I first met Umesh as a Client when I joined Shoppers Stop as the Marketing Head in the early 2000s. Retail was on a growth trajectory. We were launching new stores, new formats, new brands, an IPO and everything in between. The times were crazy and the demands from the agency even crazier. In this sea of madness, what struck me as most unusual was Umesh – a man who was calm and almost zen-like in our frenzied interactions with Contract.
I remember thinking to myself , how can someone's approach be so calm and patient when everyone and everything around us was thrumming with action. I remember drumming my nails on the table (mentally of course) waiting for him to say something. And when he did, it was incisive and often gave a whole new perspective towards the problem we were discussing. Surprisingly, he did this without any of the drama I associated with typical admen I had encountered in the past.
Meet Umesh Shrikhande. Less hype. Even lesser advertising. A “moment of stillness and calmness”. If there’s one thing that makes him stand out in our mad, frenzied world, it’s his demeanour, a quiet confidence that has the power to be heard without having to raise his voice. They say all answers come from a place of calm. Umesh exemplifies this. Today as a friend, I often turn to him when I need advice. I don’t drum my nails, though.