I look at Digital as a strong ally rather than challenge: Dhunji Wadia

Rediffusion Y&R has been buzzing. More so in the last couple of months, what with a series of fresh and return recruitments at senior level. Among them Navonil Chatterjee, Pranav Harihar  Sharma, Uttio Majumdar, Navonil Chatterjee, Pramod Sharma and Jaideep Mahajan. The agency also set up a new division Sunshine for CSR campaigns and picked a couple of interesting accounts as well, among them Rajasthan Govt’s prestigious ‘Resurgent Summit 2015’.

To make the long story short, it has been action paid eight months for Rediffusion, from the time Dhunji Wadia took over as President at Rediffusion Y&R, India. This is in addition to his role as President, Everest Brand Solutions.  He joined the Rediffusion Y&R Group in 2010. 

Adgully.com spoke to him about various aspects of advertising, emergence of digital and of course his ambitions for Rediffusion Y&R.

AG: What changes have you observed in the advertising industry over the last decade?

DW: More and more clients are seeking proof of efficacy. The debate between work that builds ‘Brands’ and work that drives ‘Business’ is getting more lop-sided. And hitching your brand-wagon to a cause is becoming the new fad.

AG: You have been a part of Everest and now you are heading Rediffusion too. How are you coping with the added responsibility?

DW: The added responsibility is understood by both teams and is often offset by a great working chemistry within the teams. I also look at it as a huge opportunity.

AG: Talking specifically about Rediffusion, can you give us its future road map?

DW: Rediffusion is set on a steady path of strategic and creative excellence. We have focussed on the basics here. We have the right people, given them the right environment to work and empowered them.  We are committed to creating work that ‘Resists the Usual’ and delivers ‘More than Usual’ for our clients’ businesses. Going forward, the results should speak for themselves.

AG: Is digital emerging as a key challenge for the creative agencies?

DW: I look at digital as a strong ally rather than a challenge.  Most of our recent awards have come from our ideas in the digital space (SABurbia.com, National Home Buying Day for Tata Housing, Volini, to name a few). We are looking to carry forward the same trend going forward as well.  And don’t forget, in India our brand name is associated with the onset of the digital revolution (Rediff.com) - digital can't be a challenge for us!

AG: What kind of prospects do you see for creating ads for digital? Do you think it is the need of the hour?

DW: Digital should be seen as a medium instead of a separate entity. Once our brand idea is in place, we treat digital as the new lead medium - at par with ATL. This allows for a great deal of flexibility and customisation in execution, which brings out the real magic in the idea. 

AG: What do you have to say about the new talent in your agency? Do you think their energy is being channelized in the right direction?

DW: They are all self-driven people. And right now, the mood in the dressing room, as they say, is very upbeat. My job is to ensure it stays that way.

AG: Are you looking for more key resources to strengthen your team?

DW: I am a happy captain right now. The team seems all set! However, there is always room for more …

AG: In the recent times, there has been an increase in colleges introducing advertising courses? Do you think creativity can be taught?

DW: Basic Creative acumen or the inherent spark for advertising is a must but the right mentoring/ grooming is most important. Creative acumen must be nurtured and channelized in the right direction. It can be a B-school, Ad agency or an Art college. Creativity can be nurtured. Advertising is full of examples of people who had the spark in the beginning but couldn’t do much in the absence of the right guidance. 

AG: Do you think our advertisements are at par with International level?

DW: Definitely.  To me any piece of advertising is successful only when it is effective, when it meets the desired brand goals. It is brilliant when it surpasses these goals.  A lot of Indian brands are built on brilliant advertising. 

AG: What could be the highlight of your journey in the advertising so far?

DW: Innumerable instances…but for that you’ll have to wait for my memoirs to be published.


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