Shubho Sarkar

Alumni in News ! Media, Brand, Marcom Global Leader !Shubhobrata Sarkar !

Shubho Sarkar, (Batch of 1984) is President Director of Dentsu Indonesia. His previous roles were, CEO Southeast Asia for Bates / Head of Brand Marketing for British American Tobacco / Head of Strategy for JWT / Creative Head for TBWA. He taught a post graduate course, did training webinars & guest lectures; worked as a journalist, co-authored a book and featured in Lead The New Asia: How to succeed with Multi-Cultural, Multi-Generational Teams. Alma maters include, besides BBAFS, SRCC and Delhi School of Economics. Alternate cerebral orderliness had led him to a research project in Chaos Theory (how appropriate!), before he surprised himself, and perhaps the world, by choosing to join Ogilvy as a copywriter.Shubho is based in Jakarta and is married to Vaishali, CEO of a competitive ad agency, Wunderman-Thompson (two swords in a sheath). Their daughter, Vasundhara works in Gurgaon (also in advertising) and son Kayanat is doing his Bachelor’s in Chicago, with no intentions of being part of the family profession. Says Shubho – “My memories of school are more than mere warm, fuzzy nostalgia. I wasn’t ever ‘out there’, and no, I did not make it to the student’s council, nor do I recall being the apple of any teacher’s eye. But yes, as a more illustrious alumnus had written beautifully, school was special because it accorded everyone at least their metaphorical 12 minutes in the sun (one for every school year!). Such was the legacy of Mrs Baxi, Mrs Kohli, Mrs Nanda and their band of amazing human beings that was our faculty. Most taught us what it takes to excel, while from some uh…um…let’s just say we learnt what not to do.As each one of us reflects, we will have our own specific stories to tell, with different names and another set of escapades. But here are some of mine…an ode to my teachers, my friends, the air we breathed on BBAFS grounds and to every alumnus out there.1.Ms Thomas (Mrs Joseph), class IV.Barracks, adjoining the canteen, enchanted by the wafting smell of Amar Singh and Lakhwar’s bread pakoras, it was hard to focus – My father had gone to collect my results. I was petrified, as I lay in bed with fever. I had no clue as to how I may have done. He came home with a strange look on his face. Ms Thomas had spoken with such excitement about me, that he couldn’t decide whether he was more proud or shocked. As for me, it was just pure incredulous surprise! I had stood third in class, no big deal. But surprise, ah, an invaluable emotional reward that teaches us to always be braver in attempt, for there is no greater feeling than surprising one’s self. Everyday.2.Ms Nibha Kakaria and Ms Umat (Mrs Sabharwal) for Maths, class V.Spanking new junior school building – Between our sliding across the corridors on wood shavings and freshly polished floors, they taught us that becoming an all-rounder is more important than being a singular expert. Their encouragement, firmness – laced with affection – and Ms Kakaria’s expansive signature that I can, incidentally, still replicate with flair, taught us to widen horizons and build on confidence by giving anything and everything a shot. Attempt trumps (lower case T, mind you) outcome. Every time.3.Mrs Gopalakrishnan (Rama Gopalakrishnan), Chemistry, class VI.Senior school building – Presence in a forum is not defined by size, but by content and flair. She happened to be my mother’s student, and that left me unsure about how I’d manage expectations. Unshakable in spirit, she could quash the feeble acts of a bunch of teenagers trying to assert themselves, so effortlessly. These failed attempts at bullying a diminutive teacher, taught me never to judge a book by its cover. Content builds persona; invest in it.4.Mrs DasGupta (CDG as her signature would assert), class VIII, GeographyA smile resolves more than any altercation ever could. I wish geopolitical exchanges of today would take that lesson to heart.5.Mrs Sundar Jain, class VIII, HindiBeing a Bengali with English as my first language, the role of genders in Hindi was completely alien to me. And not once did I get them right, till Mrs Jain sorted it all out, between the poetry of Kabir, Bachchan and Tulsidas (in spite of the unmentionable modifications a bunch of adolescent teenagers could paraphrase them with). Respect for gender, not just in language, but in life. It isn’t about equality, it’s about respect for diversity.6.Mrs Bhattacharjee, class IX, EnglishSitting at a second-row desk reading a Commando placed inside the English textbook is not without its peril. Sure enough, she noticed, and promptly asked me the meaning of a word she had just used. From Charles Dickens. I knew the meaning, phew! She was graceful in her forgiveness. Authority with grace is empathy.7.Ms Kalia (Anuradha Kalia) class X, EnglishReturning the corrected exam papers – She had given me 7 marks out of 7 for paragraph writing, with a note that said it actually deserved 8 on 7. I still remember her smile as I looked up in disbelief. Ceilings are a figment of our imagination. Take a shot at breaking them, she seemed to say.8.Mrs Raghubir, class XI, EnglishYet again, the risks of belonging to a family in education. She was one my grandfather’s favourite students at University. On another of my attempted escapades with pushing the boundaries, I had fallen flat. She called me to the staff room and instead of admonishing me, told me stories about my grandfather. Belonging isn’t a passport to excesses, it is the responsibility of wearing that badge and adding lustre to it, be it family, neighbourhood or institution. A lesson taught is way more permanent than a punishment. Leadership isn’t a station in life, it is a way of life.9.Mr Nakul Sinha, class XII, ArtProof reading Damini – He wasn’t happy with his own cover design! (Honestly, it looked great to us as it was). He made me sit for hours with a set of Rotring pens to fix it with him on a Saturday, even as the rest of the magazine stared dauntingly, awaiting spell checks! It was the same when helping him mount those art exhibitions in school. It is never about the details per se, but about meeting your own standards. Nothing else matters.10.Then there were the two matches (yes, two was huge already!) that I played for the invincible school cricket team, and the football and hockey games respectively, for those then invisible school teams! There was The Asian Games Quiz team (we won a few) and the innumerable essay and debate competitions that we won/lost/went to with such unbridled pride and passion.11.There was the much-envied Bhutan trip full of memories of a great group of friends. The same friends who are my lifeline even today.12.And finally – bunking school with the same bunch, just that once, to go watch The Last Waltz at Chanakya, in our last y

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