CREATIVE MAJLIS – New UAE Advertising Creatives Forum with a social
Posted by advaitin on February 4, 2006
1) Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your educational and work background?
I am an award-winning advertising copywriter and journalist based in Dubai. I hold a post graduate qualification in Marketing Management with specialisation in Advertising.
Thorugh 9 years of my career as a creative copywriter and brand strategist, I have had the great fortune to write and conceptualise for some of the hottest brands in the
world like Microsoft, Jaguar, Jacuzzi, Rodeo Drive, Hewlett-Packard, Honda and Sheraton Hotels.
As a journalist, I have met and interviewed the movers and shakers of the corporate world here in the Gulf, and covered a wide range of industries from cosmetics to information technology.
I am also a photographer but more by passion than by profession. My favourite subject as a photographer are roses.
I studied to become a software engineer, but my inclination was alway towards more creative endeavours. I picked up on multimedia skills alongside my engineering course, and enjoyed every bit of playing with 2-D and 3-D animation. I started my career in the e-learning industry, which required both creative and computing skills. I enjoyed my 3-year stint in the industry in various roles, from graphic designer to animation head, from instructional designer to quality assurance specialist. Once I shifted to Dubai, I took to writing as a profession, since the elearning industry here didn’t seem as exciting
as it is back in India. Writing has always been a passion, apart from art and music. I graduated from a web-writer to a full-fledged advertising copywriter. So, here I am!
2) What inspired you to start Creative Majlis?
Mayura inspired me to join her and form a forum where copywriters and
creative people can use their skills and talent to contribute to our community.
We had seen how eager many of our fellow copywriters were in writing and
contributing creatively for a cause. We felt we could achieve more as a team, pooling in
collective creative talents for social campaigns. Thus, ‘Creative Majlis’ was born.
The concept of Creative Majlis started as a club for copywriters
within the Dubai Writers Group, of which I was the Assistant
Organiser. Farrukh and I were very active members of the copywriters
club, which took off well, and we also worked on couple of mock social
campaigns with other club members. I started and managed the club,
while Farrukh was the inspiration behind the social campaigns and also
its moderator. Since we had no identity of our own as a group of
copywriters, getting the public service ads published was close to
Farrukh and I then felt there was a need for a full-fledged creative
advertising club, where we could contribute our collective creative
skills to socially beneficial causes. Hence, we started the Creative
Majlis on 30th of January 2006. Creative Majlis is the meeting point
for progressive copywriters and creative people from the UAE, and the
world over to bring their creative skills together, connect and make
things happen. Why should creative ad professionals join the Creative
Majlis? To do more than push products and recycle special offers as
creative people. To propel our power of persuasion as writers and
seasoned marcom professionals towards making a positive difference to
the world around us.’
Hence, ‘to pool our talents and make a positive difference in our
communities’ will remain the primary agenda of this group. We are
collaborating with Al Noor foundation to plan and handle their
awareness / fund raising campaigns on a voluntary basis. This is only
a start. We have big plans for the future.
3) How can members from the media and creative field utilise this
The best way to utilise this forum, i.e. Creative Majlis, is to become
an active part of it.
Join us. Interact with all the creative members. Brainstorm. Think of
great things we can do with the talents we have within us. Create social
awareness campaigns. Write, art direct, publish, promote messages that
make a difference in people’s lives.
As a group, a ‘majlis’, we can divide the work and thus take concepts
from thoughts to actions, from scribbles to artwork, from the drawing
board to the press, which might not always be possible for someone to
achieve by individual effort.
We are looking at active participation from copywriters, art directors
and graphic designers, PR professionals, printers, publishers and
The Creative Majlis offers a world of possibilities for enthusiastic
creative professionals looking at fertile grounds to harvest their
creative skills to the zenith.
At CM, you get to work on varied advertising projects, from public
awareness campaigns to fund-raising events, from posters to greeting
cards. And the part that every advertising professional would cherish
most is, we work directly with the clients; there are no annoying
middle-men coming our way! What’s more? Working with talented fellow
creative professionals from various backgrounds should be great fun!
5) How has the response to the forum been so far?
Almost every creative person we have met has been more than willing to
contribute his or her talent for a good cause.
I had invited writers to contribute ideas for social campaigns on a
message board on the Dubai Writers Group, of which me and Mayura are
active members, and the response to that message was the highest ever in
the history of the group. That gives us an indication of the kind of
response we can expect for Creative Majlis, a group focused on
creativity for a cause.
The response has been good, and we already have a sizeable team of
creative professionals, from copywriters, artists and web-designers to
6) What are your future plans for the forum?
Creative Majlis has started as a group of copywriters and creative
professionals who wish to contribute their talents to make a difference
to the society.
Our plans include creating social advocacy campaigns, contributing our
services to NGOs and charity organisations, sharing our knowledge and
experiences, discussing issues that are important for writers and
creative people in the region, and more.
As our efforts gather momentum, the direction in which we move will also
depend on the creative vision and collective insights of the all members
of the Creative Majlis.
The immediate plan is to crystallize our collaboration with Al Noor
Foundation, UAE. We plan to grow as a team, in order to take up bigger
and more projects. As we grow bigger and stronger, we can tie up with
more such social service organisations in need of professional
marketing communication services, but cannot really afford them. We
also wish to make Creative Majlis the ultimate platform for creative
advertising professionals to mingle, contribute and learn.
We have plans to organise industry-specific discussions, seminars and
talks by leading advertising professionals for our members.
9) What are your favourite books, music, movies, celebrities and
Favourite Book: “The Revelations of the Unseen”, “The Alchemy of
Happiness”, “Scientific Advertising”, any book by Dale Carnegie.
Favourite Music: Lyrics by Bob Dylan (Blowin’ in the wind)
Movies: Movies with a message like Main Azaad Hoon, Swades and Rang De
Basanti in Hindi. Like ‘The Message’ and ‘Gandhi’ in English.
Celebrities: Celebrities disappoint me.
Inspiring Personalities: Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Jesus
(peace be upon him), Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Abdul Sattar Eidi.
Favorite books: Da Vinci Code, My India the India Eternal by Swami
Vivekananda, ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert T. Kiyosaki and more,
Every Street is Paved with Gold – the autobiography of Kim Woo Chong,
the founder of Daewoo, and more. I mostly read non-fiction.
Favourite music: Indian classical – both Hindustani & Karnatic; old
Bollywood classics by Lata & Mohammad Rafi; English Country music; and
just any soothing, melodious music. I am not a very ‘rock & heavy
Inspiring personalities: Swami Vivekananda, Narayana Murthy, the
founder of Infosys Technologies, India and my mother.
10) What is your motto or philosophy of life that you would like to
share with our readers?
My favourite quote by which i live my life:
“Be ashamed to die till you have won a victory for mankind.”