Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar joins Contract Advertising as Chief Creative Officer
Tarun Rai, Chairman & Group CEO, J. Walter Thompson said “We have been in discussions with Sagar for the last few months. And I am very happy that we have him on board, finally. Sagar is an industry stalwart. He has built his reputation over the years across many agencies in India and abroad. He has worked with more traditional FMCG clients as well as some of the iconic technology companies. And he has excelled across media platforms - with the last decade, especially, building his reputation as a digital-first creative leader. Contract has some of the most exciting and high-profile brands. We have big ambitions for the agency. With Raji Ramaswamy as the CEO and Rohit Srivastava, one of the finest strategic minds in the country, what Contract needed was a CCO with the depth of experience and a solid reputation of creative excellence that Sagar brings to the agency. He is the ideal creative leader to take Contract to the next level and make it a creative powerhouse”.
With over three decades of experience across leading advertising agencies in India and abroad, Sagar is a highly feted creative professional with multiple domestic and international awards under his belt. In addition, he has also been on the jury of several award festivals. In his long and successful career, he has left his mark on brands like Samsung, Adidas, Grants, Apollo Munich, Jet Airways, Tata Motors, Fiat, Colgate, Airtel, Virgin Mobile, Uninor, Close Up, Dell, Tata Sky, Taj Hotels, Unilever Teas, ITC, Titan, Neo Sports, Star TV, MTV, Kingfisher, Himalayan, to name a few.
Sagar is a seasoned professional who has displayed his prowess in the emerging new age media through several of his campaigns across multiple categories. In addition, he has also set up and nurtured the design function is some of the agencies. He brings extensive experience in creating high impact, 360-degree communication platforms and integrating them across traditional, digital, activation and retail functions. He has also demonstrated through his work his ability to lead and drive new age creative thinking in an integrated manner. Over the years, in addition to creating traditional solutions, his repertoire also encompasses innovative technology, CSR program implementation, SEO campaigns, retail design and experiential.
He is recognized for his exemplary client relationships and his experience in working with senior stakeholders across the marketing and communication fraternity. Sagar is also an inspirational creative leader who is acknowledged for his mentoring skills and who has the reputation of building impactful teams. He is an advocate of creativity being inspired by technology, leading to the creation of intellectual properties that brands can own.
One of his recent wins has been for the Good Vibes project where the creative solution had a strong technological backbone through a mobile app, enabling two-way communication for deafblind. This app won over 27 Prestigious Awards including Cannes Innovation, D&AD and Goafest.
Raji Ramaswamy, CEO, Contract Advertising said “I am delighted to welcome Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar as the Chief Creative Officer responsible for guiding the creative output of Contract in the digital age. He is a seasoned new age creative leader who has the finest art and design sensibilities. He has worked on some of the biggest brands in the country across both traditional and new media platforms and excelled in every one of them. Contract manages some of the biggest brands and businesses in the country and we believe Sagar will be able to contribute and add value to each one of them. He is a game changer with a great track record for creating category breaking and award-winning ideas. He has a deep understanding of digital and technology with a strong belief that the future lies in the meeting of the two. He has built strong integrated teams in his earlier roles and we are confident that he will take the agency to the next level as an integrated agency of the future with big ambitions”.
“I would like to thank Ashish Chakravarty for providing Contract with the creative leadership and support and in getting us to where we are today. I would also like to wish him the very best for the future” added Raji Ramaswamy on Ashish Chakravarty’s movement.
Commenting on his appointment, Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar said “The vision of Contract and the direction that JWT group is taking globally, is to make brands agile and to make brands purposeful. That’s a dynamic shift which is challenging and forward looking. I am excited with Tarun’s strategy. Having worked on a winning note in a highly competitive, tech-first consumer business for the last three years, I am confident the shift is in the right direction. It is all about NOW. The NOW of shifting consumer behavior, of tech enabled lives, of design conscious user, of brave, bold and light-footed ideas. With right partners in Raji Ramaswamy and Rohit Srivastava and with remarkable clients, the new Contract is a promising venture for both its brands and its people”.
“Advertising that was only art some years ago is now an evolving art woven with science. Not the medium, but the idea is the message, laced with technology and fast changing consumer behavior. It is the complete picture that makes the difference today and not just vanilla advertising” added Sagar Mahabaleshwarkar.
Sagar is a sports enthusiast with a deep interest in cricket, tennis and Formula 1. In addition, he is also an avid photographer.