KS Chax

By Arvind Sharma
Likes 27
Comments 11
KS Chax
The X Factor

My first few months in advertising were months of groping in the dark. There were many highly regarded people in Clarion's creative department.  Why could they not understand very simple things I was saying in my briefs! Fortunately for me, within a few months the sun rose- from the south. A copywriter who had joined Clarion Bangalore and was too bright for the Bangalore market of those days was transferred to Clarion Bombay.

His name was KS Chakravarthy. He insisted that everybody called him Chax. Not Chaks with an s but Chax with an x. For the straight-laced India of those days, he was an unusual man. An engineer who wanted to be a copywriter. Initially I was just curious about him. What piqued my curiosity was that he would take senior management of the agency on in campaign discussions and sometimes even win. I discovered that this was his second nature- that is how he was elected the leader of the student union of his engineering college. Curiosity about him overtime turned into friendship and then into respect for his unique combination of strengths.

As an engineer,  when required,  Chax could turn on his left brain skills. His comments on market shares & brand equity scores swept clients off their feet. The writer in him passionately loved ideas and craft.  And the student union leader in him made him a leader of creative people. We left Clarion around the same time and agreed to work together again when we were both in senior positions.

At Chaitra when I was given the responsibility to transform the agency into Leo Burnett, an agency of tomorrow, I invited  Chax to join us and soon made him our national creative director.  He was probably among the first couple of creatives in the country to be given that title. Over just a few years,  he put together a dream creative team. It included Pops,  Aggi,  Paddy,  Priti to name just a few. Clients like Sanjiv Gupta of Coke, Pradeep Poddar of Heinz, Pradeep Pant- later Global Marketing Head of Reebok,  David Thomas of Procter,  all listened to us implicitly. We made an unbeatable new business team that picked accounts like Bajaj, Coke, Godrej Consumer- all within a span of a few of years.

What makes Chax a joy to work with is his unusual attitude. 'If you are just trying to  find fault with a piece of work, I'm eloquent enough to convince you otherwise. However,  if you are genuinely not happy with an idea,  we have many more ideas where this one came from!'.

It is a true testimony to his unique creative talent that the campaigns created by him/under his leadership across agencies over the years are remembered by people.  Many of them are enduring campaigns that are still running.  Thums Up comes to mind as a ready example. And the people he has spotted and nurtured have gone onto become today's famous creative people. Aggi,  Paddy,  Priti,  Ashish. The list goes on...

I look forward to more from him in his new avatar as a digital creative...

Founder, IndiaSariHouse.Com
Comments (11)
Wabs (Guest) Campaigns work more when they take the brand to a new place. That means client has to hold hands with the Agency and walk a path not trodden before on a terrain that's not properly known to either of them. That requires building trust. Chax used to be the first to read the client's mind, first to come up with insights on category and society. He thinks clearly, speaks eloquently. He is very good in selling campaign ideas, supporting his people through times of pressure and helping clients see things more clearly.  Chax is rarely tensed, never depressed. Finally, he is a generous and very entertaining host.  It is not very often that other departments in an Agency have a great time with a high profile creative head. All of us had a great time. Thanks, Chax.
13 Apr 2016 Reply
Prathap Suthan There are very few people in the business who are as genuine as Chax. While we have never worked together, we have had enough beers and laughs on the side to appreciate and respect each other. Unknown to most of the newer people in the business, Chax is a phenomenal film maker as well. Keep on growing that beard. I am sure you and I know that it delivers at some level. :)
13 Apr 2016 Reply
Kaushik Mitra (Guest) Chax. He hired me at CLB. A great leader of men and climate changer for great creative to happen across the board and every client to benefit. Wish my guru all the best for the future as I recall the nostalgic past!
12 Apr 2016 Reply
KV Sridhar aka Pops (Guest) Chax my partner, mentor, brother for over 30 years. He is there for me when ever I needed him. I owe all my success both professional and personal to him. Thou I you my friend.  -Pops
12 Apr 2016 Reply
Geetanjali Chawla (Guest) I'm sure Chax is gonna revolutionize the digital medium. Can't wait to see what he brings to the table.
12 Apr 2016 Reply
Manjiri Shukla (Guest) Chax with an X is as interesting as his name, be it in his work or otherwise.
12 Apr 2016 Reply
Kamya Khan (Guest) The X Factor. Apt for Chax as he oozes X factor.
12 Apr 2016 Reply
Debosmita Paul (Guest) Chax has the kind of pull that makes people to want to listen to him. When he talks, people pay attention.
12 Apr 2016 Reply
Krishna Prabhakar (Guest) From engineering to advertising. A journey well travelled by Chax.
12 Apr 2016 Reply
Jayasree Nair (Guest) Chax is an epitome of a true creative, open to ideas, willing to go out of the box. 
12 Apr 2016 Reply
Preeti Malick (Guest) Being unsusal is what makes Chax the best at his job.
12 Apr 2016 Reply

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