Staff Reporters
May 19, 2022

Creative Minds: Dentsu’s Anupama Ramaswamy is inspired by Bollywood

The national creative director at Dentsu Impact India on her love of Satyajit Ray, working under pressure, and being labelled ‘aggressive’ as a woman in creative.

Anupama Ramaswamy
Anupama Ramaswamy
In Creative Minds, we ask APAC creatives a long list of questions, from serious to silly, and ask them to pick 11 to answer. (Why 11? Just because.) Want to be featured?

Name: Anupama Ramaswamy

Origin: Gurgaon, India

Places worked/lived: Kolkata and Delhi, India

Pronouns: She/her

CV:

  • Managing partner and national creative director, Dentsu Impact India, May 2016—present
  • Creative director, Cheil India, June 2013—May 2016
  • Vice president and senior creative director, JWT, Dec 2007—2013
  • Creative consultant, Lowe, March 2005—Dec 2007
  • Art supervisor, Euro RSCG, Apr 2004—Jan 2005
  • Senior art director, Rediffusion DYR, Jan 2003—Apr 2004
  • Associate art director, FCB, Jan 2001—2003

1. How did you end up being a creative?

I would say by fluke. In between my graduation and post-graduation, I had a break of three months. I think my mom wanted me out of the house, so she asked me to try a course in advertising and as you can see, I am still here.

2. What's your favourite piece of work in your portfolio?

This film [Chotu; see film below] has a piece of my heart. The unfortunate thing is everything in this film is based on true events, something I have seen or has been narrated verbatim to me. 

3. What's your favourite piece of work created by someone else?

Seldom do you feel so jealous looking at a piece of work (see film below). It’s relevant, it is culturally insightful and has a purpose.

4. What/who are your key creative influences?

Bollywood, movies, music and poetry have been my primary influences. I would say it would be Ray, Tarantino, The Beatles, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Jane Austen, Kishore Kumar, Ruskin Bond, John Denver, Khusrau, Dinkar, Cliff Richards, Ghalib, Kabir, Daag Dehlvi, Don Williams, Mir Taqi Mir, Faiz, and Amrita Pritam.

5. Who’s on your dream dinner guest list (alive or dead)?

Imagine Chaplin, Monroe, Trump, Clint Eastwood, Amitabh Bachchan, Satyajit Ray, Tagore, Churchill, Van Gogh and Shakespeare at one table.

6. What career did you think you'd have when you were a kid?

I was sure about being a heart surgeon and when that didn’t happen, it was to have a doctorate in agriculture.

7. What's on your bucket list?

Scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef and living in New York for a bit.

8. Do you work best under pressure, or when things are calm?

I think I thrive in pressure. However, I am absolutely committed to changing that. Very soon.

9. Tell us about the worst job you ever had.

None. Sorry I believe there are no worst jobs. They teach you something or the other. Yes, some are difficult but make you far better and stronger.

10. How would your co-workers describe you?

Aggressive, pushy, driven, difficult. They may be true or they may not. But when a woman puts her point across strongly, she gets a lot of labels.

11. Tell us about a charity or cause you think needs more attention.

Waste segregation in India is piling up, and it’s a cause that I feel needs desperate attention.

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