To Pratap - the legend, mentor, boss, partner and friend
Mandeep Malhotra celebrates the illustrious life of his partner, guide and friend, Pratap Bose, who passed away earlier today
May 10, 2023 08:29:00 PM | Article | Mandeep Malhotra Share -
While I write this I'm still reeling.
We first met in 2002 at the Ogilvy 'sabzimandi' office in Delhi in 2002. Even before we met, I’d heard stories of this legend. A man who’d always been known for his shackle-breaking out-of-the-box creativity, he’s been credited for playing a key role in shaping advertising in India into what it is today. I had the privilege of knowing him beyond the legends.
Over countless conversations, he’d tell me about his days as an accountant and how always following his creative instinct helped him. He always had his way with words and people. He absolutely loved life and everything he did which explains this distinct energy and conviction that he had. It just made it extremely easy for him to convince anyone. That one-of-a-kind energy was infectious, it made everyone believe in seemingly impossible ideas and execute them to perfection. That’s probably how we won our first Cannes Lion in 2003.
From Ogilvy to DDB to Social Street and beyond, I’ve had the privilege of having him by my side every step of the way. But there’s a lot more to our friendship than a professional partnership.
We’ve experienced a lot of life together. 21 years, 3 agencies and countless awards later, there are 2 things that I’ll always be grateful for; his love for sports and fishing. He loved sports. Football, cricket, F1, you name it and he’d get into an in-depth hour-long discussion with you on it. He was the guy that knew everything about everything, even at work. While people on the floor barely knew each other, he somehow knew every single person along with their stories and skills. Not that he just happened to know these things, he wanted to know. He wanted to know everyone and make sure we help them be the best version of themselves.
I’ve learned many things from him at work, but it’s the simple 'life fundas' he gave informally that stuck with me. The biggest life lessons I’ve learned have been over our many Goa-fishing trips and chess games. He just always knew the right thing to say. He taught me the value of always making the right moves in chess and life and how some seemingly risky plays have high rewards. He taught me how to fish and the life skills to learn from fishing (patience and being calm). While talking about life, he taught me how to make the most of it. The beauty of it? His lessons were never a single lecture, they were constant nuggets of wisdom sprinkled over our 21 years together.
The year was 2004 and my bags were packed. I was ready to move to Canada and leave advertising and my life in India behind forever. He sat me down, spoke to me and as anyone who ever had the privilege of working with him would tell you; he did the impossible yet again. He convinced me to stay and that was the best decision I’ve made. We moved to DDB and eventually became co-founders at The Social Street. Another piece of his advice I’m grateful I took.
Life does truly come full circle; I found out about his passing while I was fishing and practicing the techniques he taught me.
To Pratap, the legend, the mentor, the boss, the partner, the friend, the one who truly made life large and touched countless lives.