He was the stylist. Still is. He set the template for the Creative control of the Agency. And he did it successfully. Whether it was the business acumen from his Gujrati genes or his sheer brazen-ness he made it work for the Agency and himself. He took his Agency, Lintas, literally and figuratively to the top.
He gave us the Liril experience and Indian Advertising would never be the same again. The Creative staff & the photographers, the make-up people, the film people loved it and grew with the opportunity. And the entire TVC Creation business, then the 66 footer, got organized. In Lintas it was the rule: no film goes to Production without his sign. So, the cookie crumbled. It actually made him the final control on any creative product going out of the Agency. But no final gate can ever control the creative idea. To his credit he finally gave in, if he saw sense in it.
We were launching Monte Carlo (logo designed by Sonal Dabral), the client had a very limited budget. We sold the client a series of three 10 second TVCs. But he wouldn’t hear of it. ‘It doesn’t work!’ he protested. Meanwhile the Client was waiting the final TVC. But he was unrelenting. After a week of trying, for some reason he gave in. But of course with threats of heads rolling if it didn’t work, ‘Tell the Client it’s not what we recommend, but yet…” But after he saw the final commercials he did admire it; enough to see him attach his name to the Creative Team.
Celebrating Lintas’ rise to the No.1 spot at the Yacht Club in Mumbai, he asked rhetorically- “Where do we head to now?” Not really expecting an answer. A hand went up from the back of the hall; it was Kersey Katrak, after his sanyas returning to the field- “Yes Kersey?” “We can start by being Creative!” Thick silence greeted that. Considering that AP was leading the Creative, practically. And then he continued- “That’s your perspective…”
For Alyque strategy was the trampoline on which the big idea would get the leap to create the ‘Ah hah’ moment. His inspirations were always real- so his secretary became the name for the ‘Clever Homemaker/Shopper’- ‘Lalita’!
The Theatre in him showed itself in the presentations he made, the centre-stage he grabbed effortlessly, ensuring the right amount of projection to keep his audience spun in to his charm. Doing a scene with him from Death of a Salesman, for the launch of his book, gave me a ringside view of the Actor Padamsee. He’s a fine actor and needs no repetition from me on that.
Most would think he’d be the many Martini lunch-er, since Suit and tie went well with the image, but banish the thought. He’s more the late afternoon greasy Biryani consumer. The carpet culture and the down to earth sense were neither in opposition but became a style itself. Something that many have copied in later times, down to Creative Directors becoming CEOs!