In the cut-throat world of advertising, Rohit comes armed with a heart of gold.
I’ve worked closely with him for about 15 years or so. Now, that is a really long time but not even once did I feel that our bond has been stretched to its limit.
Rohit has this tremendous gift of choosing his people wisely, even if I say so myself. He invests in them emotionally. And he stays invested. I have seen him break long established company rules and make new policies, even if it is to help a single person in need. He is always there standing right by your side.
Everyone has that one person that they will never lose feelings for, for most of us, that person would most certainly be Rohit.
It was way back in April 2000 when I met Rohit at Hotel Vasant Continental. He was meeting various people for one of the most enviable jobs of that time - Creative Director for brand Pepsi. I had essentially done a lot of print till then, not films and Pepsi was by and large a film led account. However, I did have a stack of rejected film scripts on me. Rohit listened patiently without a wince or a squirm as I narrated each script animatedly. I have absolutely no recollection of what else we may have discussed, as I was a bundle of nerves at that time.
Post the interview, he walked me all the way to the porch of the hotel and by the time I had driven about a kilometer or so, he called me up and asked me to meet Anuja Chauhan, the very next day. Selecting a creative person with not much films experience for a film led mega brand? What must he be thinking?
(Anuja, if you’re reading this, admit it, you liked me instantly.)
So that is how it all began with Rohit.
Now let’s get to how the term Papa stuck to Rohit at JWT. Rohit was truly generous and loving towards his people. I have no shame in admitting that he may have been even biased to his team vs. the other teams when he was heading JWT, Delhi. So we all started calling him Papa as he would indulge us all like a dad would. But then, strangely, entire JWT Delhi started to refer to him as Papa. Little did we know, that it wasn’t just us, he had made everyone feel special in his agency.
I have never seen Rohit lose his temper. Not even once during the most trying and difficult times. And he usually brings a great amount of clarity to the table during the strat-sessions. So we all used to really wait for his arrival to unclog the jargon filled mess floating around in the room.
Yeah, he is that one Account Management person whom all the creative people like.
He creates an empowered environment where creative people are given top priority and he believes that ultimately what we get paid for is our creative product, so creatives have to be offered the front row seat. Maybe that is one reason why, both Aggi and Paddy readily agreed to be with him more than the other, bigger networks that were incessantly chasing them.
On behalf of all the people who have worked with you Rohit, at any point of time, I would like to say “Rohit, we love you immensely and thank you for being the way you are”.