Santosh Padhi, chief creative officer and co-founder, TapRoot India and Divya Radhakrishnan, president, TME, the media company of the Rediffusion Y&R group, are the only two Indians who have been chosen as jury members at the Dubai Lynx Awards.
The Dubai International Advertising Festival is the leading advertising festival in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region and the prestigious Dubai Lynx awards are instituted to honour innovative and creative advertising coming from this region.
Paddy is quite enthused about his new assignment. In a conversation with afaqs!, he says, "It's a great honour to be a part of such awards jury panels, where some of the best minds of the world are coming together to fight for the right set of ideas."
"If you see in the last couple of years, the creative standard of the middle east is getting better. It will be a great experience for me to judge the variety of categories, right from Print and Outdoor to Television, Radio, Craft and Interactive," he adds.
For the record, Paddy has an experience of 15 years in advertising. He started off with Mudra Mumbai and spent an eventful 10 years at Leo Burnett, where he was executive creative director and the national head of art (India). Subsequently, he left the network to start a new creative venture, TapRoot India.
Another Indian who is part of the Dubai Lynx Jury is Divya Radhakrishnan. She will judge the media entries. Radhakrishnan has a 22 year career in managing the media mandate for blue chip brands and has worked for companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Hewlett-Packard, Garnier and Parle Products. She has also led the Tata Group Agency-on-Record, which was formed to handle the media services for the group's 23 companies.
Radhakrishnan is an active member of the Media Forum in India (which is part of the Advertising Agencies Association of India) and vice-chairperson of the Radio Technical Committee of the Media Research Users Council. She is also an executive member of the Indian Newspaper Society/Advertising Agencies Association of India Joint Committee.
Although in the past, Radhakrishnan has served as a jury member for the Ad Club of Mumbai's annual awards at GoaFest and the Emvies, she is thrilled to be a jury member at an international event. She is curious to know how the grim market situation in the MENA region has left its effect on the advertising talents there. "I'm looking forward to seeing some smart ideas originating from the recession hit market there," she says.
Radhakrishnan has another secret agenda (for all the right reasons). "Although technically I'm going as a judge, I'm looking forward to learning new things and getting fresh ideas from the award show," she quips.
For the record, the Dubai Lynx is presented by the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival and Motivate Publishing and held with the support of Dubai Media City (DMC), in association with the UAE chapter of the International Advertising Association (IAA). The award show will take place on March 17 at The Palladium, an entertainment and events venue situated at the heart of Dubai Media City.