I was quite intrigued to find that there was only one Bengali at the fag end of the list of the top 20 influential people in advertising. This was in the Brand Equity Ad Agency Reckoner 2009. There was no Bengali in the list of top ten folks in creative in the same report.
The reason for this slightly parochial post of mine is the disconnect between the rankings in advertising and the Bengali image, or self image, of being a creative race. While definitions of creativity abound, there is no denying the fact that advertising is one of the most prominent, with it and organised creative professions around.
Old timers or industry watchers bear me out on this but weren't there more Bongs influencing Indian advertising earlier?
Assuming that Bongs wielded more influence earlier I wonder what led to the current Bong famine in the peaks of advertising. Could it be the ascent of the Hindi language in Indian advertising? Or the migration of clients from Calcutta at a pace which was faster than the exodus of Calcuttans from Calcutta? Or was advertising seen to be too 'capitalistic' a rendition of art for the Bengali Bhadrolok? Or, dare we admit it, others were more 'creative'?
What's your take on this?
I know tons of bongs in advertising who are of my age. Maybe the results would look a different a few years later.
The scores would be a bit different if this was a ranking of the world of media (English only). The Goswamis and Roys and Mukherjees would pop up. Or Indian authors in English and the Jhumpa Lahiris and Amitav Ghoshes. Publishing perhaps. There would still be Bengalis there.
What about Bengalis in Blogging? Too many anonymous writers at this point in the Blogosphere though for such a survey.
For the record, I work in market research. So this is an outsider's perspective. A Market Research reckoner in India would still throw up more Bengalis, or T least people from Calcutta, in the list. But then few outside the industry would consider it to be a creative field.