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Wearing many hats

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PURSUIT To be successful in life, you need to be passionate about what you do, says Prahlad Kakkar
PURSUIT To be successful in life, you need to be passionate about what you do, says Prahlad Kakkar

Prahlad Kakkar can speak about anything under the sun. NIKHIL VARMAlistens awe struck as the adman takes him through politics, recession, and a lot else

Not many would know that Prahlad Kakkar, a man with tastes varying from making ad films to whipping up a melange of culinary delights to scuba diving is also keen on strategic affairs. He says: “This new government has been given a clear mandate by the people to set things right. Our neighbourhood is in disarray and the government must take concrete steps to ensure that the anarchy does not cross the borders. Effective steps are also needed to curb the Naxalite threat that is spreading across the country. They have quite a lot on their plate.”

He is willing to discuss politics at length and quips: “I was one of the few people who had predicted these numbers for the UPA. I feel that the voters have spelt out that family names are not going to matter anymore; it is the work and capability of a person that shall determine the fate of candidates. I hope this advice is followed seriously by all parties.”

Kakkar feels that the recession has hit the advertising industry badly, but is confident that the industry will be able to bounce back soon. “I believe that the advertising is the thermometer that helps gauge the health of the economy. When the economy is on a high, the ad industry also achieves high growth rates. When a downturn occurs, the ad industry is hit first.” He adds: “The good news is that none of the agencies have affected major job cuts, though they have started to undergo a process of streamlining the day to day functioning.”

Prahlad feels that the recession provides the Indian economy some breathing space, before resuming its race to becoming an economic superpower. “It is an opportunity that will allow us to take a critical look at the issues and problems facing the economy and provide some breathing space.”

He feels: “We have been relatively spared from the recession, mainly owing to the fact that we do not depend too much on credit. With the influx of massive salaries, that trend has been changing over the years, but this recession has brought savings back into fashion.” He reflects: “This too shall pass. We are holding tight to our money at the moment. We need more demand to improve the condition of the economy.”

Prahlad contends that Indian advertising has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. “With the economic boom, advertising has flourished over the past few years. Online advertising is the new buzz word these days.”

He agrees that online advertising definitely holds a lot of promise. “Though internet penetration in India is fairly restricted, the fact remains that it manages to reach out to the target audience of most brands. As in the rest of the planet, online advertising will take giant strides in the next few years.”

For those interested in taking up advertising as a career option, Prahlad has a piece of advice. He says, “You must be passionate about your work, must be ready to put in long hours and be paid relatively low salaries initially. You must treat it as a hobby and enjoy your work.”

However, Prahlad states: “Traditional forms of advertising shall continue to rule the roost. It reaches out to a larger section of the populace and holds a degree of sentimental value with many consumers.”

Prahlad is also a foodie and loves preparing food. “I started experimenting with whipping up some dishes only to impress women,” he grins. “Eventually, I started enjoying it a great deal.”

On the utility of olive oil in cooking, Prahlad says: “I learnt its utility after undergoing a couple of bypass surgeries in the last 10 years. Olive oil is the reason that people in the Mediterranean regions manage to live past 80. It helps a great deal in promoting a healthy diet.”

On his future plans, Prahlad quips, “I plan to buy a boat and learn sailing. I had learnt driving in similar fashion, using a friend’s remodelled car. I feel that you need to be passionate about anything you do, to be successful in life.”

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