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Transitioning from International Business to Advertising was not a difficult decision to make. FLAME alumnus Himanish Ashar talks about how he was inspired by the subjects his roommates selected in communication. There was no turning back from there on; Himanish was set to take on a new journey.

Grateful to FLAME for exposing him to nearly 50 subjects, it was the foundation created here, including the people he met, that channeled his path forward. Himanish graduated in advertising from Miami Ad School as he progressed to interning at one of the most prestigious institutions. He thanks his stars for working under the right mentors early on in life. It led him to the renowned Ogilvy New York and J. Walter Thompson New York agencies. 

Amid the internships Himanish trained under Ogilvy New York. Working his way through the ranks and striving for a scholarship finally helped him reach the Big Apple. At Ogilvy, Himanish got to meet the most respectful and inclusive group of people who were interested in ideas more than where they came from!

He started as an intern at Leo Burnett, Mumbai straight out of graduation. His efforts paid off as he went on to win his first One Show. His transformative years began at Leo Burnett in 2015, where he challenged himself and worked his first year in advertising for free. His goal was to work extensively, test his skills, develop his abilities, and reach the highest level. Moving on to seven years later in the same company, Himanish was promoted to Creative Director at the age of 28. Under the leadership of Leo Burnett CCO, Raj Deepak Das, Himanish and his team won the prestigious Cannes Lions 2022 Grand Prix awards for Procter & Gamble’s "The Missing Chapter" under Sustainable Development Goals. He confesses that receiving the Grand Prix award on stage in front of a packed auditorium was the greatest highlight of his advertising career so far.

He has also been associated with huge names like Whisper, Adidas, and Twitter. He also won awards for his work and made it to Impact Magazine’s 30 under 30. Among the string of awards, Himanish won two One Show silvers for OLX, which was followed by India's first Cannes Innovation Lion for Hindustan Petroleum’s Roads That Honk campaign. 

Upon asking him about the learning he’s gained so far, he goes on to say that challenges do nothing but push you to become better creatively. You often ask yourself if you can improve an idea, or go even bigger with a campaign. In his words, "We must always know our benchmarks and understand how the world is consuming our content today." If data is your answer, then we must understand data science. If it’s the Metaverse, we must become early adopters. "Mediums are evolving faster than they ever have in the past 100 years, and if we don’t get on board, we’ll be too late, playing catch up."

That said, it all boils down to the future of advertising, as Himanish strongly believes that it’s not just about the brand you represent but how your actions as an advertiser must have an impact on society and bring about the change that it is meant to deliver. He runs strong on the belief that brands have the power to influence lives with the sole responsibility to improve society through the power of the media and other mediums.

His message to those just starting out in the same field is to choose advertising because you want to make a difference, and not because you are unsure of what to pursue. And once you do choose to step into this world, prepare to unlearn and relearn every single day, forgetting about everything you know because there’s someone out there who has already done it.