Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Aditya Bhat, Reliance Jio

As a former TV producer, Aditya Bhat's approach to marketing blends content, purpose and Bollywood—an approach that not only lands with brands but also with India's Prime Minister.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Aditya Bhat, Reliance Jio
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Aditya Bhat

Head of Jio Creative Labs
Reliance Jio

Marketer and producer Aditya Bhat began his career selling salt and then made the unlikely move into TV marketing and production, eventually founding his own company in 2011, which specialised in branded content. This company, Business of Ideas, was merged into Jio in 2016, catapulting Bhat into leading the internal marketing division of one of India’s largest companies.

The advertising and marketing arm, which was renamed Jio Creative Labs earlier this year, has produced Reliance Jio’s campaigns over the past four years. Two years ago it began offering its services to external brands, and this now makes up the majority of its work, with more than 40 brands on its roster. Notable brands include Reckitt Benckiser, Tata Motors, Cadburys and Bytedance. Jio Creative Labs pitches for Reliance Jio work like other external agencies, but rarely loses.

Under Bhat’s leadership, the division has expanded into new business lines, such as a talent-management division, which manages around 35 celebrities across Bollywood and music, and has upskilled in technologies, such as 360 video and augmented reality. Bhat himself hosts a marketing show called Kiska Brand Bajega for CNBC-TV18, in which he interviews major Indian celebrities on how they have built their personal brand. He has championed a marketing approach that blends purpose campaigns with the celebrity appeal of Bollywood actors, such as this popular anti-smoking ad featuring Sunny Leone, Alok Nath and Deepak Dobriyal.

Bhat also has close ties to the Indian government: in 2019 he led a campaign for the Election Commission to encourage the public to vote, as well as a campaign for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mark Diwali. In a personal capacity, Bhat was part of Modi’s 2019 election think tank.

But Bhat’s proudest accomplishment is his dedication to educating the next generation of India’s marketers. He has been teaching marketing for 18 years, creating media and integrated marketing courses in leading business schools across India. Most recently, he launched a programme called Step to give staffers out of work due to COVID-19 experience of briefs and marketing strategies within Jio Creative Labs, and is planning a ‘school of learning and experience’ with education institutions for students to gain hands-on experience of marketing with a syllabus that continuously adapts to digital trends.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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