Getting to know The Real Side of Rohit Ohri, Rajiv Dingra, Sumanto Chattopadhyay

People have always been fascinated with the private lives of popular public personas. In its new property – ‘The Real Side’ – Star World has been bringing some of the most gripping real life stories of some of the most popular personalities from around the globe. These range from iconic personalities whose lives serve as a source of inspiration as well as some of the biggest scandals that have shocked the people. 

By talking to some of the head honchos in the country, we at Adgully, bring to you a series of The Real Side – stories and experiences that have driven these leaders to their successes and become the people they are today. 

This week, we spoke to Rohit Ohri, Group Chairman & CEO, FCB India; Rajiv Dingra, Founder & CEO, WATConsult; and Sumanto Chattopadhyay, Chairman and CCO, 82.5 Communications, on their thoughts and experiences in life, what has inspired them and the lessons life has thought them. 

Life is my inspiration: Rohit Ohri 

Speaking about work-life balance, Rohit Ohri said, “To create interesting work one needs to live an interesting life. A healthy work-life balance is imperative for everyone, but perhaps when you are in the business of creating ideas, a little more so. All work and no play might make Jack a dull boy, but in the creative business he would be dead meat. That’s why, I cultivate and grow my passions. Travel, golf and theatre are my three favourite wind-me-downs. That’s what you will find me indulging in when I am not at work. Admittedly, they all come with stress of their own kind, but it’s a fun kind of stress. The kind that you can shrug off with a laugh. The kind that keeps you going.” 

For Ohri, the journey is always as important as the destination. His journey starts with the holiday planning process. The ad honcho enjoys the entire research process which can carry on for months! “So if I am not holidaying, I am most certainly holiday planning! As a family, we enjoy experiencing new cultures, food and customs around the globe and in India. Right now, I have Cambodia on my mind!” revealed Ohri. 

Read more: Ad land’s Young Guns: Drishti Vasisht, Weber Shandwick India

So what about his struggles on the way to success? “Challenges have always been there, but I don’t look at them as setbacks. In fact, if anything, they spur me on more. The road just smoothens automatically once you have a clear sight of your goals,” he maintained. 

Ohri’s biggest learning in life has been to know when to follow his gut instinct and let the heart lead. “For me, it has always worked out.” Speaking about what inspires him, Ohri said, “Life is my inspiration. People, places, experiences, journeys, food… inspire me every day.” 

My inspiration will always be my parents: Rajiv Dingra 

Giving a little sneak-peek into his life, what he is like when he isn’t working and what makes him who he is today, Rajiv Dingra said, “I am a very laid back person. I like to watch TV series and just lay back when I’m not working and totally relax and unwind. I would watch cricket if there is a match on. On a regular basis, I work out and go to the gym and even on off workdays, that’s not something I miss out on.” 

Speaking about his struggles, he said, “I have been in the industry for 12 years and counting. Each year has been more fulfilling and more challenging. Though our most challenging period was the second half of 2008, when the Lehmann Brothers’ crash sort of stalled all advertising payments in India and put us in a cash crunch situation. We survived that somehow and have never looked back. After that instance, we have been very robust with our financials and ensured no setback can push us back to the wall.” 

Though there have been many turning points in his life, losing his mother to cancer when he was just 13 was the most profound as it forced Dingra to grow up earlier than he would otherwise have. “Having said that, those 13 years are my most cherished memories and my learnings and philosophy in life has been greatly influenced by my mother. Her positive attitude continues to inspire me till today.” 

Dingra is of the opinion that “nothing stays the same”. Shedding light on some of the biggest learning moments he’s had, he said, “Success and failure both are temporary and you should never take either to the heart or head. The key to success is to constantly chase what you enjoy doing without constantly measuring the outcome of your efforts. 

So, what inspires the CEO and Founder of WATConsult? His response, “My inspiration will always be my parents. My mom and my dad, who I have seen work extremely hard in extremely tough situations and still be great parents to four kids. Seeing them go through life with positivity and enthusiasm, inspite of the challenges, has been the fuel that I needed to get through my life so far and it has always kept me motivated and inspired.” 

Sumanto Chattopadhyay’s life’s lessons from Robin Williams 

Sumanto Chattopadhyay also lets us into his life as he shares his life story, “I used to be painfully shy and fearful of public speaking -- a drawback for an ad man. Acting in theatre and films helped me overcome that fear – though I still get butterflies in my stomach when I get up to present at a big meeting.” Relatable, isn’t it? The Chairman and CCO of 82.5 Communications also tells us what he has learnt through his many experiences in life, “You can only do something well when you learn to do it in a relaxed way. Horse-riding taught me this. It’s only if you relax on horse-back that you can maintain your balance when the horse gallops at wind speed.” While he loves acting, horse-riding, photography and capoeira – something he takes time out to indulge in – a key learning to maintain work-life balance. 

Late actor Robin Williams is an inspiration for Chattopadhyay, as he explains. “He brought empathy to every character he played. We would all do well to bring such empathy to the roles we play in life.” 

‘The Real Side’ airs on Sundays at 9 pm on Star World. After airing the inspirational life stories of Robin Williams and Steven Spielberg, the upcoming line-up for ‘The Real Side’ includes: 



4th August

In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye

11th August

The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst

18th August

At The Heart Of Gold

Becoming Warren Buffett



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