After spending five years at the agency, Malvika Mehra, NCD and EVP, Grey Worldwide India, has quit.
She is currently serving her notice period at the agency. May 31is her last day at Grey.
In conversation with afaqs!, she says, "It has been an awesome ride at Grey. I have decided to take a break..." adding on a lighter note, "I want to see where I stand without the three letters 'NCD' next to my name. It's high time I had some 'me time'," hinting at investing in a villa in Greece.
Mehra, who has an art background, has been part of Grey's Global Creative Council, an elite group of no more than 15 creative directors, under the leadership of Tor Myhren (Worldwide chief creative officer, Grey) and Per Pedersen (Tor's deputy).
Recall that Mehra joined Grey in May 2010, along with Amit Akali, her then co-NCD, who quit early last year to launch his own venture in the advertising space. At Grey, Mehra helped pull in accounts like Reliance Telecom, Honda Brio and Dell.
Over the past year, as solo-NCD at the agency, she has helped win accounts like Indian Army, Swachch Bharat (an initiative by Prime Minister Narendra Modi) and Ministry of Women and Child Development (under Maneka Gandhi). She herself comes from an army background, by the way.
Before joining Grey, she spent 16 years at Ogilvy India.
Sunil Lulla, chairman and managing director, GREY group India (who replaced Jishnu Sen at the agency last July) says about her exit, "Malvika has done a rocking five years here and has contributed to the growth of the agency. We wish her great success. She is undecided about what she wants to do next and I think it's fair for her to take a break."
After all, she has worked without one for the last 21 years. Admitting that several head hunters have been in touch with her over the past few days, she adds, "I owe myself a break." She might even consider doing something "outside of advertising."
Regarding her replacement at the agency, while the industry is abuzz with speculation, Lulla simply says, "When the time is right, we'll tell you about that..."
Some of the recent campaigns that Mehra has created include the 'clap of shame' and 'own your area ' films (Swachch Bharat account), and a series of films titled 'Handcuffs' (Ministry of Women and Child Development account). The latter is about a grave social evil - female foeticide .
She also helped Fiat launch its revamped Punto Evo; the campaign is titled 'great just became interesting'. And she helped ITC launch 'B Natural', a juice brand, in the southern market.
Her film for Gillette (called 'the best a fan can get ') fetched a fair share of conversation and YouTube views (close to three million) during the recent ICC World Cup.
Her work on P&G's Duracellfetched Grey a Cannes Gold in 2013 and 2014.
She has also been a juror at Cannes twice.
Her work on Killer Jeans has fetched Grey an Abby (Best Integrated Campaign) at Goafest 2013.