R Balakrishnan, aka R. Balki is a noted ad professional as the chairperson and chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas.
He started his career with Mudra at the age of 23. And it all happened by fluke, according to him. His main passion has always been film making and after college, he even applied to the Madras film institute to do a course in direction. However, he did not like the panel that interviewed him as according to him, they asked really stupid questions. So he walked out. After this, he got into the Masters in Computer Application (MCA) course in a college, which was right opposite the film institute. He always liked computers, so he thought, that he could do well in this course. After studying there for three years, he was thrown out in the last year because of lack of attendance. According to him, this was mainly due to the fact, that he played a lot of cricket and watched a lot of movies.
Also, the fact that he did his summer project at Wipro, but didn’t want to programme machines for the rest of his life...he did not go back to finish his course. He saw an ad in the papers for Mudra and he remembered seeing it after Buniyaad. The ad asked people to send in 100 words describing who you are. His idol was Ramesh Sippy, when he started his career and he wished to emulate him in advertising and got to meet Mr. Sippy only much later.
Balki has some no-nonsense ideas like Daag Achche Hain for Surf Excel. His Jaago re ads for Tata Tea and walk when you talk Idea Cellular campaign have brought in a much needed fresh social voice to advertising. He has written and directed Cheeni Kum, which starred Amitabh Bachchan. Paa is his second venture.
Another dream of Balki is to do cricket commentary, even if its for one match. Illayaraja, the noted composer from South is Balki's favourite and he thinks, there is no parallel to him.