Shreyas Kulkarni

I clambered onto a conference-room table once, to enact a scene from a script: Sambit Mohanty, McCann Worldgroup

A fun and light-hearted Q&A series with India’s biggest creative folks. Here’s McCann’s creative head, North and South.

Delhi’s government may not have seen a change in guard but the McCann Worldgroup office in the capital did when Sambit Mohanty and Souvik took charge in February 2023. 

That was not the only win Mohanty enjoyed this year. His Shagun Ka Lifafa campaign for Ujjivan Small Finance Bank won the Grand Clio and pencils at D&AD this year, and a gold at the Cannes Lions last year. 

Big stuff indeed. Now, take a fun light-hearted peek into Mohanty’s life in and around advertising. 

A Cannes Lions or a less than 10-minute commute to your office from home?

Is this even a debate? I'd brave a packed local train commute if it guarantees a Lion.

Political advertising. Yay or nay?

Yay, because it gives you a grassroots understanding of the matters affecting the country - and helping shape mass public opinion is a challenge worth undertaking.

What is your guilty pleasure on Instagram?

Finding the perfect GIF and/or music track to accompany and animate my stories!

Which client story would you love to regale your guests at a dinner party a decade from now?

This has got to be the time when I was flown to Mauritius by a client, put up at the best resorts there, enjoyed a chopper ride, and a scuba dive...and came back to India only to hear the project was off.

The most scandalous story you have heard at your present or former workplace.

Aeons ago, someone tried to stab someone over a woman. Wild, I know.

What is your presentation hack at pitch meetings?

Present with flamboyance. I clambered onto a conference-room table once, to enact a scene from a script. (Yes, we got the business.)

What is the tea on working with celebs?

Sometimes mast like cutting chai. Sometimes meh like green tea. But hey, you can always take a selfie with the cuppa.

Drinking on the job. Cheers or not at all?

Drinking is best done after the job. To paraphrase Frida Kahlo, "I tried to drown my sorrows in drink, but the *******s learned how to swim!"

What is your career in an alternative universe?

An art gallery owner.

OTTs, audio streamers, magazines, websites, to whom do you willingly subscribe?

OTT: Apple TV, Netflix, Prime Video, Lionsgate Play.

Podcasts: Empire, Uncensored CMO, The Tim Ferriss Show.

Magazines/Websites: The Caravan, Mint, NYT.

Your most expensive purchase on an advertising person's salary?

My car!

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