Surya Narayanan has been a Kendriya Vidyalaya product all his life, the place which taught him that school is not just about studies. An avid quizzer, he was also part of the debate, drama and reading clubs. He had a rounded education; from science in school (XII) to English literature in college to management in post graduation. He claims: “diversity is the mother of all invention”. The self confessed geek has also toyed with computer education with a diploma in coding.
In 2003, the market was in recession and “Job offers were not exactly pouring that year”, he says. But he was convinced that advertising was his calling. During campus placements, he let go of a corporate offer in hand to chase his dream. Nine months and countless shoes (shoos also) later, he landed up at JWT on Godrej appliances.
“Baptism by fire”: is what he calls those days and nights in JWT. He arrived mint fresh and green behind the ears and left able to turn around campaigns in a matter of days.
The next step was to Leo Burnett. Here he found that he was less of a regular agency person and more a partner on McDonald’s. He was chosen to be part of the marketing course on McDonald’s at the “World Hamburger University”. He is proud of all work done on the brand but is especially partial to “Sab Lucky” – a campaign he worked on for a promotion where everyone would actually win, which was aired in 2005. This promotion was a roaring success.
Apart from McDonald’s, he was also part of Diageo and Asia Pacific Breweries accounts. Campaigns like “Keep walking” are the reason Surya had taken a fascination to the advertising world and fortune gave him Johnnie Walker! Accounts like these helped him learn the ‘dark market’ marketing first hand.
Sensing from the world markets that the Indian market too would go digital sooner rather than later, he wanted to explore the digital landscape, thus the next click to LBi. Here he pitched for and won accounts like Planet M, Kurkure and NDTV Lumiere. Continuing his digital dream, he has recently moved to Isobar India as Director, Business Development and heads West and South regions.
The Indian market for digital might be small compared to Australia or America, but he remains bullish and is confident that all brands will enter the digital universe sooner rather than later.
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Keep Walking, for you the world is not enough, you will take on the entire galaxy. May the force be with you.