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Six jurors from India at London International Awards 2017

Govind Pandey, Sonal Dabral, Sagal Mahabaleshwarker, Rajdeepak Das, Amit Akali and Sandipan Bhattacharyya will represent India at this year’s LIA jury

London International Awards, one of the most prestigious award shows, has announced its juries for 2017. India will be well represented with six of the most celebrated creative professionals when the juries assemble in October in Las Vegas.

The outgoing Chairman and CCO of DDB Mudra Group, Sonal Dabral, will represent India in the Branded Entertainment category. He was recently appointed as Group Chief Creative Officer and Vice-Chairman at Ogilvy India.

With over three decades of experience, Dabral had previously worked at Ogilvy India, Ogilvy Malaysia, Ogilvy Singapore and Bates Asia-Pacific. He has worked on the brands, including Audi, Fiat, Tata Safari, Dove, Le Sancy, Unilever Foods, Ponds, Lakme, Panadol, Cadburys, Asian Paints, Fevicol, Virgin Mobile, Tata AIG, Prudential, GE, Nestle’s Maggi and Milo, DBS, Remy Martin, Colgate, Pizza Hut, Sony, Coca Cola, DHL, Big Bazar, McDowell’s, etc.

Sagar Mahabaleshwarker, Chief Creative Officer at Cheil India, is the jury member from India in Digital category. Mahabaleshwarker joined the advertising industry in India when it was the preserve of the Westernised, private school elites. In contrast, he spent his childhood in a village, studying in a vernacular school. It was this vantage point that has given him a voice unique from his peers.

Ogilvy is where he cut his teeth and then stayed on for more than a decade to emerge as one of the leading ECDs of India. Some of the most celebrated campaigns of that time owe their origins to his leadership. Ditto for the numerous awards and laurels that came Ogilvy’s way.

After Ogilvy, Mahabaleshwarker took hold of Y&R India’s creative output and reinvented some of the mightiest brands around. Achievements that were repeated in stints at Bates CHI & Partners in India as Chief Creative Officer and in Singapore as a regional creative powerhouse.

Amit Akali, CCO at Medulla Communications & What’s Your Problem, has been appointed as the jury member in the Pharmaceuticals category. Akali has 20 years of mainline experience, last as Creative Head, Grey India and member, Grey Global Creative Council.

He believes the future of advertising is in integration. Hence he took his mainline experience to healthcare and digital, joining Medulla as CCO and founding its sister agency – What’s Your Problem – a digital focused, integrated agency.

Within two years of his creative leadership, Medulla became the Cannes Healthcare Agency of the Year, 2016 – India’s first ever Agency of the Year at Cannes. His tally for 2016 includes seven Cannes Lions and seven Clios. The ‘Last Words To Nurses’ campaign was number 4 in the Gunn Report ‘Cases for Creativity’ list.

Sandipan Bhattacharyya, CCO at Grey Worldwide India, will judge the entries in Radio & Audio category. According to the ancient Indian lunar calendar, he will be an iconic global phenomenon by 2018. Of course, the lunar calendar also predicted the Mayans would set up the first lunar colony and therefore, isn’t very reliable.

Prior to Grey, he helped set up BBDO in India and built a robust creative reputation for it in just eight years. He passionately believes in cultural osmosis. But fervently hates pretentious jargon, so calls it a mash-up of advertising and pop culture instead.

His spectrum of work on PepsiCo, GE, Wrigley’s, P&G Gillette, Aviva and Radio City has consistently won at Cannes Lions, The One Show, Clio Awards, Spikes Asia Pacific, Adfest, Effies and AMEs, besides being featured in The Work and the Shots compilation of best Indian TV ads. His recent campaign for Radio City won a Grand Prix at Spikes as well as a One Show Pencil.

Govind Pandey, CEO at TBWA\India, is representing India at LIA 2017 in ‘The New’ category. An advertising veteran with over 25 years in the industry, Pandey has also been invited onto the TED X stage in Mumbai to discuss the agency’s methodology of Disruption, and The Economic Times Brand Equity named him in their prestigious ‘Top 20 Most Influential People in Advertising‘ list. Pandey has also earned various accolades and especially cherishes the two Grand Effies.

Pandey’s rich advertising career, spanning over two decades, has seen him hold senior positions in some of the world’s most respected agency networks. Prior to joining TBWAIndia, Pandey was Chief Operating Officer of McCann Worldgroup, India, a network he worked at for 14 years. He has also worked with Ogilvy & Mather, JWT and Contract in India.

Rajdeepak Das, Chief Creative Officer, South Asia at Leo Burnett, is the jury from India in TV/Cinema/Online Film category. Das has a body of work that reflects his passion, understanding of business and new age solutions that deliver results. It was with a robust vision that he joined Leo Burnett India as the Chief Creative Officer in 2014, and was soon promoted to lead the creative function of the agency across its South Asia offices. He is also one of the youngest creative heads in the country.

He has had a long run at BBDO across offices in Asia. About seven-and-a-half years back, he moved to India, as the country’s youngest Executive Creative Director to start BBDO in Mumbai. Under his leadership, from working out of coffee shops, BBDO Mumbai became one of the top 10 most creative agencies in the region in just the first three years.

Before coming to Mumbai, Das worked for five years in Bangkok under the leadership of Suthisak Sucharittanonta. Despite having to communicate in sign language, he started a new genre of advertising, which won honours across the world. He was an integral part of the regional team and worked closely with the best creative brains across continents.

He has spearheaded and influenced change among the largest global companies, moving them towards a more integrated and engagement-led communications approach.

His work on Gillette such as Women Against Lazy Stubble, Shave Sutra, and many more have been recognised worldwide apart from winning Asia’s only Cannes Creative Effectiveness Lion and inaugural Glass Lion Grand Prix for Whisper’s ‘Touch The Pickle’. Das has won more than 150 metals at Cannes, One Show, D&AD, Clio, Spikes Asia, Effies, Asian Marketing effectiveness award and many more regional and global award shows.

He has created successful work for brands like Bajaj, Gillette, Visa, Pepsi, Mars Food, FedEx, BMW Mini, Cadbury’s, Blackberry, GM, J&J, HomePro and Titan to name a few.

After passing out of MICA, Raj started his advertising career with Enterprise Nexus followed by stints at Grey and Contract.

LIA believes that Creativity doesn't happen in isolation. It depends on making connections: between thoughts and between people. Each year, LIA assembles the best creative minds in the business to judge all of its entries in Las Vegas. This year is no different. 

The Entry System is open for entries. The entry deadline is the August 14.

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