Raahil Chopra
Feb 29, 2024

Raahil's blog: Thank you Campaign India!

As I bid adieu to Campaign India, here’s a heartfelt message to our readers to describe my time at the publication

Raahil's blog: Thank you Campaign India!
Fourteen years and five months. Without giving away my age, that’s a significant portion of my life I’ve spent at Campaign India, and I couldn’t be more grateful for having this opportunity.
 
During this tenure, which began as an editorial assistant (an intern in more common terms), I believe both Campaign India and I have grown immensely.
 
Having worked with three different editors – the late Anant Rangaswami, Gokul Krishnamoorthy and Prasad Sangameshwaran, to take on the hat itself. It’s been a crazy ride. There have been others too, the Campaign Asia team, especially Robert Sawatzky who has not only been a great boss but also a confidant during the last couple of years.
 
I may be incorrect, but someone pointed out to me yesterday, I have worked with every editorial employee of Campaign in India, since I started my internship stint a couple of years into the brand’s journey in India. Thank you to Anupama, Noel, Dinika, Sanjyot, Unnati, Eularie and Mukta for educating me and helping me while I took on this role, which I believe is one of the most prestigious in this space. 
 
I’m also extremely thankful to Atifa Silk and Hormazd Sorabjee for showing trust by giving me this role. 
 
A special mention to PrintWeek's Ramu Ramanathan and Noel Dcunha for also always being there to help when the need arose. 
 
Other than those named above, I'm thankful to each of my current and past colleagues at the organisation. 
 
Coming to the tenure: there were positives. There were negatives. But I can positively say the positives outweigh the negatives. And how.
 
The one thing we stood for and continue to stand for is integrity. And the industry (hopefully) pays testimonial to that.
 
There were several calls made before award functions, especially Agency of the Year (AOY) to know whether there are ‘stage’ chances or not. We answered none. Other than the integrity bit, the joy of seeing someone who didn’t know whether he or she or his or her agency had won an award, was something to savour.
 
We’ve heard and read enough about the pandemic. Businesses were affected. We had pressures from advertisers to ‘publish their press releases’ or risk losing out on advertising. We didn’t succumb. A testimonial to this was a discussion last year with Partha Sinha of The Times of India, who during our podcast series (Marcomverse) mentioned that if publications bow down to the advertiser’s pressure, the advertiser will stop reading and respecting it.
 
We continued with our awards, albeit online during the pandemic. There were calls from agencies participating for discounts to enter. Tough times for them too, I suppose, but we stuck to our guns. This continued after the pandemic too. Some promised more entries if they got the discounts. Some said they would submit an ‘x’ number of entries if they were rewarded with guaranteed wins. Apparently, it’s an industry practice. Not for Campaign India.
 
Another learning during my time came through a conversation with DDB Mudra’s Rahul Mathew. I think he was with McCann during that time and he told me about the importance of ‘sab ki sunno, khud ki karo’ (hear what everyone has to say, but ultimately do what you want to). And that’s exactly what Campaign did in this space.
 
And I’m sure that’s something the brand and the team at Campaign will continue to do so.
 
Moving to a gated model and then a paid one, was another bold step. Some agreed, some didn’t. While it’s still early days, I think the numbers reveal that the sceptics were (sort of) proved wrong.
 
With that, I sign out of Campaign India, with a promise of staying in touch with friends I've made in the industry. And for them, I bid adieu by borrowing a line from the club anthem of the football team I support – You’ll Never Walk Alone.
Source:
Campaign India

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