising is more ubiquitous than ever before... Even an airline ticket is not spared and even the smallest of businesses lands as an SMS on our phones. Just think about it. Life-changing and our industry, all of us whichever agency or allied partner we belong to, being the driving agent of change. Awe inspiring stuff.
#3. We have entered, infused, intruded and infiltrated almost - every possible new media... branded apps, technology tools, and iPad content dominate our conversations. iCame. iSaw. iConquered. iAchieved.
#4. We created, sustained and celebrated a brand called GoaFest. A legendary creation of the Industry. For the Industry. Seminal stuff and uniquely Indian, expressing our uniqueness. Over 5 years, 35 of the best and brightest global speakers of equal stature, 10,000+delegates, over 13,000+ pieces of work celebrated, and our unique stepping stone to Cannes. Win at GoaFest, Enter Cannes. Rain-dance requested.
#5. We made our mark on the world stage - not only has Indian work brought home Grand Prix(es), and Jay Chiats and AMEs and every possible award, we have continued to herald our arrival, raising our game and our benchmarks at every step of the way. Yes we Cannes!
#6. More importantly, our people - advertising people - are now dotting not just juries, but also telling the India story everywhere from Wharton to LBS to the World Economic Forum. And our people are now heading operations in so many countries, our planning and creative talent leading the charge at regional and global levels.
For all the global CEOs of large global corporations - Mastercard, Deutsche Bank, Reckitt Benckiser, PepsiCo… our celebrated leading lights - we admire your success and the corporations you lead, taking them to lofty heights with your undeniable Indian roots and talent. Take a bow. Wow!
#7. And our very reason to be. We continue to create, build and partner our respective brands on a scale like never before, larger and larger, in new dynamic emerging categories, and as they take on global markets, sometimes even buying the companies their passions desire. The music and ideas and conversations we create today have gone way beyond being just advertising to becoming part of media content, social currency and popular culture everywhere. Bollywood, Tollywood. And our celebrated new faces. Katrina, Deepika…assets that have launched a thousand brands. Move over, Hollywood.
There really is no better time to be Indian and to be in the ideas business. Jai ho! Rascals!
(Coincidentally, I have been at the helm at JWT for the last seven years. Every moment has been worth it; the wins, the losses, the passion and beyond all the sheer adrenaline rush as we've made India the hottest destination, famous for campaigns, famous for good talent, and important enough for the world to take notice. No small achievement for the team at JWT India. In fact, a huge achievement of having given seven years of undiluted selfless commitment to our company, our people, our clients and the brands we steward. May the next seven years be as glorious. Onwards and upwards!)