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Sunday, December 23

A Legend Hangs His Boots

Friday was the official farewell of Mohammed Khan - our out-going Chairman and creative honcho. Pity, I never got to know him well/actually at all. Last couple of months, he had mostly been on leave or on baton-passing-role...

Mohammed has been involved in setting-up of some of India’s best-known creative agencies today. He was one of the co-founders of Rediffusion in 1973, came on board to start Contract in 1978 and finally in 1983, started Enterprise.

He has been involved with/ built iconic brands like Raymond, Charms, Lakme and most brands that had their origins in the 70s and 80s.

Mohammed modestly says: “Half the credit should go the clients, we had excellent relationships.” “In fact, that’s one thing that’s missing today –– agency relationships with suppliers, photographers, directors etc, which made them give that little extra. That was what made the difference between good and great.” (ET)

Most of the advertising honchos were there - Ranjan Kapur, Piyush, Prasoon, Balki, ...along with the Bates team with Sonal and Subhash!

The high-point of the evening was Tom Alter(a close friend of Mohammed) reciting Ghalib with lot of passion & feeling to a youngish crowd, who listened impatiently with little understanding of the Urdu language or the nuances of Ghalib...

Though I was a bit inebriated on Sula red wine, managed to take some pix and catch snippets of eulogising speech and random spice:-)

1. Lets start with Mohammed. A legend. He thanked three people in particular in his warm, avuncular(though have heard stories of his temper) style. Subhash Ghoshal for rehabilitating him at Contract. His client Sunny Pillai of VST industries for writing a cheque of 10 lacs that enabled him and Rajeev Aggrawal(also present at the party) to start 'Enterprise' and Raghu - a soulmate and co-worker of many years!

Mohammed also said that he had two big worries. Both of which seem to have been resolved. The first being what would he do after retirement. But then he recently saw Alyque with a smashing babe and thought that life after advertising might not be so bad after all LOL. And after Sonal taking over the creative leadership at Bates, his second worry has also been taken care of...

And his friendly poke at Ogilvy while introducing Sonal was - "Piyush, watch out your ass!!:-)"

2. Ranjan recalled the famous Khan remarks during the heydays of Enterprise- "Ogilvy is just a middle of the road agency" and "the reason that Ogilvy claps so hard at award shows is that they have little else to cheer about"!

3. The streaky haired Sonal had this to say - "Mohammad saab, aapke itne bade jootey aur hamare itne chhote pair, kam se kam hamare pairon ka size toh dekh liya hota"...

All in all a nice warm party, a sentimental send-off with a good blend of veterans from the past and the present.Tom Alter, Juhi Babbar & Rajeev RajaRanjan & MohammedSonal & Mohammed

You can read a Mohd. Khan interview at Nita's blog here...

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