Two great hands to build a new world in advertising

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | September 17, 2008
Agnello Dias and Santosh Padhi have been thinking about starting their own creative agency for more than eight months


Dias and Santosh Padhi are going to set up their own creative agency. The news has perked up everyone's ears because any enterprise headed by these two stalwarts will be worth looking out for.

Agnello Dias, fondly known as Aggie, is chief creative officer at JWT and recently announced his decision to move out of the agency. Santosh Padhi, better known as Paddy, is executive creative director and national head of art at Leo Burnett India.

"It's something that we've been discussing for a while now," Aggie tells afaqs! Currently, both ad geniuses are serving notice periods at their respective agencies and activity will be in full swing only towards the end of the year.

Agnello Dias

Santosh Padhi
"We haven't decided on a name as yet," discloses Paddy. Neither do they have a place from where they'll operate or any client to work with, he adds. However, the duo is sure that they're going to start a full-fledged creative agency.

On the timing of starting an agency now, Paddy says, "We've thought a lot about this and feel that this is the correct time to experiment with the market." Also, the year has been exceptionally good for both the ad men, with JWT and Leo Burnett doing very well at Cannes 2008.

On the risk aspect of a new venture, Aggie says, "We're pretty sure that this is the right time and we have to give it our best shot." They trust that the work they've done in the past will be enough to get them clients.

At a time when international agencies are looking at India with newfound respect and want to set up shop in India, why would two big time creative guys not jump on the bandwagon, but start something by themselves? Paddy says, "When you're working at an agency, you've got to think like them and gel with them. When you work in a creative shop that you've created, the freedom that you enjoy is very different. You decide the pace, how much work you'll take on and you have more control."

Aggie has spent about 12 years of his 18 year career at Leo Burnett. In 2005, he moved to JWT as vice-president and executive creative director and slowly rose to be national creative director. In April this year, he was made chief creative officer. He has worked on several brands, of which high on recall are The Times of India and Nike.

Paddy started off with Mudra Communications as a trainee visualiser. He moved to Leo Burnett in 1999 and has been there since, growing from senior art director to ECD. Some of the brands that he has worked on are McDonald's, Heinz, Mumbai Mirror, Bajaj Electricals, ICICI Bank and the controversial Luxor Highlighters.

Both have won numerous awards at international and national advertising festivals.

© 2008 afaqs!