Can Delhi become the new creative capital of India?

Kolkata, the capital of India during the imperial days, also served as the creative capital of India for the longest time. Then somewhere in ’80s, the winds of change started blowing and the creative capital left the Bengali bhadralok’s abode and moved to the country’s financial capital, Mumbai, where both clients and money were. That was also the time when migration started happening in hordes and the creative talent was also moving where the money was.

Delhi, in the midst of all this, remained out of radar for creative minds as creativity here was limited to DAVP ads and political advertising.

But the times have now changed and Delhi is emerging as the top city on the map for the creative community.

In last year’s Cannes wins from India, the numbers from Delhi were more or less the same as Mumbai. The story is the same if we also consider Effies, which proves that Delhi’s advertising industry has come out of yoke and is successful at proving its mettle.

A lot of the network agencies’ senior professionals, NCDs (National Creative Director) and CCOs (Chief Creative Director), are based in Delhi. For example, Swati Bhattacharya of FCB, Soumitra Karnik of Dentsu, Ajay Gahlaut of Ogilvy and Prateek Bhardwaj of McCann. The JWT and Ogilvy offices are bigger than the Mumbai offices.

Akashneel Dasgupta

Akashneel Dasgupta, Senior Vice-President and Executive Creative Director, ADK Fortune, said, “Things have changed now. A lot of new categories have emerged and become the biggest spenders in the category. For example, mobile phones have become the biggest spenders. Actually, the biggest spenders from Mumbai have reduced their spending.”

He said, “With most of the production houses located in Mumbai, most of the shooting takes place in Mumbai. And the impression that goes out is that Mumbai is doing a lot of work, but actually more work is happening in Delhi.”

A few of the industry men believe that even after performing on a par with the Mumbai office, they have to satisfy with less. The struggle to reach the top and be known is much more in Delhi than in Mumbai.

Ajay Gahlaut

Recently, Ajay Gahlaut, Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy North and Deputy CCO, Ogilvy India, took to Facebook to share his point of view for the newer generation joining the advertising industry. He wrote there, “Frankly if you’re a sensible, rational human being, it’s a no-brainer. Work in Mumbai. You are closer to the powers that be. Your work is seen and appreciated faster. Clients are more inclined to see agencies as partners instead of mere suppliers. So you will get more attention and respect. You will get applauded and feted if you do great work for the client. Wide smiles and a positive atmosphere will greet you in most client boardrooms.”

He went on further, “You will, as you gain seniority and experience, be called for various jury duties of diverse award shows. Here you will network with the top people in the industry on equal footing. People will take you seriously and listen to your opinion with interest. This will enhance your employability and value in the job market.”

On the contrary, he added, “On the other hand, if you decide to stay on in Delhi. You will be a faceless name on an email list for your seniors and superiors in Mumbai. You start working on proactive ideas because you want to win awards. You win awards. And more awards. Year after year. Suddenly one day you realise that despite winning so many awards on your own steam, you’ve never been called as a juror for any award show. While some of your juniors in the Mumbai office are going for their sixth jury duty in as many years. Then it dawns on you that there are two reasons for this. One, the award show people simply don’t see you enough to remember you. And second, it’s simpler and cheaper to get a jury member from Mumbai. Uber is cheaper than Indigo after all.”

Prathap Suthan

Sharing his past experiences and the current state of affairs in Delhi on Facebook, Prathap Suthan, Chief Creative officer, Bang In The Middle, said that in his previous organisation, the working conditions were bad. Even after producing good work, the Delhi team had to satisfy with less in comparison to Mumbai. He further wrote, “One fine day, when the biggest of the egos from Mumbai came down to our office to generally smirk at us and our plight, I happened to ask him that why is it that despite the fact we are almost five times larger than Mumbai, our office is pathetic and the Mumbai office is a piece of stunning art and architecture? The big man replied. “Clients come to the showroom. They don’t go to the factory. You should be lucky you have a place to sit.” End of story and discussion. That sort of summed up and told me just exactly how Mumbai looked at Delhi. It happened, and it happens.”

Ashish Limaye

Ashish Limaye of Happy Finish thinks that Delhi makes one a tough person and Mumbai has its own set of trouble. “Mumbai has its own troubles of battling the infrastructure and sleeping in plush pigeon holes called apartments. Delhi in spite of its rugged approach and palatial living makes you tough to live beyond advertising in a job called life. Both I’d say must have on any blokes wish list. Nice read as always.”

Malvika Mehra

Not agreeing with Gahlaut and Suthan’s point, Malvika Mehra of Tomorrow Creative Lab, said, “I don’t agree with Ajay (Gahlaut). I think in our limited capacities, we still can make the place what we want it to be. And negate the perceptions. Personally speaking, the best years of my working life actually came from a sudden ‘posting’ to the original underdog, Bangalore. Where great work on Bingo! Lenovo, Allen Solly, IBM, Titan happened. Great strategists, copy, art and account management folks happened. And awards happened.”

Amit Akali

Seconding Mehra’s thought, Amit Akali, Chief Creative Officer, What’s Your Problem, said, “I think you can make the most of it absolutely anywhere. Every place has its advantages and disadvantages. Now Bangalore also has a National Creative Director at Dentsu India (Simi Sabhaney), Happy Mcgarrybowen’s work is good and appreciated. Every place has its advantages and disadvantages and makes one stronger.”

Although the times have changed and Delhi is getting its long due share of accolades, the perception still stays that Mumbai is the hub of advertising. Kyoorius, Effies, Olive Crown and most of the industry awards happen in Mumbai.

Jitender Dabas

Jitender Dabas, Chief Strategy Officer, McCann India, said that it is more of a perception now than the reality. He said, “The advertising industry has changed in terms of its power and equation, but somehow all the industry bodies are Mumbai-based.”

Akali added, “Like it or not, Abby awards meeting is happening and the jury will meet in Mumbai and the people from Mumbai will find it easier to come for it. Therefore, automatically the jury is made more of Mumbai people. I am not saying it is a rule. Effies for an exception has a Delhi round of jury too. But the fact is that the ecosystem is based in Mumbai.”

Dasgupta making a strong point here, said, “There is a certain network in Mumbai among the senior creatives. They hang around together across the agencies. For Delhi people, it is a bit difficult to be a part of that network. Delhi people are not normally available at these awards. The agency has to bear the cost to send people to the awards.”

Therefore to sum it up, Mumbai is perceived to be the capital city of advertising. But the scenario is changing and it’s no more about the cities but how one makes the best out of the advantages and disadvantages of the cities.


Marketing Tech Company Neustar to Be Taken Private by Golden Gate Capital

The logo for Neustar appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. ENLARGE
The logo for Neustar appears above a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. PHOTO: RICHARD DREW/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Neustar Inc., an advertising-technology company that provides data and analytics to marketers, on Wednesday said it agreed to be bought by a private investment group led by Golden Gate Capital for about $1.8 billion.

Stockholders will receive $33.50 per share in cash, a 21% premium to Tuesday’s closing price and a 45% premium to Neustar’s closing stock price on Nov. 11—the day before private-equity firm Golden Gate Capital’s disclosure of an equity position in the company.

The deal is valued at $2.9 billion including debt and is expected to close by the end of the third quarter of 2017.

“We believe this transaction will enable us to continue to execute against our strategy and strengthen our market position as a leader in marketing, risk, security and communication solutions,” said Lisa Hook, Neustar’s president and chief executive, in a statement.

Over the past few years, Neustar has aggressively moved into the marketing technology space with the help of several acquisitions, as it seeks to become a major player in the information services market and compete with the likes of Oracle, Adobe and Salesforce.

Last year, it bought MarketShare, a marketing analytics company that helps advertisers plan and analyze their ad spending and figure out which channels will drive the most sales, for $450 million.

Neustar has also hired several high-profile advertising executives including Steven Wolfe Pereira, who was named chief marketing officer of the firm earlier this year.

Earlier this year, Neustar had announced it was seeking to split its company to separate its number portability business, which helps carriers and businesses switch customer phone numbers between companies, from its information management and marketing businesses. That split is now off the table, according to a person familiar with matter.

Neustar said it has “built a robust market position around unique, hard-to-replicate data sets and the data science that provides authoritative identities, updated in real time.”

The transaction is another sign of the consolidation taking place in the marketing and ad tech space. Last month, for example, Adobe acquired video ad buying software company TubeMogul for about $450 million.

Neustar’s shares jumped 20% to $33.08 in morning trading. Before the offer was made public, the shares were down 43% from three years ago but were up 12% in the past year.

The terms of the deal to be taken private include a 30-day period for Neustar to solicit alternative proposals.

Write to Suzanne Vranica at [email protected] and Anne Steele at [email protected]


Iraq ousts defence minister as forces retake key town near de facto capital Mosul from Islamic State

Iraqi Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi was ousted on Thursday after the Parliament voted 142 to 102 to remove him from his position. The vote of confidence followed accusations of corruption against al-Obeidi, The Washington Post reported. His impeachment follows theresignation of Iraq’s interior minister Mohammed al-Ghabban, which now leaves two important security positions in Iraq vacant.

Al-Obeidi’s ousting comes at a time when Iraqi forces recaptured the town of Qayyarah, near the country’s de facto capital Mosul, from the Islamic State group. “We control all parts of the town and managed, in very limited time, to root out Daesh [Islamic State],” said Lieutenant General Riyadh Jalal Tawfik, who heads the ground forces. With the support of tribal fighters and coalition airstrikes, they seized the city that is considered a key location to plan any future military attacks against the terror outfit’s last stronghold of Mosul, according to Al Jazeera.

While officials do not expect al-Obeidi’s removal to have a major impact on the fight against the Islamic State, it indicates the state of political instability that the country is in. The top minister had been questioned about weapons contracts earlier in August.


Gains from sale of inherited property taxed as capital gains



I am selling my ancestral residential property, which will fetch around Rs.30 lakh. This will be equally divided among all the heirs. What will be the tax liability of this transaction? Can this money be deposited in a savings bank account?

—Jay Sinha

In the absence of complete facts, we have assumed that the ancestral residential property is already inherited by all the children.

Further, we also assume that all the children are majors (i.e., above the age of 18 years). The gain, if any, resulting from the sale of inherited residential property shall be taxable under the head ‘capital gains’.

For computing capital gains in case of such inherited property, the period of holding is reckoned from the date of purchase of property by the owner who actually acquired it, other than by inheritance or gift.

Assuming that the said property had been acquired and held for more than 36 months from the date of acquisition, the resulting gains shall be classified as long-term capital gains (LTCG).

In case of an inheritance, the cost of acquisition should be the cost at which your ancestor had bought the property.

The cost of acquisition and improvement, if any, made after the purchase should be increased using the applicable Cost Inflation Index (CII) notified by the income tax department with respect to the base financial year (FY), i.e., the FY in which cost of improvement is used, and the FY of the sale.

In your case, if the property was bought before 1981, the CII of base FY82 (i.e., 100) should be considered as the cost of acquisition. CII for FY 2016-17 is 1,125.

LTCG should be computed as the difference between net sale proceeds and the indexed cost of acquisition and improvement. And this will be taxable in the hands of each of you, to the extent of the individual share of each child.

You can each avail an exemption from LTCG tax to the extent of each individual share of LTCG by reinvesting the LTCG in one new residential property situated in India, within the specified time—within one year prior to the sale date, or two years from sale date, or within three years of the sale date for an under-construction property.

All this is further subject to the fulfilment of conditions specified under section 54 of the Income-tax Act, 1961.

Each of you could also invest the LTCG in specified bonds under section 54EC. The investment should be made within six months from the sale date, subject to a threshold ofRs.50 lakh. The balance amount of capital gains, if any, will be taxable at 20%.

If the total taxable income during FY 2016-17 is likely to exceed Rs.1 crore, one would be required to pay a surcharge at 15% on the basic rate (20%).

An education cess of 3% on basic as well as surcharge (if applicable) would be levied.

If the total income for the FY, as reduced by the LTCG, is below the applicable (depending upon age) basic income exemption threshold for that year, the LTCG shall be reduced by the amount by which the total income so reduced falls short of the basic income exemption limit. The balance LTCG shall be taxed at a flat rate of 20%. Education cess of 3%, and surcharge (if applicable) would be levied.

However, if the sale proceeds are deposited into savings bank account and not invested in another residential house or specified bonds, as specified above, the aforesaid tax benefit will not be available. Accordingly, each of you would be required to pay tax on the net taxable LTCG to the extent of each share.