Vikram Gaikwad, Vistasp Hodiwala join hands to launch new agency Underdog

03 Feb,2014

By Ravi Balakrishnan


Vikram Gaikwad, former partner and executive creative director at independent agency Creativeland Asia and Vistasp Hodiwala, VP and senior creative director at JWT, have combined forces to launch a new agency named Underdog.


The agency principals represent a classic art and copy structure. An art director by training, Mr Gaikwad has an impressive track record with stints at Grey and most recently Creativeland Asia to his credit. He’s worked on brands like Bajaj Appliances, Mercedes, Mahindra and Parle Agro.


Mr Hodiwala has been associated with Lead India and Teach India as well as the Godrej corporate brand campaign.


This is quite literally the first time Messrs Gaikwad and Hodiwala will be collaborating. Mr Hodiwala says: “We have been in the same industry for two decades, even been to Cannes the same years but our paths never crossed.”


On meeting via a mutual friend, the duo found they shared a high level of compatibility and a desire to strike out on their own. Mr Gaikwad says: “We would have earned more had we joined networks but there’s a joy to creating something.” He has previous entrepreneurial experience, leaving Grey to found Creativeland Asia with Raj Kurup. He wryly says: “This is my second innings.” It’s a first for Mr Hodiwala, who says: “There comes a time when what the agency expects from you and what you expect out of life are different.”


The agency will be self-funded and for the moment has no servicing or planning partner in place. The goal according to Mr Gaikwad is: “To grow with brands, no matter if they are small or big.” The duo are in conversations with three or four brands at the moment.


The one thing Underdog is sure it’s not going to be is a boutique. Mr Hodiwala observes: “No agency would be caught dead doing that. The time when that was in vogue was possibly 10 years ago. People want to be responsible communicators now and stand for a certain amount of honesty and serious originality.”


Source:The Economic Times

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