Talking Digital Q&A #2: Sudeep Gohil, CEO Droga5


When working through names I wanted to do Q&A’s with, Sudeep Gohil was near the top. Why? His experience speaks for itself, the work at Droga5 is strong, creative and strategic, and he is someone I really enjoy sharing a beer with and talking shop.

So a few weeks back I approached him about a short Q&A and he was into the idea. Fast forward to this week and there have been a few developments in the Droga5 camp. Firstly, the agency won the mammoth Woolworths account. Two, they are in the running for the equally mammoth Qantas account. Three, and most importantly, Sudeep has been announced as CEO of the Droga5 business here in Australia.

It’s a good time to be speaking to him. He we have an agency seeing massive growth in a changing advertising and media environment, with Gohil now at the helm and ready for questions …

Talking Digital: As someone who has worked in numerous countries, for some of the worlds more creative agencies, what do you believe are the key ingredients and values a world class creative business needs?

Sudeep Gohil: For me the key ingredients a world class creative business needs are: passion, honesty and a genuine world view on creativity. In addition, I believe the world is becoming increasingly complex so the best and brightest in the world are also the most connected out there.

TD: Right now, what do you feel is the most important an agency can offer their clients? 

SG: It is pretty simple, I think the most important thing an agency can offer clients is the right answer, versus what is trendy or convenient. With such a huge pressure on the agency business, I think it is all too convenient to fall back on muscle memory or the easiest path forward. In my book this is also the easiest way to end up under delivering.

TD: You are involved heavily in the Circus event – what are you most excited about for this years Circus and why?

SG: When the Communications Council board decided to create the Circus Festival our goal was to create a truly world class event right here in our back yard. By combining the Battle of Big Thinking, the Award Awards and the addition of the Keynote Speakers Day I believe we have created a genuinely special event. This year I am especially excited about hearing Faris Yakob talking about being Awesome, Sarah O’Hagan’s views on building a mega brand like Gatorade, the eclectic (and always entertaining) Battle of Big Thinking and my old friend Nick Barham’s Creativity Masterclass based on his learnings at W+K Portland and Shanghai.

TD:  Which companies and individuals – locally and internationally – are demonstrating amazing creativity and innovation in your opinion?

SG: In the communications space, I think that W+K and BBH continue to go from strength to strength. Slightly left of centre I am really inspired by the work of Stone Yamaguchi and the Fuse Project. Locally, I always get worried (in a good way) when we are up against agencies like: BMF, Host and the Monkeys. I also rate the team at Frost Design, Soap and Holler.

TD: What are noteable D5 creations over the past 3 years you are most proud of?

SG: To be honest I wish the bar wasn’t so high from our team in NYC – I really love the Jay Z/Bing project the team worked on last year and a few years ago our 4320 work for Virgin was definitely a high point locally. I still love our very first work for VB – The Regulars – a big no holds barred TV commercial when it mattered the most. And to be honest, I am really excited about some of the stuff we have been working on recently for Kraft, especially Boost and Cherry Ripe as well as the projects we have brewing for the UN. Although I guess you will have to take my word on that!

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