Santosh Padhi Joins Wieden+Kennedy as Chief Creative Officer for India

Social Samosa
Mar 01, 2022 05:18 IST
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Santosh Padhi Wieden+Kennedy

Dean Wei, who has been the Executive Creative Director leading W+K Delhi since 2019, is leaving the agency later this year. Padhi will be joining the team immediately.

Wieden+Kennedy announced the hiring of Santosh “Paddy” Padhi, as Chief Creative Officer for India. Immediately, Padhi will build out a leadership, talent, and client roster for the expanded India shop. Dean Wei, who has been the Executive Creative Director leading W+K Delhi since 2019, is leaving the agency later this year to return to London. Current W+K Delhi Managing Director Gau Narayanan will stay on in his current role.

The hire also means an expansion for the independent creative agency into Mumbai, where Paddy will build out the shop’s second India location.

Wieden+Kennedy has been established in Delhi since 2007, over the years building some of India’s most exciting brands including IndiGo Airlines, Royal Enfield, and the government of India.

Some of the office’s greatest hits over the years include Nike “Da Da Ding”, an initiative to bring in foreign investment into manufacturing called “Make in India”, 15 years of branding and design for IndiGo Airlines, and more recently, “That’s Why I Airbnb”, for Airbnb, “Light up new beginnings”, for OPPO, and “Gamerkind, Humankind needs you”, for HP Omen. In 2021, W+K Delhi had their best new business year in five years, adding business from ABinBev, Delhivery, Hero Motorcorp, OPPO, PokerBaazi, and Visa.

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Padhi commented: “W+K have always raised the creative product of our industry for the last 3-4 decades, they were one of my inspirations when Taproot was set up. I have always believed creativity is the core of our business—W+K has proven that consistently with fearless creative work on a variety of brands.

Popularly known as ‘Paddy’, Padhi started his advertising career 25 years ago after graduating from art school in Mumbai. He founded Taproot in 2009, and the agency quickly became one of India’s most prominent creative agencies, picking up critical acclaim, accolades, and awards for work done for clients including Amazon, Disney, Facebook, Uber, Adidas, Bennett, Coleman & Company (publisher of the Times of India), Bharti Airtel, and PepsiCo. Coke, Star Sports.

Earning over 200 international awards (including 2 dozen Cannes Lions, and multiple Golds and Grand Prix titles from different award shows) and over 300 local awards, Padhi is one of the most awarded creatives in India. Some work highlights include the Adidas Odds campaign for Para-athletes, The Times of India, Mumbai Mirror & Dulux Paints.

Karl Lieberman, Wieden+Kennedy Global Chief Creative Officer commented: “Paddy is a transformative creative leader with an impressive track record building creative companies and brands, and making work that is really centered in culture. We feel lucky to have him join us at a time when we really want to connect further to the creative people and culture in India. We are excited about the future of Wieden+Kennedy in India”

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