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Rajan Lodha, Founder, ryl

“People inside will not even agree to meet you.” That’s what he was told on his first visit to an ad agency. Thankfully, they met and offered a one-month internship as a copy trainee. A few years hence, at the age of 26, Rajan Lodha launched his own ad agency ryl. In a span of 3 years, ryl has touched more than 20 brands across categories ranging from jewellery to media & finance to cinema.

RMG David & Lowe are the agencies where he worked in the client-servicing department, before venturing out on his own. At RMG David, his first job, he worked on brands like Essar Corporate, Essar Steel, Singapore Airlines & national as well as international new business pitches. Being a small agency, RMG David offered liberty to manage brands & work on new business pitches independently. It was a perfect place to observe and understand the working of an ad agency.

In 2004, he moved to Lowe on Surf Excel RAC (Asia). He was part of the team that launched the ‘Dirt is Good’ philosophy & campaign across Asia. The launch was much more than a campaign launch. It marked a cultural leap, not just for the brand, but also for the consumers across the continent. The Dirt is Good / Daag Acche Hain campaign won a Silver EFFIEE in 2006. The skit presentation scripted by Rajan won the viewer’s choice best presentation award. This was followed by a series of successful projects & campaigns across Asia. Surprisingly, the brand went up for a pitch internationally. The pitch happened & Lowe retained the brand in Asia.

In 2007, Rajan launched ryl. With no cash & no clients, the initial days were more funny than scary. Finally, the clients came in. Today, the ryl portfolio boasts of brands like Kotak, ICICI, K.Girdharlal – one of India’ largest exporter of diamonds, Synovate, Baba Arts Limited, Radio Mirchi & more. On more occasions than one, ryl has successfully competed against some of the most reputed ad agencies in the country. On being asked as to how would he sculpt ryl further, he said, “talent & technology are important. Processes & departments are not.” His suggestion for upcoming advertising professionals was simple - “Respect your ideas & respect your clients. An idea can change your life. A client can change your idea.”

It is a long way ahead, but Rajan is sure that ryl will create some of the finest work in the field of advertising as well as cinema. He is sure that as long as cutting chai & cash will flow, so will creativity.

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