N. Shatrujeet

Uday Parkar joins McCann as Exec. CD

Apart from recruiting Uday Parkar as executive creative director, McCann has hired Nima Namchu, Gautam Mehta, Neil Roy, Shamik Sengupta and Ferzad Variyava

McCann-Erickson India is in the process of strengthening the creative departments at its Mumbai and Delhi offices, and to this end, the agency has recruited six creative professionals for the two offices.

The most notable of these is the appointment of Uday Parkar - currently senior creative director at Ambience Publicis - as executive creative director at McCann, Mumbai. Parkar, who is currently serving his notice period at Ambience, is scheduled to move to McCann in mid-July.

Parkar's repertoire includes campaigns for Bisleri, KamaSutra and Hit.

The other creatives joining McCann, Mumbai, are Neil Roy (from O&M, Chennai), and the art-copy team of Shamik Sengupta and Ferzad Variyava (also from Ambience Publicis, Mumbai). Roy, Sengupta and Variyava would be assuming mid-level creative responsibilities at the agency.

The additions at McCann, Mumbai, come in the wake of two recent senior-level appointments at Delhi. Nima Namchu has joined McCann as creative director from Capital Advertising, while Gautam Mehta (who was previously with Euro RSCG, Kuala Lumpur) has also been appointed as creative director.

Prasoon Joshi, national creative director & executive vice-president, McCann-Erickson India, has confirmed the news of all the appointments to agencyfaqs! "The idea is to strengthen the team and make it future-proof," he explains.

Speaking about Parkar's appointments, Joshi reveals that his decision to hire Parkar was based on instinct. "One meeting with Uday was all it needed - I told him we're on," he says. "I had an instinctive feeling that he is the right person. He wants to do more than just art. He is one of those really few art people who are interested in doing conceptual work, and is keen on learning more about film. Plus, he writes poetry, which suggests he has more than one dimension, something that is very important in creative people…"

Specific to the nature of Parkar's responsibility, Joshi says he has envisaged a dual role for Parkar at McCann. "While Uday will champion some important brands in the capacity of a senior creative director, he will have the additional responsibility of managing the entire art function at McCann, Mumbai," says Joshi.

"Given his capabilities in crafting great advertising, his job would include raising the standard of art across the Mumbai office. We are looking forward to some really good contributions from Uday in that area."

A gold medallist from Sir JJ School of Applied Art, Mumbai, Parkar certainly has the credentials that McCann was looking for. A professional with more than 14 years of industry experience, Parkar has the distinction of being the first recipient of the Art Director of the Year award at the Abbys (in 2002).

The winner of over 60 Indian and international awards and merit certificates (including a bronze Clio, a New York Festival gold, three Cannes nominations, and most recently, a One Show nomination), Parkar started his career as a visualizer at JWT India (formerly, HTA) in 1989.

After spending a decade at various agencies (Ulka Advertising, Everest Integrated Communications and Mudra Communications), he finally joined Ambience in 1999. And, it was at Ambience that Parkar did most of the work that he is best known for. His campaigns include Bisleri, Water Kingdom, KamaSutra, Hit, Playwin and Tata Press Yellow Pages.

That explains the soft spot that Parkar has for the agency, despite the fact that he's on his way out. "I shall miss Ambience," he says, adding, "But more than the agency, I shall miss Elsie (Nanji, vice-chairman and chief creative officer, Ambience Publicis). I haven't seen a woman as talented as her, and I have no hesitation in saying I have learnt a lot from her. She is always accessible, ready to listen to us. I enjoyed my time working with her on different media. She nurtured my talent, and I am proud that I am her product."

For all that was good at Ambience, Parkar believes it is time to move on. "Five years is a long period in any agency," he shrugs. "Also, the opportunity that has come my way is good. It's nice to go to a hot agency like McCann, and the place has good people. Prasoon has done a lot for McCann's product, and he has even more plans."

Looking forward to his stint at McCann, he says, "I shall not make any tall statements about changing things out there or anything. Every agency has its own style, and I will try and bring my style to the agency's benefit. I will try and do good work on the brands, and try to add value in whichever way possible." © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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