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JWT's Portfolio Night impresses advertising's creative gurus

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MUMBAI: Take the cream of India?s creative talent from across leading advertising agencies. Throw in a bunch of absolute newbies who have a creative juice running through their veins. Ask the youngsters to come in and showcase their work to the biggies and have them mentor them. So what have you got?

The 11th edition of Portfolio Night, and one of these nights was organised by leading Indian ad agency JWT in Mumbai on 22 May 2013 in its offices in Peninsula Park in Central Mumbai. Another was organised in Leo Burnett?s Delhi office.

The biggies rolled in; almost 31 were scheduled to do so, but only 28 actually turned up, if we got our numbers right. All of them much celebrated and recognised for their advertising excellence.

Amongst those whose names were listed: Ogilvy & Mather?s Piyush Pandey and Abijit Awasti, JWT?s Senthil Kumar, Swati Bhattacharya, Tista Sen, Debu Purkayastha, Nandita Chalam and Priya Pardiwalla, Taproot?s Santosh Padhi, Grey?s Amit Akali and Malvika Mehra, Lowe?s Arun Iyer and Deepa Geethakrishnan, Creativeland Asia?s Raj Kurup and Vikram Gaikwad, Rediffusion DY&R?s Komal Bedi and Sam Ahmed, DDB Mudra?s Sonal Dabral and BBDO's Josy Paul, McCann Erickson?s Prasoon Joshi, Publicis' Ashish Khazanchi, Hungama Digital Services? Carlton D?Silva, Bobby Pawar who says he has gone independent, Fanatics? Karl Gomes, Company?s K.B. Vinod, Scarecrow?s Manish Bhatt, BMB India?s Raj Nair, Hyphen?s Prassana Sankhe, Infectious Advertising?s Ramanuj Shastry, Havas? Satbir Singh and Bates? Sagar Mahableshwarkar.

Contract?s veteran Ravi Deshpande was conspicuously absent.

Their task: evaluate the work of 90 participants coming from different cities across the country, right from Pune to Bengaluru to Delhi. The event had three rounds, each comprising 45 minutes; every participant got 15 minutes with each judge. And each judge had a bus horn to sound out his/her appreciation if a piece of work caught their fancy.

The participants were a mixed bag consisting of young professionals from small agencies, and of students interning in advertising agencies.

Some of the participants at Portfolio Night left a deep and lasting impression on the big bad boys of advertising. Speaking to Indiantelevision.com Bobby Pawar said: "I am impressed by their desire and their passion to learn. They may not have work as of now but it depends how hungry they are to learn. And yes if the work is impressive who won?t want to hire these creative minds who are just about starting their career."

The Portfolio Night platform made some like McCann executive chairman & CEO Prasoon Joshi envious. Said he: "I wish we had had something like this when we started our careers. It?s a good format."

But he agreed that it was rejuvenating for him. "Usually, I don?t get a chance to meet young talent and to see their work. This event has given me that opportunity to learn a lot from them. They are so young and new to this industry."

That Portfolio Night was a success can be inferred from the number of likes its facebook page has generated. Some 961 of them, with several of them leaving their comments behind.

Host JWT South Asia CEO Colvyn Harris revealed that around 35staff at the office had been working for quite sometime to put the event together and he was not sure if JWT would put its mite behind Portfolio Night next year. But he said that "it was so good to see the youngsters interact with the biggies from advertising and get mentored by them in a relaxed fun atmosphere."

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