2 Minutes With ... Kainaz Karmakar, CCO of Ogilvy Mumbai

A love of psychology brought her to advertising

Photo illustration: Ashley Epping

Kainaz Karmakar, a member of the Film jury for the 2019 Clio Awards, is the chief creative officer of Ogilvy Mumbai. 

In India, she has won two Laadli Awards, given to communication that empowers women. She is one of the founding members of The Collective in India, a committee of senior women industry leaders creating a safe work environment for women in advertising.

She has led her team to create globally awarded campaigns like "Beauty Tips by Reshma" and Savlon's "Healthy Hands Chalk Sticks."

We spent two minutes with Kainaz to find out more about her background, her favorite creative works, and what she'd be doing if she weren't in advertising. 

Kainaz, tell us... 

The town where you were born. 

Mumbai.

What you wanted to be when you grew up. 

A clinical psychologist.

How you discovered you were creative. 

I had too many imaginary friends while growing up.

A person you idolized creatively growing up. 

My grandmother. She brought up three children on a very tiny income, so she had to be creative every day, just to survive. For example, she would alter old dresses into skirts to make them look new. 

A moment from high school or college that changed your life. 

When I encountered psychology as a subject. Studying the human mind is a gift that lasts forever. 

Your favorite band or musician today. 

I am not into music, but if I have to say, I like the soundtrack of La La Land.

Your favorite artist. 

Pastry chefs are my favorite artists.

Your favorite hero or heroine in fiction. 

Arya Stark from Game of Thrones. 

The best book you've read lately. 

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami.

Your favorite movie. 

As Good as It Gets.

Your favorite Instagram follow. 

It was @anthonybourdain. No one after that.

Your favorite creative project you've ever worked on, and why. 

Along with my team and my partner Harshad Rajadhyaksha, I worked on the #endacidsale campaign in 2016. That remains my favorite piece of work because it changed the life of Reshma Qureshi, the acid attack survivor, who appeared in our campaign. The work won a lot across the globe, but even above that, the change I see in Reshma makes this one rise above anything else.

Your favorite creative project from the past year, and why. 

It's a film called The Shower." We took a shower from a city and placed it in the middle of a water-starved village to see what would happen. This was to nudge the conscience of the city dwellers, urging them to stop wasting water.

Someone else's creative project that inspired you years ago. 

All the Nike work. All of it.

Someone else's creative project that you've been envious of lately. 

The Nike Kaepernick work.

Your main strength as a creative person. 

My love of writing.

Your weakness or blind spot. 

I don't take up enough fights.

One thing that always makes you happy. 

Sugar.

One thing that always makes you sad.

When creative people are not valued enough. 

What you'd be doing if you weren't in advertising.

Practicing clinical psychology.

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Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd is editor in chief of the Clio Awards.