afaqs!

Grey's Karan Rawat joins Umbrella Design as president and ECD

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | October 03, 2012
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At Umbrella, Rawat will handle the dual mandate of creative and design, something he calls 'a lethal combination'.

Karan Rawat, former executive creative director, Grey, has joined Bhupal Ramnathkar's Umbrella Design. He will report to Ramnathkar and work in the capacity of president and executive creative director.

At Umbrella Design, Rawat will execute a dual role within the fields of creative as well as design. "I am taking charge of Umbrella. Along with Ramu (Ramnathkar), I will be responsible for Umbrella," he tells afaqs!.

Karan Rawat

Bhupal Ramnathkar

After working at mainline creative agencies all along, why join a part creative, part design role? Rawat explains that though he did get a few offers from mainline creative agencies, he opted to join Umbrella Design primarily because of his inclination towards art and design.

"I'm an 'arts person' and belong to the 'Mohammad Khan school of thought'. Nowadays, the design element is missing in advertising; I plan to bring in this design element into the advertising work I do at Umbrella so that the end product looks beautiful," says the alumnus of JJ Institute of Applied Arts.

He adds that at Umbrella, the team doesn't discriminate between creative and design; rather, every brand is viewed through both perspectives.

Interestingly, Rawat has worked with Ramnathkar during the former's stint at Enterprise. "I hired Karan (Rawat) at Enterprise 13 years back," Ramnathkar enthuses. Even after Rawat moved on from the agency, the two didn't lose touch.

About Rawat's appointment, Ramnathkar says, "I was looking for a senior person to handle things at Umbrella for the past two years. My search is over. Karan and I gel well as do our ideas about design, creativity and advertising. He thinks like a true 'designer', is a fantastic art director, is a people's person and I trust him. Besides, even he wanted to do something different. Only advertising becomes monotonous; the combined mandate of advertising and design is an interesting one."

Rawat spent a little over two years at Grey. Largely known for his work on the Killer Jeans account (while at Enterprise and then later at Grey), some of the other key brands he worked on at Grey include Reliance Communications, Parle Wafers, Adani Group (Shantigram), Bharati AXA and Killer Deodorant.

Rawat has more than 16 years of experience in the advertising industry. He started out with McCann Erickson as a visualiser and, after one year, moved on to JWT, where he worked as senior art director for five years. Then, Rawat joined Enterprise Nexus (Bates India) where he worked as creative director for six years.

Then, for about a couple of years, Rawat worked as an independent creative consultant on the Killer Jeans and Easies accounts. After that, in mid-2010, he joined Grey as executive creative director.

Overall, in his career so far, he has worked on brands such as Easies, Times of India, Femina, Ravissant, ICICI Credit Cards, Smirnoff, Coke, Fanta, Inorbit Mall, Mother's Recipe, Filmfare, NECC, Parle-G, Bajaj Alliance, Audi, Kinderjoy, Nutella, Ferrero Rocher, Honda Brio, Lucky Strike (ITC), Servo 4t and Vimal.

Interestingly, Rawat also holds a degree in film making from New York Film Academy (NYFA), USA.

In fact, he has worked very closely with Ram Gopal Varma as director's assistant (or DA) in the creative department for the film Sarkar Raj. His work involved character design, song sequences, montages and development of scenes.

He has also directed a short film (of 10 minutes) called 'Phobia' at the New York Film Academy (NYFA).

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