R Balki

By Sashi Shankar
Likes 66
Comments 9
R Balki
The Idea Man

R. Balki is undoubtedly one of the most influential personalities in the history of Indian advertising. For him creativity isn’t an occupation. It is a preoccupation. A genius behind many of the biggest brands that the country has known, Balki’s knack of connecting with people through his craft is impeccable. Heck, I’m also willing to say that people use mobile phones, super bikes, soaps, toothpastes, fairness creams, insurance products, because of him! He has communicated and convinced us on why and how these products are so integral to our daily lives. Come to think of it, he has made them ‘creatively populist’.

My association with him started with brand Idea and boy, what a stimulating journey it has been and continues to be. Balki has been with Idea from the very beginning, right from the time it was conceived. I would definitely say that no one understands Idea as a brand better than Balki. He has looked at the brand very closely, understood its ethos and the value that the brand offers to its customers. Balki took that vision of Idea, gave it shape and put it forth to the customers in a convincing way. And he’s not static. With every piece of conversation for Idea, Balki is reinventing and reimagining Idea.

We at Idea, not surprisingly, get amazed by his ability to reinvent himself and the brand with every piece of work. Idea as a brand is challenging when you have to think of the brand reaching out creatively to its target customers – genealogically, this is a brand that is all about giving new ideas, every single time. Balki understands this completely and it shows how this creative genius gets into the core understanding of what the brand is all about. No surprise then that this creative genius has never written the same story twice. Every single ad is a different genre, a different story, a different risk. The only thing that bonded all of his stories was the incredible virtuoso that he was with craft.

There’s another quality about Balki that is admirable. He is brilliant at capturing the nuances of human condition. He tugs at your heartstrings through his ad or feature films. You feel instantly drawn and connected to his work because he does it so powerfully, so effectively. He draws out your inner feelings through his craft, allowing you to easily relate and understand what he’s communicating through his work. He makes familiar things look new and makes new things look familiar in the process of persuading us through our guts, hearts and minds. It is a quality that he uniquely possesses and that makes him really special.


Chief Marketing Officer
Idea Cellular Limited
Comments (9)
Anisha Makhani (Guest) A man of many ideas, it's not a surprise that he is the mastermind behind simple yet influencing ads like Idea Cellular's "Walk When You Talk" and Surf Excel's "Daag Ache Hai". His ability to pass on important life messages through short ads is inspirational as well as fascinating. This article provides an in-depth insight into R Balki as a man as well as R Balki as a creative genius. Great job Mr. Sashi Shankar.
05 Oct 2015 Reply
Shefali John (Guest) His work is fabulous and so is he as a person. A true Rainmaker. 
09 Sep 2015 Reply
Prathap Suthan For those who don't know, Balki was also a devastating fast bowler. We used to open the bowling for Mudra Ahmedabad, and the ones who whined the most were those hapless IIM A boys.
08 Sep 2015 Reply
Vivek Singh R Balki - Director, Producer, Screenwriter...for films like Paa, Chinni Kum, SHAMITABH etc & Songs like "Piddly Si Baatein" in which he made our Great Mr Amitabh Bachchan sing the entire song sitting on a cumboard looks very simple. He's a man with many hats and plays every role brilliantly. A true inspiration for everyone.
08 Sep 2015 Reply
Jagriti Ghosh (Guest) Director, Producer, Screenwriter... He's a man with many hats and plays every role brilliantly. A true inspiration. 
08 Sep 2015 Reply
Paresh Prajapati The ideas are good and also formation into creative are excellent by Sirji
08 Sep 2015 Reply
Rupali Mahlotra (Guest) Paa, Surf Excel- "Daag Achche hai", Tata Tea- "Jaago Re", Idea Cellular- "walk when you talk"... Just fabulous. Amazing work. Kudos Sir. 
08 Sep 2015 Reply
Vikas Mahajan (Guest) He has a habit of going through the work with a fine tooth comb and that I believe, is the reason for his creative excellence. 
08 Sep 2015 Reply
Pratishtha Bhardawaj (Guest) It is almost as if he breathes creativity. Very inspiring
07 Sep 2015 Reply


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