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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, June 28:

The Cadbury girl doing a jig in the cricket field, the little boy running away from home and lured back by a Jalebi, the hot-girl-next-door introducing herself – hi I’m Sanjana, splashing in the mud puddles and getting clothes dirty because daag ache hote hain, well you certainly know you have met Prahlad Kakar ! The brain behind the emotions with the awesome tag lines and the power packed 30 seconds story line that hits you through the electronics and print media ,where it should – your heart!

Photo courtesy: pksbe.com
Photo courtesy: pksbe.com

The hat loving ad guru who is well known as as an ad man, director, wine maker, scuba diver, restaurateur, teacher, mentor and more was in the capital city recently for a talk show. The dream merchant who has been selling dreams for the last three decades is an icon in the world of advertising and his production house Genesis Film Studio is world famous. He owns Lacadives the diving school in Lakshadweep and has lived with the tribal communities. Prahlad the wizard pulls out magnificent ideas that sell like hot cakes and live in memories sometimes even after the brand has died. He manages to enter the deepest corners of the heart with his emotional tag lines and stories which people immediately relate to.

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In a conversation with OST, ad-guru Prahlad Kakar discussed a host of issues related to Odisha and the ad world.

OST: Odisha is a tourist destination. Do you think it should be packaged for better impact?

PK: Odisha is a better destination than Goa. It has all the ingredients required for being a good tourist destination but infrastructures and accommodations are sadly not up to the expectations. In Goa the fishermen families were given soft loans to build an extra room in their homes with an attached western style washroom. The tourists ate with them, loved the life of eating fresh fish, enjoying the sun, sand and sea, also saving a lot of money. There were 15-20 cheap charter flights coming in with foreign tourists every day. It was a place to party, to relax to explore but sadly it is losing its charm now. It is over populated and tourists are searching for less populated tourist destinations. This is the time when Odisha should project itself as the perfect getaway.

The local people of Odisha should be encouraged to help in promoting tourism. Government should help them with soft loans so that they can build comfortable rooms and western washrooms to make it tourist friendly. If tourists live with locals they will take back memories which are real.

Photo Courtesy: pksbe.com
Photo Courtesy: pksbe.com

OST: Is this your first visit to Odisha?

PK: This is my second visit and I have really liked what I have seen. Bhubaneswar is a city which has massive student strength and is one of the largest in the country. The young people know how to enjoy with less money. They know the routes and the places where other youngsters from outside will enjoy too! Their ideas should be tapped and utilized and I am sure tourist  will love to visit innovative and new places where the crowd is less. Odisha is full of beaches, coast lines, sanctuaries, rich heritage, tribal culture, art villages etc. Young people do a lot of research before taking a holiday so these places should be visible to them with  specific details about a comfortable stay.

OST: You have worked in the manual mode and now it is a digital world, what is your experience in this?

PK: They are just tools. During the manual days I did everything myself and now someone does it for me. I always feel that creativity is emotional and not supposed to be practical. Digital world has changed the creative world, made things easy so that dreamers can dream and work more efficiently.

OST: Your school Prahlad Kakar School of Branding and Entrepreneurship how is it different from others?

PK: PKSBE, my school is India’s first innovative entrepreneurial school . It is a whole new breed of professionals and our aim is to create powerful people with an unique value offering in a creative, vibrant and constantly changing market. We train students to get over their fears. My graduate student should have handled snakes, climbed mountains, swum in the oceans, jumped from planes.Students should have the ability to be creative and  to take risks to become an entrepreneur. We have hand picked faculties who train students  to innovate, to bend and break rules , not to fixate but be flexible. There should not be any fear in our lives because fear makes people indecisive.