The original funny guy

He’s outspoken. His sense of humour has reached almost every home in India. He’s often quoted in newspapers and on television channels on just about anything – from the way Bollywood works to the resilience of Mumbai city. On any given day, he can be found scuba diving in the Lakshadweep, smoking a cigar in Philippines or working to decode the Indian consumer while making an ad film. The person we’re talking about is, of course, Prahlad Kakkar, the legendary ad filmmaker.

When we decided to put him on the cover of The Smart CEO, we had two very different story ideas. One was the traditional approach – understand from Kakkar on what it takes to make a great ad film. The second was about how he divides his time between several small businesses, all of them an extension of his hobbies. What we have finally put out as the cover story for this edition is a carefully charted out combination of the two. We’ve touched upon his working style, the lessons that we have gathered from his classic ad films for brands like Pepsi and Maggi? and a little bit about his hobby-businesses.

At a macro level, India’s startup ecosystem is, to say the least, exciting. In a few upcoming high-growth sectors, like e-commerce and group buying, education and allied services and even segments like quick service restaurants, startups are working towards solving a customer pain-point. As these sectors advance, more competition from slightly differentiated companies is going to spring up. It is at this juncture that advertising and brand building become crucial. Let us, for example, analyse the group buying space in India from a competition perspective. There are easily over 10 (or maybe even 20) upcoming group-buying portals in the country. All these players have to differentiate themselves from each other, not only through their offering, but also in their communication to consumers and buyers. Brand communication, identity and recall will become a part of the mix. Keeping this in mind, we hope our cover story with Kakkar will give you an insight on how a brand building exercise can be made different yet effective.

A quick word on our own expansion plans. Starting with this edition, the magazine will be on retail stands in Mumbai and the National Capital Region (NCR), in addition to Bangalore and Chennai. The initial response from subscribers across India has been tremendous. We strive to keep improving and stay steadfast on our focus of providing insightful tips to entrepreneurs across the country. After all, double-dip recession or not, entrepreneurship can save the world! 

Hope you have fun reading this edition of The Smart CEO.  And please join our Facebook page at

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