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Friday, July 01, 2011

Chp 356. Just Completed Three Years!!!

This post may not be a big deal to many of you, but to me, it is indeed a big deal. For today, I have just completed my three years of work experience! I can’t believe it’s been just three years though… lolz.

I know many of you have been working for around 10 years now. I remember all the sermons and preaching my close friends used to give me about being “so old” and yet not working or doing anything worthwhile.

Maybe I was lazy, maybe I was unqualified, maybe I was spoilt, maybe I was just too scared to work on a job I might detest later… whatever be the reason, I ended up wasting my life for almost 6 years after I graduated from college, just partying, blogging and drinking my life away.

And then, when I finally decided it was high time I started working and doing something meaningful with my life, my friends warned me about rejections… That somebody like me who’s “old” and yet without any work experience was not exactly the most suitable candidate, and that I would have to go through many interview processes…

I understood.

Since advertising had always been my passion and I knew the digital space quite well, along with JV and my sister, we decided that I should aim big and go for the best digital advertising agency in India. That way I would surely get rejected and move on to smaller agencies, yet without feeling the pangs of rejection.

I called up my friend Pawan, who told me that the number 1 digital agency in India then was Webchutney.

So I took a printout of my resume, hailed an auto, and went to Webchutney Mumbai office. It took me an hour because I was looking at a Webchutney Delhi office address! Hahaa. Finally, I reached the office and met the shocked receptionist Rihanna (who became a very close friend later) because I didn’t have any appointment with the HR.

The equally shocked HR Manisha luckily happened to be in a good mood, and interviewed me. Walk-in interviews are actually not allowed, and to fix an interview appointment, one needs to send his/her resume and an appointment will be arranged if that resume is what the agency wants. I was extremely lucky that day, hehehe. I don’t know what happened, but somehow the interview went well too, and I was called back the next day!

The next day, I met the ACD, who is now our CD (Creative Director) today. He interviewed me for an hour. Later he gave me a copy test.

I wrote my (first ever) copy test, and went home.

The next day, AGAIN, I was called to the office. This time, it was the Branch Head who wanted to meet me!

I met Poornima, who was our Mumbai Branch Head then, and finally after a long interview, I got the job! Lolz, if you think I was shocked, then you should have seen my sister’s face when I told her about the news. My FIRST job interview, NO work experience, didn’t even KNOW what being a copywriter meant, accepted in India’s LEADING digital ad agency!

Yeah, it felt like a dream.

I still remember my first project after joining Webchutney. Our ACD and Art Director were preparing for a pitch on an “Ocean Racing” campaign. I was told to get involved and help with the concept & strategy, and after listening to the brief, I came up with this –



HAHAHA… Seriously, that’s what I thought copywriters do, you know… write the copy in a stylish manner. Lolzzzz….

I have come a LONGGGGG way from there.

Much later, I asked my bosses what they saw in me when they first hired me. And it turned out - It was because of my blog! And no, it was not about any particular post. They saw the potential in me after seeing the creativity in my writing. Creative writing and thinking creatively for an ad campaign may be different, but at the end of the day, creativity is creativity.

And that’s what Webchutney did – harnessed my talent, taught me how to channel my creativity, and made me into what I am today. I will forever be indebted to Nishi and Meghana for this.

Today I am handling many leading national and International brands on my own, with my own dedicated team. And none of this would have been possible without what I have learnt during the past three years.


July 1, 2008 - Exactly three years ago from today. That was when I was told to join this company.

On July 1, 2008, God probably decided to play a prank on me because maybe even HE couldn’t believe I finally started working. So on that fateful day, He sent along a mini flood.

Yup, that’s what happened on my first day. On July 1, 2008, as my sister wished me luck (like a child going to school for the first time), I braved the rain thinking it was going to be just another of those normal Monsoon rain spells.

[Google: “July 1 2011 Mumbai” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.]

Just after I left my apartment, my sister switched on the TV to see news channels everywhere warning people to stay indoors! Most of the roads in Mumbai were completely flooded, and there were landslides here and there! She called me immediately, but my phone was tightly wrapped in a polythene bag deep inside my bag.

I on the other hand, was preoccupied, battling the rain and thinking about my first day at work. All autos refused to ply and most vehicles were off the road, so I walked. I kept walking towards my new office, not noticing that the water level kept rising higher and higher… first I was avoiding the puddle… next my feet were completely submerged…. soon the water came up to my ankles…. then my knees… by the time I reached SV Road, the water was up to my waist!!!

Yet, I was determined because it was my first day at work and I didn’t want to screw it up.

I held my umbrella up along with my bag, which reminded me of those Vietnam war movies where the GIs would patrol through waist-high water in the jungle while holding their guns above the water.

And the thing about Mumbai floods is, you MUST follow the person right in front of you. Coz you’ll never know if there is a pothole or a manhole ahead when the muddy water is up to your waist. So this is one incident where herd mentality is a really positive thing. Lolz.

FINALLY, after nearly 3 hours of struggling through the water, I reached my new office. Very few people turned up that day, and the HR told me I didn’t have to come!

Hehehe… well, in the end, my first day at work was indeed a very memorable day, and I will never forget what I went through that day.


[I may update this post later with a video]