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Ad land’s Young Guns: Ashish Patkar, Monk Media Network

Ashish Patkar, Founder and CEO, Monk Media Network, is a bundle of contradictions – Copywriter who loves Art; Cricket lover who plays tennis; Bollywood fan wanting to direct a Hollywood movie. In January 2016, Patkar founded Monk Media Network, a digital first integrated communications agency. The agency offers a bouquet of services like Social Media, Campaign Ideation and Execution, Media Planning and Buying and Video Production. 

He had earlier worked as Vice President & Executive Creative Director with Jack in the Box Worldwide; Creative Director with Hakuhodo Percept; and Group Head with JWT. 

What does it takes to climb up the ladder in advertising? Here’s Ashish Patkar in his own words... 

How did you get into the role you are serving?
The role I am currently in is the culmination of my professional journey of over a decade and the start of another exciting journey as an entrepreneur. 

What particular skill sets do you think you bring to the table?
The biggest skill set I bring to the table is to spot a great idea and then work in the trenches with my team to ensure that it is executed brilliantly. 

One campaign that you have worked on that you are particularly proud of? Please take us through the making of the campaign.
Surprisingly, the last two campaigns I am proud of both have been released on national holidays. For Knorr Soups, my team came up with an International National Anthem on August 15, 2015 and this January 26, we came up with a campaign for our brand Livitup!, where we launched a party constitution. 

While working on the creatives, how do you prepare yourself? What goes on in your mind?
While preparing, I tend to do a lot of reading and try to experience the product myself. I am always looking to connect with the idea at a human level, once that happens, I focus all my energies in to translating the idea in to execution with minimum distortion. 

Icons in advertising you look up to and how they have influenced you and your work?
One of my biggest regrets is that I never got to work with Balki. I am sure an opportunity to work with him would have made me a far better professional. I hope that someday I will get the opportunity to learn from him. 

What are the five most productive things that you do in your everyday routine?
Get up early, read all the time, get to office before anybody else does, do not take my work home and never let ego get in the way of a great idea. 

Do you think a career in advertising is a viable one in the long term?
Absolutely. The changing landscape, be it mobile or AR, will ensure that every five years you unlearn and refresh your career. 

What does it take to succeed in a career like advertising?
Persistence. Everything else can be learnt. 

What would be your advice to youngsters planning to enter this industry?
Love the word ‘NO’, but don’t agree with it. The courage to stand your ground and benevolent ego is what is needed to be a top-class professional in advertising. 

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
I see myself unlearning all I have learnt in these five years and refreshing my career. 

Is there any agency/ organisation that you would like to work with in the future?
I would have loved to work with Oliver Toscani, the creator of Benetton campaigns. He created campaigns that made history and most importantly, started a debate. That’s priceless!

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