In yet another instance of an Indian advertising professional leaving Indian shores to work in the multinational agency network, Raj Kamble, creative director at Lowe's Mumbai office, is moving to Lowe, New York, as creative group head. Kamble, who leaves for New York later this week, is scheduled to join Lowe's office in & #BANNER1 & # the East Coast in August.
Speaking about his decision to shift to the US, Kamble says he was beginning to feel "too comfortable" at Lowe India. "I have been doing fairly well here, but I am restless by nature, and don't like becoming very comfortable where I am," he explains. "I want to see the world, and am looking for new challenges and new learning experiences. So when I was given the option of moving within the network to a new country, I decided to take it up."
Kamble reveals that the opportunity of working in Lowe, New York, came when Gary Goldsmith, chairman & chief creative officer, Lowe, New York, was a judge at Lowe's worldwide creative review. "Gary apparently saw my work and was impressed, so the offer was made," he says. "I am happy to be working under Gary, who is one of the most-awarded creative people in the US."
Interestingly, this is not the first time that Kamble will be working in Lowe's international network. The 28-year-old Sir JJ School pass out, who started his career at Enterprise Nexus as Abhijit Avasthi's (currently creative director at O&M) art partner, spent two-and-a-half years at Lowe Howard-Spink, London, before returning to India in 2002 and joining Lowe, Mumbai. "At Lowe, London, I had the honour of working with some of the best creatives in the UK, such as Charles Inge, Alex Taylor, Paul Weinberger and Tom Hudson," Kamble recounts. "I got the chance to work on brands such as Weetabix, Stella Artois, Heineken, Saab, Finlandia, Toyota and Walls Ice Cream, and did projects with Lowe's offices in Sweden, Paris and Milan."
Interestingly, it was at a Lowe workshop in London that Kamble first met Balki (R Balakrishnan, executive creative director, Lowe). "I wanted to come back to India to attend to some personal matters, and Balki told me that if I was coming to India, why don't I work with Lowe," he says. "That's how I came to be here."
At Lowe, Mumbai, Kamble worked on accounts such as Shaw Wallace, ICICI, Oberoi and Parker. Speaking about his time at Lowe, Mumbai, he says, "Working at Lowe India was a very different experience, very unlike those I'd had at Enterprise, O&M (between his stints at Enterprise and Lowe, London, Kamble worked at O&M for some eight months) and Lowe Howard-Spink. Lowe India has a distinct style of working, and I learnt quite a bit from it."
Kamble is of the opinion that his contribution at Lowe, Mumbai, was to make the work as distinctive as possible. "I didn't want to do what my agency expected from me, because that is something anyone can do," he says. "My idea was to be uniquely different in terms of the work I produced." He, however, does not see his move out of Lowe, Mumbai, as a 'departure'. "I'm not really leaving Lowe - it's just that I'm moving from one office to another."
Interestingly, despite accepting the New York assignment, Kamble reveals that he has no intentions of staying overseas permanently. "I am extremely patriotic and I never want to settle abroad," he says. "I want to learn things there and come back and try and put my learnings to use here." Which is why is insists he'll be back in India in two to three years. "The day I feel it is time, I'll return," he promises.
And when he's back, Kamble hopes he'll get a chance to work with one-time partner Avasthi, whom he terms "more than a partner, a great friend". Incidentally, Kamble and Avasthi claimed five Clio Awards within the first two years of working at Enterprise, and have been partners on accounts such as Sesa Yellow Pages (as an aside, an ad they had done for Sesa was the first ever Indian entry in the D&AD Book), The Times of India, Economic Times, Vandana Luthra (VLCC), Torrent, Fevicol and Bournvita. "We clicked very well as a team at Enterprise and O&M, and we did some great work," he recalls.
With just days to go before his departure, Kamble is clearly preparing for the challenges ahead. And he knows there'll be many waiting for him "Yes, it won't be easy, but there's a quote by Michelangelo which says that it's alright to have a big aim which you may not achieve, but its dangerous to have small goals that are easily achievable." Kamble also counts himself to be fortunate for having got the chance to work overseas.
"There are people more talented than me in this industry, so I guess I am plain lucky," he says. "And I thank my stars for having given me the opportunity to work with passionately driven advertising people like Mohammed Khan, Arun Kale, Rajiv Agarwal, Piyush and Prasoon Pandey, Charles Inge, Adrian Holmes and now Balki. If I can be as crazy about advertising as these people are, I will do well."
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