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Rising Star: Rahool Talukdar, NCD, Focus Circle Brands

Keep aside WPP and Publicis, as he talks about the small and fast fishes in the ocean.

Rising Star: Rahool Talukdar, NCD, Focus Circle Brands

Keep aside WPP and Publicis, as he talks about the small and fast fishes in the ocean.

Neha Saraiya | Delhi | July 12, 2011

Remember the glimpse of last IPL, where there was an absolutely silly commercial that got lot of people to laugh out loud. That was the Finolex Pipe commercial where the South Indian messiah slams 10 sixes in 1 ball. Rahool Talukdar (26) might have experienced jitters solving his maths equations in school but his eccentric thoughts in mind and scribbling the symbol of integration in a stylised way, never went unnoticed. And his work today stands testimony to this fact.

Currently, working as National Creative Director, Focus Circle Brands, Rahool started off his journey with a small creative boutique called Metamorphosis in Kolkatta. But realising soon enough, of epicentre of advertising, he shifted his base to Mumbai wherein he joined a design shop named as d Thoughtrains. “Then the big break broke upon me. I joined Focus. Not many would have heard a great deal about Focus, but I believe it is one of the best mid-sized agencies in India right now. The agency has picked up momentum post recession. New pitches, branch expansions, induction of new verticals, all of these have made Focus complete the circle of Integrated Marketing services agency,” says Rahool.

Withstanding the struggles of culture change, he shifted gears of cities in no time. “When I came to Mumbai first, I didn’t know a single soul, but the city is extremely open to you. However the biggest struggle in Mumbai was to find a play to stay. A place that I could call home and get back over for weekends and stay with my eccentric thoughts,” reminisces Rahool.

A foodie by nature that pines for Bengali food, Rahool holds the credit of giving a destination positioning to a property called Raichak on Ganges.  The property was struggling to find a single-minded reason for consumers to come to Raichak, and his team gave it one that no one else can emulate and also connected the entire communication design along with. Besides this, he has also worked on Lilliput as a brand.

“In Focus about 30 creatives report to me nationally. We have been able to do some exciting work for our brands across branches (Mumbai, Pune, Delhi, Kolkata, Singapore). The good thing about the Focus way is the seamlessness in structure. I ensure I work closely with my creative team. We are not a “report-me” kind of place, instead we believe in working together. I make it a point to talk to my copy/art interns as much as my fellow NCDs,” explains Rahool.

Currently his team is busy hurling idea for the launch of three Hyatt’s in India. “There’s so much challenge in understanding the true essence of hospitality. You have to go and experience the services of the hotel. Long Spa sessions, the difference between an 18 year old and a 25 year old scotch full of Chivalry needs lot of practice. Our job is stressful. I hope you know what I am talking about,” he grins.

Admitting that advertising has a narcotic effect on him, Rahool fails to gulp down considerable amount of work that’s on air, and rather believes that when any sort of advertising gets even the advertising professionals to watch like mass audiences, that’s when it has appeal.

“Surprise is a big word for me. Since the time I started writing copy, I have always tried to surprise the reader. I personally believe that one must create advertising that questions consumer insights. I’m sounding like a planner here but that’s the truth. You start a conversation based on an insight and surprise them with your story,” gushes Rahool. But he has his list of influences too! Like the ZooZoo commercials, Bajaj Pulsar and recent Iodex commercial, “sar dard andar toh ilaag bahar kyun?”.

He also holds the thought that medium sized agencies are doing a whole lot of good to the Indian Advertising scene. Even though they might be not be able to sedan loads of metals from Goa or Cannes but the difference in a client’s annual report is worth the measure. Thus there should be inflation in the number of young creative’s joining these agencies giving them the opportunity to wage war in an open battle field as he calls the WPP’s and the Publicis’ of the world.

Unlike many, he has his own influences. “My fellow NCD Nayan Bagawde, a maverick in art at Focus and my boss ( Monish P Ghatalia) have  been a steady influence in my advertising career. It’s difficult to teach a creative like me strategy. And he did,” avers Rahool.

And what’s his future roadmap? “I love Lions. So much so that I haven’t gone hunting. But on a serious note, I want to do more exciting integrated work for brands across verticals. And also, to win few awards in the coming years, provided the festivals take non-WPP agencies more seriously,” says an effervescent Rahool. He did mention 'Surprise' as his fav.. Didn't he?!



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