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Profile: Karl Gomes: Starting young, starting right

By Kapil Ohri , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | November 28, 2008
Thirty year old Gomes unveils his journey so far in the digital world - from computer lab instructor to national creative director (digital) at Rediffusion Y&R

Karl & #BANNER1 & # Gomes has done many things in life - worked as a computer lab instructor, freelance consultant, taught advertising professionals, set up new media divisions at various ad agencies, spearheaded digital creative teams at Tribal DDB and Arc Worldwide and won various awards. afaqs! profiles the man who was recently appointed national creative director (digital) at Rediffusion Y&R.

Thirty year old Gomes is a computer man. His affinity for computers began at an early age when, at 10, he got hold of a Sinclair computer and started using it for basic software programming and playing games. His attention shifted to designing when he joined a course in computer arts at a computer institute near his house.

It was in 1993 that Gomes started out on his multilayered career path. After his school board examinations, he joined the same computer institute as a part-time lab instructor to earn pocket money.

It was here that he learned the use of other designing software and got the opportunity to teach various ad professionals how to use the software to design. "My interaction with people from the advertising fraternity actually helped me understand the basics of advertising. I also bagged some freelance design assignments through them," he says.

Though he had studied commerce at Mumbai's Mithibai College, he moved into graphic designing. While still in college, he started working as a freelance consultant for a few design houses and advertising agencies. It provided him with hands on experience in designing for the print medium.

His transition from the print medium to multimedia began in the second year of college, when he took on assignments from an agency called Virtual Wizards. He created numerous multimedia presentations for its clients such as LIC (Life Insurance Corp.), Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council of India and BPL Mobile. "I learnt the dynamics of advertising and the ways to solve marketing and business communication problems," he says.

In 1998, at the age of 20, he followed his passion for multimedia designing and entered the world of interactive media, when the medium was at a nascent stage. From 1998 to 2004, he undertook the task of setting up new media divisions at Deadline Advertising and Wavelength Communications, apart from working as a freelance consultant, and created multimedia presentations and websites for various brands such as ICICI InfoTech, UTI, Hugo Boss, Castrol and Wipro Infotech.

In 2004, a big opportunity knocked at Gomes' door: He was offered the post of design head at Digital Branding Solutions, a Mudra Group venture. He later helped Mudra to start Tribal DDB India, the digital arm of Mudra DDB, and moved ahead to work as national creative director at the agency.

His stint at Tribal DDB won him several awards. He created a banner ad campaign for TimesJobs.com, which allowed users to upload their resume directly from the ad. It was the first Indian online campaign to be shortlisted at Cannes 2006. It won a gold and a bronze at the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI) Awards at GoaFest 2006 and a silver at the Asia Pacific Ad Fest 2006 in Thailand. A website created for LIC and an online campaign for MTV India on World AIDS Day won him several Webby awards.

Gomes' next destination was Arc Worldwide, the integrated marketing services division of Leo Burnett, in 2007 as executive creative director, digital. His campaign on Luxor Highlighters won him a bronze Cyber Lion at Cannes in 2008. "While others were still dwelling in the shadows of banners, emailers and websites, we created social communities around brands such as Delhi Daredevils, Tata Tea and Godrej, using popular cultures and emerging trends in society," he points out proudly.

Gomes loves meeting people from all walks of life and believes in networking and knows how to take advantage of it as well. "Networking has helped me in various ways in my professional and personal life. I am an avid social and business networker and a huge believer in six degrees of separation." He is connected to 810 friends on Facebook.com and more than 500 people on Linkedin.com.

He enjoys playing hockey, volleyball, football and squash. During his school and college days, he played hockey for the Indian Airlines club. Gomes loves to hang out with friends and often heads to the gym for a workout.

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(Profile is a regular column which peeps into the career path of senior advertising, media and marketing professionals who are currently in the news.)