As part of The Brand Union, Ashutosh Karkhanis will be based in Ray+Keshavan's Bengaluru office and will report to Sujata Keshavan.
Ashutosh Karkhanis, former national creative director, design and digital, Rediffusion WHO! (the digital and design arm of Rediffusion-Y&R) has joined The Brand Union (TBU), a brand consultancy. He put in his papers at Rediffusion last month.
A WPP group entity, TBU is a design conglomerate and brand consulting firm. In 2006, WPP acquired a majority stake in Ray+Keshavan (R+K), India's first graphic design consultancy. As a result, today, the Bengaluru-based firm, R+K, is a part of TBU network.
At Rediffusion WHO!, Karkhanis' most recent role was that of national creative director, design and digital, and he reported to Minakshi Achan, the agency's former chief creative officer. While his role at Rediffusion required him to be based in the agency's Mumbai office, Karkhanis has now relocated to Bengaluru for his position at TBU.
In his new role at TBU, he will report to Sujata Keshavan, managing director and executive creative director, R+K.
Confirming the development to afaqs!, Karkhanis comments on his reasons for the shift. "I've always wanted to explore the field of design and this job offers a lot of opportunities for the same," he says. He adds that while he enjoyed his time at Rediffusion -- a place where he was offered a great deal of healthy freedom in his role -- he is now looking forward to working with Keshavan.
Karkhanis brings with him around 18 years of experience. He started his career at Lintas Bengaluru, back in 1993, as trainee visualiser. He moved to Enterprise Mumbai after four years, and a year after that, he joined Euro RCSG as senior art director.
Two years down the line, Karkhanis relocated to Nairobi, where he worked at JWT's Kenya outfit, Thompson Kenya, for a little under a year.
He soon moved back to Mumbai and joined Ambience as associate creative director. After a year, he joined Grey and during his two-and-a-half-year stay at the agency, Karkhanis worked on several interesting brands of which he fondly recalls the Kotak Mutual Fund account in particular.
After a stint at Quadrant Communications, Karkhanis joined Contract Advertising as creative director; he was there for three years and worked on accounts such as Asian Paints Royale and Royale Play (all the campaigns that featured actor Saif Ali Khan), HSBC Bank, HSBC Mutual Fund, Gelusil, Cadbury Halls, Cadbury Bites and South Africa Tourism.
He moved to Rediffusion as creative head in December 2007 and has been here for around three-and-a-half years. At Rediffusion, he worked on brands such as Himalayan Natural Mineral Water, The Economic Times, Tata Nano and Indian Oil. He also worked closely on the re-branding of Rasna and the re-designing of FICCI's identity.