EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF SOUTH ASIA, OGILVY & MATHER
I spent all my growing-up years playing cricket, with no clue whatsoever that I would be in advertising some day. Today, I’m thankful to cricket that I’ve been able to apply so many things learnt from it to advertising… Cricket teaches you that no team can ever win banking on one star player - Brian Lara couldn’t do it for the West Indies. It also teaches you how to win, how to lose, and that the joy of playing is when there is a crowd. Take that analogy to advertising, and it’s the same - you play as a team and if you have to succeed over a period of time, then you have to nurture a team and if you don’t have an audience, then you don’t enjoy the match. Cricket also helped me in a big way by allowing me to travel right from my childhood to my Ranji Trophy days. Those were the days when there was no money in cricket. So, we used to travel in unreserved third class compartments to all parts of the country and got to see life in India beyond the metros. So, we might have gone to fancy colleges, but in the train we were equal, shared the dabbas of travelling families, and shared a berth with people – even as I garnered invaluable insights. I have so many things to thank for what I am today; of them, cricket is a huge factor.
There is a great anecdote which I share with my colleagues at times when we are a little down. We were playing a big match in Delhi, a fiveday game, and we were six wickets down for 53 runs when I was going in to bat. I was in the second year of college at that time. Well known cricket commentator and ex-Test cricketer Arun Lal was the batsman who had just got out. He met me on his way back to the pavilion and these were his words to me: “A 53 for 6 score is devastating for an ordinary man; but for an extraordinary person, it is an opportunity of a lifetime.” He taught me that in adversity lies opportunity. So never give up because the chips are down because the biggest champions are those who come out as champions in the midst of adversity.