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Leo Burnett Portfolio Night rocks in Delhi

It was a big first for Delhi’s advertising industry as 17 top creative minds interacted with and evaluated the portfolios of 59 starry-eyed young creatives

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | May 24, 2013

It was a red-letter day, rather evening, for Delhi as it hosted its first ever Portfolio Night, courtesy Leo Burnett. Fifty-nine young, starry-eyed young creatives turned up for Leo Burnett’s Portfolio Night 11 in the Capital, held at the plush Maurya. Eighteen top creative minds of the country were there to interact with them and assess their portfolios.

Each creative chief met three aspiring creatives to assess each of their portfolios and give their feedback. This is the format followed by Portfolio Night everywhere. The young creativers from Delhi, Gurgaon and beyond, even from Bangalore. For them it was an evening where they met their idols and heroes – the likes of KV Sridhar ‘Pops’, Agnello Dias, Prathap Suthan, Rajiv Rao, KS Chakravarthy ‘Chax’. It was a dream come true for them, a “once in a lifetime opportunity” as one young creative said.

At the end of the evening, there was a winner – a Portfolio Night Delhi ‘All Star’ – who would be flying to the USA, hosted by Ford Company, to work for a week on the Ford campaign team! Delhi’s All Star was Vaibhav Pande, who currently works for Out of the Box. Pande was voted the winner unanimously by the creative honchos. One young creative’s dream had come true and he knows he will one day soon be lapped by a large agency.

When this correspondent caught up with Pops and Aggie during cocktails, Pops remarked: “The talent that we saw this evening is amazing. We don’t get such talent in Mumbai.” Aggie nodded in agreement, and added: “We saw a greater variety here, and the participants are becoming more tech-savvy.” To this Pops excitedly said: “One of the young creatives I assesses was not even an ad guy, he was a Mechanical Engineer from BITS Pilani! And what is amazing is that he had a complete portfolio.”

Outside the hall, this correspondent caught up with a group of three young creatives over a smoke. They belonged to unknown small agencies. When asked why they spent the Rs 2,400 to register for this event, the answer was unanimous: “Sir, we often blow up that much on drinks when we meet on Saturday evenings with colleagues. But today we met and interacted with some of the biggest names in advertising creativity, people whom we would not normally be able to meet. We couldn’t ask for more. It doesn’t matter whether we get selected or not, but at least they told us where we are going wrong and what we are doing right.” This is exactly what Portfolio Night is all about.

It was a lovely evening, with great food and drinks, and a sense of bonhomie and achievement pervaded at the venue. The ad industry in Delhi and Gurgaon owes a thank you to Leo Burnett for pulling it off so well – for the first time in their city.

The 17 Creative Directors present at Portfolio Night 11 Delhi were: R Balakrishnan, Lowe Lintas; Agnello Dias,            Taproot India; KS Chakravarthy ‘Chax’, DraftFCB Ulka; KV Sridhar ‘Pops’, Leo Burnett;  Rajiv Rao, Ogilvy & Mather; Priti Nair, Curry Nation; Shriram Iyer, Lowe & Partners; Sainath Saraban, Leo Burnett; Ajay Gahlaut, Ogilvy & Mather; Kartik Iyer; Happy Creative Services; Soumitra Karnik, Dentsu India; Prathap Suthan, Bang in the Middle; V Sunil, Wieden & Kennedy; Viral Pandya, Out of the Box; PM Praveen Das, Happy Creative Services; Talha Mohsin, DDB Mudra; and Mahesh Parab, DDB Mudra.

Portfolio Night is a global event that provides a platform for aspiring young advertising copywriters, art directors and designers to meet with top-notch creative directors in an evening of advice, networking and even recruitment. While the evening has been called “speed-dating for creatives”, it’s really much more than that. In the 11 years since its inception, Portfolio Night has grown to be a global event, reaching creative hubs in every continent in an evening where the best of the present meet the best of the years to come. Its eleventh year, Portfolio Night brings together thousands of young creatives, hundreds of creative directors, dozens of City Hosts around the world, and a select few Global Sponsors, all in a “one night only” event across the planet.

There were two sponsors for Portfolio Night globally, including in India, this year:

  • iStockphoto which offers easy, affordable inspiration with millions of vetted, royalty-free photos, illustrations, videos and audio tracks. Using the most advanced search in the business, customers download a file every second from a collection of more than ten million files for business, marketing and personal projects. iStockphoto started in 2000, pioneering the micropayment photography business model, and has become one of the most successful and profitable user-generated content sites in the world. iStockphoto pays out more than $1.7 million weekly in artist royalties. iStockphoto is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Getty Images.
  • VCU Brandcenter: Originally named VCU Adcenter, the VCU Brandcenter is the United States’ premier graduate programme for the business of advertising and marketing communications. It was the first programme of its kind to combine business-oriented communications strategy and brand management tracks with a creative programme for art directors, copywriters and creative technologists in a business setting. Brandcenter graduates work at the best advertising agencies in the industry, such as TBWA/Chiat/Day, Wieden + Kennedy, and CP+B, and on the client side for some of the world's most iconic brands like Google, Apple, Nike and Coca-Cola.

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