Staff Reporters
Aug 18, 2022

Creative Minds: How ECD Ashish Tambe fell in love with words

The creative leader at Kinnect Mumbai on getting lost in libraries, the magic of Bill Watterson, and inadvertently being a people-reader.

Ashish Tambe
Ashish Tambe
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: Ashish Tambe

Origin: Mumbai, India

Places lived/worked: Mumbai, India

Pronouns: He/him


  • ECD, Kinnect, Mumbai, 2015-Present,
  • Copy editor, Network18, Mumbai, 2013-2015
  • Writer, Praxis International, Mumbai, 2012-2013

1. How did you end up being a creative?

After working for six months in the Himalayas with bacteria from the Ganges, the path to being a ‘mad scientist’, holed up in a laboratory somewhere, seemed like the obvious future. So when I didn’t get funding for my Ph.D. proposal, I started writing on the side. Words always came easy to me, I’ve understood them since I was a child and loved the world they created when put together. It’s probably why I would be lost in a library for hours or be found reading in the bathroom light at 3am so that I didn’t get caught by my parents. Pair this up with being an empath, who naturally understands emotions... creativity is the end result. So what I was actually trying to say is that I became a creative by accident.

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

You are naïve if you think what you do can change the world, you are also naïve if you think what you do doesn’t change the world. This is the code I live by as a creative. The first keeps me humble, while the second helps me push my boundaries and believe. These are two pieces that have emerged from this very philosophy.

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

The Moldy Whopper. It does everything a great creative should do—it makes you smile at the simplicity of the idea while astounding you with its brilliance.

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

Bill Watterson. Calvin and Hobbes is one creative piece that transcends time. The imagination, craft and understanding of the human mind makes it relevant even today, decades after it was written. And the best part about it is that Bill decided to stop writing it when it was at its peak. The reason? To protect its sanctity by not diluting its creativity over time. As a creative that earns my utmost respect.

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

I always wanted to be an Airforce pilot. But there was a time in my childhood when MIGs kept malfunctioning and randomly falling from the sky. It led to some good amount of counselling (read: emotional blackmailing) from my parents and here we are watching Top Gun and reimagining our reality.

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

In all honesty I have only experienced one—pressure! Calm is not a term we use in digital advertising.

7. What advice would you give to 10-year-old you, if you could?

Buy bitcoin, wait, no it crashed! Wait it’s up again—buy it—wait, wait, false alarm! On a serious note, I would save myself many headaches if my younger self just knew this: ‘You are never going to be in a state where you have it all figured out! So live the now rather than overthink the morrow’ (Need someone to explain what this means to the 10-year-old me though.)

8. What really motivates you?

No artist signs their name on a bad painting! Having my name associated with a creative piece is the ultimate motivation. It puts the onus on me to ensure that the work done is the best possible under the circumstances in which it was done.

9. Do you have any secret or odd talents?

If you give me a day or two to observe a person, I would tell you how they think, make their choices, what they are feeling or how they would react to a situation. I read people without meaning to.

10. Do you have a catchphrase?

‘Think within the box. Those are the ideas that get executed.’

11. Extrovert or introvert?

Ambivert. I will socialise with you all day and be right there in the moment. But, come evening I want to be left alone to recharge my socialising batteries.

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