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My Story: Your uncle won’t land you a job in advertising but your cousin can!

JWT Delhi’s Creative Director Hitesh Jain recollects how he landed his first job in advertising after he cleverly forced his way into Pushpender Singh’s office, then with O&M, now leading Saints & Warriors

February 25, 2013

Hitesh Jain

Exterior of Ogilvy office in Mumbai

It looks like a normal day – people getting inside the building with such broad shoulders that their body looks disproportionate to their head! Of course, they deserve that, after all they are the best in the country. The guards scanning each and every one just like the way Hercule Poirot looks at everyone after a murder. 7 past 10, exactly that time when the clocks stop across the world. Barely 23, the young lad steps into their territory. With so much of confidence that even he is surprised. Mr Poirot spots him from far away. Good job. Not bad. Before the young lad can even expect that second of silence, the guard shoots at him twice: ‘Who are you? What do you want?’ pause…

A little laughter is what he gets and it pisses him off but what comes after that was surely enough for his check shirt and blue trousers.

Bang: Call up Pushpi.

Bang Bang: Tell him someone wants to meet him.

Victim: Sirrrr… you…

Bang Bang Bang: C%&*$#@ I am….his cousin.

Victim: From….

Bang Bang Bang Bang: Gadhey (donkey), Punjab, where else can his cousin come from?

Victim: Sorry sir, will call him and tell him you are here.

Bang Bang Bang Bang Bang: Pagal, if I wanted to tell bro am here then I would have called him on his cell. Ever heard of that???

Victim (smiles sheepishly): Sorry sir. Won’t tell him. (Brownie points won)

My final shot (with a pat on the shoulder, a wink): Good.

Security picks up the cordless (a black one from Sony).

Victim: Sir, there is someone here to meet you. No, he is not telling his name. Ok sir.

Security hands over the phone to the young boy. He takes the phone in his hand and moves ahead in the corner.

Cut to some corner of Ogilvy premises

Young boy on phone sweating.

Sir, am so so so sorry to tell him a lie. I told him I am your… cousin. But am nowhere related to you. I just wanna talk to you for 5 minutes. Just wanna show you my work. Please sir, please allow me to.

After am sorry x 16 times…

Puhpie: Hold on. You really made a fool of him. You have got the balls. Why you here? From where? What do you want? What else do you know?

I blurt out: Trainee. Kota (small town in Rajasthan). Job. Everything about Piyush Pandey.

Give the phone to security. I wanna see you right away.

Smile back on face. Young boy hands over the phone to security.

Security: Yes sir. Ok sir.

Cut to interior – Ogilvy lift

Security: Sorry sir. Please sir, don’t tell your brother that I asked you so much. He is a big shot, big boss. I will lose my job.

Cut to Interior – Pushpi’s cabin

Tall Surd in white shirt, blue jeans and blue turban, laughing. The young boy was asked to sit.

Two hours of conversation, a lunch and display of four diaries and a sketchbook as a portfolio.

Pushpi: Arrange for your stay and go home. You are joining Ogilvy & Mather.

That was me, Hitesh Jain, Creative Director, JWT Delhi, and that’s how I got my first job!

(Hitesh Jain started his career with Ogilvy & Mather, Mumbai, where he spent four years. Then he went to TBWA, Mumbai, and was there for six months. Then he moved to Wieden + Kennedy, New Delhi, for 1 year and 6 months. Joined JWT in August 2011 and it’s been almost 1 year 6 months. He has recently done the Hero Glamour 'Nain Mattaka' TVC.)

There are great untold stories in advertising. If you know of any ad professional who came into the profession by chance or because of unusual circumstances, do let us know so that we can profile him. Write to us at

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