AgTalk | Ignore the critics when they attack you: Everest's Dhunji S. Wadia

Dhunji S. Wadia is a true grandee of the advertising business. He is currently the President of Everest Brand Solutions. He is an influential voice and his views reflect the aspirations of the industry's vanguard. In an exclusive conversation, Wadia engages Adgully in a discursive conversation. Excerpts from an insightful Q&A:

Adgully: Please share with us, your two key highlights that have been momentous in the advertising space?

Dhunji Wadia: The first was winning India's first Integrated Titanium and Direct Grand Prix for The Times ofIndia ' Lead India campaign. The second momentous occasion was for winning India's first Grand Prix at the Jay Chiat Planning Awards for DeBeers Diamond Bride.

Ag: What are the learnings that you have derived from your long stint at JWT?

DW: After a successful and fulfilling stint at JWT, where I've had extensive associations with some of the most robust marketing companies, I am now seeking to leverage the width and depth of my experience in leading the Everest team to greater success.

Everest will be a lean agency where seasoned professionals from marketing, advertising, research, design, and interactive backgrounds come together to build strong client relationships.

Ag: What kind of growth plans have you charted out for Everest Brand Solutions for the next two years?

DW: Our future is tied directly to the success of our clients and brands. Our core task is to deliver the best counsel for our clients. Our business is idea driven and all of us need to actively help create, defend and nurture ideas. We are seeking growth, but not at the cost of losing our personal touch with each individual client.

We are choosy about the kind of businesses that we associate with. It's not about the size of the business but the client's intent that is important.

At Everest we work very closely with our clients. Even to the extent of getting involved with product teams to make future products better and even instigate new products. This line of thinking might even taken on briefs to market the products we've co-created with the client.

Ag: Could you share with us some of your favourite clients and why?

DW: That's like asking me which song I like ' there are too many.

Ag: What are some of the major changes you have noticed within this sphere over the years?

DW: We're in the midst of a revolutionary period unlike anything we have ever seen.

1. Close to 3.5 billion brand conversations happen in public every ' therefore it is time for agencies to master the art of listening to what's happening out there.

3. The consumer is now a creator/sharer/distributor; we need to learn to harness and inspire that.

Ag: What kind of challenges do you predict this space to face in the next three years?

DW: It is predicted that more change will happen in the next few years than has happened in the last five decades. Marketers will move to the concept of a new communication entity- one that shifts from creating messages to creating consumer connections. The role of the agency would be to facilitate conversations as opposed to the current formula of orchestrating advertising campaigns. Over time, traditional agencies will have very little option than to make this shift; they will start by connecting with consumer communities and will eventually become an integral part of them.

Ag: Any advice for the young enthusiasts entering this field?

DW: The youngsters today are all extremely gifted. There is a wave of talent rising that is difficult to stop. To all the emerging talent let me say ' simply ignore the critics when they attack you, and pay no attention to their praise. And may all your scars be little ones. | By Janees Antoo [janees(at)]


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