Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre Hotel, Powai, Mumbai
Brand Partner – Creative Head - BBH India
Born with art in my blood into the family of a landscape artist (my dad, Nirmal Kapoor), I did my Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from College of Art, Delhi University. Within a week of being out of college, I landed a job with Saatchi & Saatchi, Delhi as a junior visualizer. The highlight of the two years at Saatchi & Saatchi was the launch of the Hyundai Santro with Shahrukh Khan (spending eons colour-correcting his face at the printers). From there I moved to Chaitra Leo Burnett as a junior art director with some rosier brands (Thums Up, Coke). Apart from a lot of retail and regional work that used to happen on Coca-Cola brands, those were the days of Leo Burnett’s 7-plus and the advent of the award-hungry creative. On the basis of some 7-Plus work (diet-coke poster) and a Cannes shortlist, I did get the opportunity to come to Mumbai for the 7-Plus convention and interact with Michael Conrad, who was Worldwide Creative director, Leo Burnett. As the inspiring creative directors moved out of Burnett, so did I with my copywriter friend, Rahul Mathew. The next stop was Enterprise Nexus, Delhi and from there I moved to Ogilvy, Delhi in 2002. Among our other responsibilities we were also given charge of the healthcare brands (Ranbaxy, Aventis etc.) Ogilvy was truly the most creatively competitive culture that I had worked in, till that time. It was a collection of the city’s best advertising thinkers and the most insane minds under one roof. By 2003 I was completely convinced where the action was – Mumbai. We met Prasoon and landed a job with McCann Erickson Mumbai, and moved here lock, stock and barrel. We did some memorable work on Saffola Oils, Perfetti, Western Union Money Transfer and NDTV India and NDTV Imagine apart from picking up precious metals every year. The phase at McCann after my Philippines stint was the most challenging. While still at McCann, during the Cannes 2008 festival, over casual conversation at the Gutter bar, I got an offer to start up an agency along with my partner ECD at McCann, and long-time friend, Prateek Bhardwaj. We took this up and started Eleven Brandworks, Mumbai, in partnership with Concept Communication. We started with a lean size and were able to break even within a year. Apart from this we were also able to create some good work that won us 4 metals at the Goafest and got us in the top-10 agencies of the country in 2010. By the second year we were able to attract enough clients and creative teams to start operations in Delhi. The biggest challenge and learning at Eleven for me, has been to lead from the front, not just as a creative head but also as a business head and entrepreneur. Since 2012 I have worked with BBH, Mumbai working on Nihar Shanti Amla Hair Oil, Skoda, Google, Red Bull, Johnnie Walker, VAT 69, Acer, Vaseline and World Gold Council. Finally I would say that I’ve burnt the candle from both ends only to realize that I work best when I work from my strength, which lies in ‘creativity’.