Dhunji Wadia of JWT decides to move on

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 27, 2010
The old hand of JWT calls it a day at the agency after 18 years

After a long association with JWT which lasted 18 years, Dhunji Wadia, senior vice-president and managing partner, JWT Mumbai plans to move on. Wadia says he wants to explore opportunities beyond JWT but doesn't reveal his next destination.

Wadia has spent around 25 years in the advertising industry, having worked on major national and international brands such as Nike, Levi Strauss, Jockey, Unilever, Diamond Trading Co., Kellogg, Standard Chartered, Warner Lambert and Bosch.

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He has set up the Diamond Marketing Group in India for the Diamond Trading Company in 1995. In 1997, he took on the role of regional business manager for Unilever's home and personal care division for Central Asia, North Africa and Middle East region (CAME region).

He was responsible for the turnaround of JWT Bangalore during his stint, with emphasis on improving the creative product. JWT Bangalore, under his stewardship, won more than 150 awards, both national and international, including prestigious wins at Cannes, Clio, D&AD, London International Advertising Awards, Young Guns, New York Festivals and the New York Advertising and Marketing Effectiveness Awards(AME) twice in a row. The Nike Cricket case study won a silver metal at the Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards 2007, a gold and a bronze at NY Festivals AME Awards.

He was appointed managing partner of JWT Mumbai on January 1, 2008. He also took up P&L responsibilities for Fortune Communications and RMG. JWT Mumbai won a chunk of new business pitches during this time. "As percentage of revenue, the agency won 27 per cent new businesses in 2008 and 15 per cent in 2009," says Wadia.

Under him, the new business acquisitions in Mumbai included Kingfisher Airlines, Godrej-Hershey, Brylcreem, Birla Sunlife Insurance and Asset management, Godrej Corporate, Bennett Coleman and Company, Johnson & Johnson, Kotak Life Insurance, Kotak Securities, SET Max, Thomas Cook, HNG Floatglass and ADF Foods.

In 2008, JWT Mumbai won India's first Grand Prix and Integrated/Titanium Lion at Cannes, India's first Grand Prix at the Jay Chiat Planning Awards, Clio, WPP's WPPed Cream, One Show and Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards, Grand Effie, YoungGuns, NY Festivals AME and Yahoo Big Idea Chair.

The year 2009 was equally happening for JWT Mumbai, when it won India's first Cannes Design gold, India's first Account Planning Group (APG) gold, Jay Chiat planning gold, Asian Marketing Effectiveness Awards, D&AD, One Show, WPP's WPPed Cream, Spikes, Asia Integrated and Direct Grand Prix, Grand Effie and Yahoo Big idea Chair.

While talking to afaqs!, Wadia, says, "I have stayed in JWT for a very long time and thus felt the need to explore options beyond JWT. However, the agency has been my second home for all these years and will continue to hold a very high position in my heart forever."