Sagar Mahableshwarkar, Mumbai-based chief creative officer of Bates CHI & Partners, is relocating to Singapore on Monday (December 1). He will report to Christina Chong, managing director, Bates Singapore, and will work closely with David Mayo, CEO of the agency.
"My main job is to look after the Singapore office," he says, adding about his curious designation, "In the Singapore region, they don't really have NCDs like we do here. Their designations are very different from ours. I'll go from being CCO to ECD."
Brands he will work on include Chivas Regal, Singapore Government, Midea (Chinese white goods player), and few brands from the Disney stable, among several others. Mahableshwarkar will also get closely involved with big-ticket creative pitches in the region (for instance Samsung).
"The way the Singapore market works is very different from the way we work here," he admits, adding, "There, no one will say 'Okay, let's make a 30 second commercial'. In India, it's all about doing that TV commercial. There, the idea comes first... so I will have to unlearn a lot and update my skills and knowledge. I am looking forward to the challenge."
This is a big move for Mahableshwarkar. What is he most apprehensive about, we ask? "I leave for Singapore on Sunday (November 30) morning. Monday morning will be the most unpredictable morning of my life!" he says with candor.
"This will be the first time I will be living away from my family," he adds. They will join him in Singapore over the next six months, we learn.
"Till then, I'll probably buy a bike and explore the place!" he thinks out loud.
Recall that in June this year, Bates announced its decision to acquire the business and assets of the Bengaluru-based boutique advertising agency, Temple Advertising that was established in 2004 by Manmohan Anchan, Vidur Vohra and Srikanth VS.
Since then, Srikanth has been CEO and Anchan, CCO of Bates in India. The two have been handling the agency's operations in this market as joint managing partners of the group.