Farhad Elavia to head business initiatives at Umbrella

By Neha Kalra , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : September 22, 2008
After spending 12 years in advertising, Elavia has moved to the creative side to work on design


Elavia is off advertising. After spending six years at Euro RSCG, he has put in his papers as client services director, refusing to accept the post of general manager offered to him.

Elavia has instead joined Umbrella, where he will pursue what he loves most - working on the creative side - on illustrations, graphics and design. As business head, Elavia is leading the client servicing function at the agency, complementing the efforts of Deven Sansare, creative director and copy chief. Elavia took on his new role at the beginning of the month and is reporting to director Bhupal Ramnathkar.

Elavia has done two stints at Euro RSCG. His first stint began in 1999, when he was with the agency for two years. He joined back in 2002 as associate account director. In all, he has spent more than half of his career - nearly eight years - at Euro RSCG.

Farhad Elavia
With experience of more than 12 years in advertising, he started his career at Encode Advertising, Bengaluru, in 1992 and was there for three years as junior account executive. Elavia's father, the late Firoze F Elavia, set up Madison in the 1970s and sold off his stake in Madison to Sam Balsara, currently chairperson, Madison World, in 1987-88. Following the stake sale, the family shifted base to Bengaluru.

Elavia shifted to Mumbai in 1997 and joined Madison (then Madison DMB&B) and spent two years there. In 1999, he joined Euro RSCG and moved out as account manager in 2001. After stepping out, he joined Contract Advertising for what would be a short stay, after which he moved back to Euro RSCG.

In his career, Elavia has worked across various sectors such as retail, petroleum, hospitality and travel and tourism, and on brands such as Bharat Petroleum, Air France, Reliance Retail's membership and loyalty programme, Grand Hyatt, Voltas, Bajaj Allianz, Shaw Wallace, HDFC and State Bank of India.

Talking about his move, Elavia says, "I have started disliking advertising to the extent that I don't find any thrill in it and have stopped enjoying it. I have been more inclined to the creative side of the business - illustrations, graphics and all. Design appeals a lot to me and I will firmly explore this opportunity now. It's great to start work in this field with some big names."

Does Farhad want to move back to advertising ever? "I wouldn't use 'ever', but I won't get back to advertising. Not of my free will at least!"

First Published : September 22, 2008
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