Ad Man Pandey turns spy guru

New Delhi: In what may be a game changer of sorts, sweeping through India’s government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s signal of out of the box thinking to New Delhi’s mandarins seems to be working in its security establishment.

In a first, India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), opened its doors to an Ad man Piyush Pandey for its annual RN Kao memorial lecture in the memory of the founder and the first chief of the agency.

The man behind iconic ad campaigns, including BJP’s successful NaMo campaign, Pandey is the Executive Chairman and Creative Director for Ogilvy & Mather India and South Asia, 

Pandey has worked  for brands like Cadbury’s and Fevicol with a delightful talk and visual presentation on creative leadership to India’s top spy masters, senior officials of the security establishment and a select group of media.

Pandey spoke through his ad clips and evoked laughter and in the process engaged the audience for a riveting session with a number of questions from his audience. The questions included an idea for a commercial for R&AW to another one on the ethics of advertising.

Those in the audience recalled that Pandey’s session had more invitees asking questions that any other previous speakers that included the former President APJ Abdul Kalam, RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, the Vice President Hamid Ansari and many distinguished personalities.

Officials told NewsMobile that the idea of getting Pandey was the brainchild of the former agency chief Alok Joshi and his successor the current chief Rajinder Khanna, who wanted to get an off beat speaker to talk about creative leadership and it worked.

The insiders in the secretive agency say that this stems from the thinking of the new leadership in India’s security top brass have been roped in to take this out of the box security strategy forward by the Prime Minister and his national security czar Ajit Doval to deal with India’s rising external challenges, which require a fresh strategic approach.


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