Partnerships.


When I got married and moved to Bangalore my 70-year-old landlord and his 65-year-old wife were waiting for us at the bungalow we hired to bless us. My one week old wife was happy that a couple who were married for over 40 years are blessing us.

Little we knew that the secret they were about to share would change our lives. The couple asked us “who’s decision was it to move to Bangalore?” I gleamingly said 50:50 pointing both of us. The couple took us aside and shared the secret: “ Partnership is not about being 50:50, it’s to know when to be 30 and when to be 70.”

Like in life even at work this principle works brilliantly. Good partnerships thrive on pushing each other and to know when to push and when not to. Like spouses, partners do not have to be politically correct or worry about emotions at that point in time.


Such successful partnerships in advertising in India are: Chax & Pops (me). Piyush Pandey & Sonal Debral, Neville & Josy Paul, Naveed & Freddy, late Mahesh & Rajiv and now Aggi & Paddy.

Forging a partnership allows you to have mutual trust and respect, I have had forged many in my career which helped me in creating iconic work apart from Chax the significant ones are with Balki at Lowe, Agnello at Lowe and leo Burnett, Arvind Sharma & Rajeev Sharma at Leo Burnett, Ramathkar started at Enterprise in 90’s and still continuing, Ganesh Mahalingam at LG. Dharen Chedda at JWT.

Partnerships are like friendships: “selfless” all the time, this allows you to accept any criticism or ideas with equal enthusiasm. Usually we think clients, bosses, celebrity filmmakers and film and sports stars are monsters and are out to get your life like “Yamdharmaraj”, which is fortunately not true.

Ganesh Mahalingam of LG used to approve scripts on phone and sms’s which allowed us to create over 50 commercials in a calendar year to take the brand LG over 3000 corers. Look at Rajiv Rao and Varma their partnership is creating magic for their band and consumers, Piyush & Prasoon created magic on Fevicol as siblings often do. Balki’s partnership with Amitabh Bachchan  is proving to be as potent as Saleem & Javeed of 70’s.

Partnerships can also help in strange ways as Balki’s youth did to me; I had difficult time to match up to his energy levels. No wonder people say never marry a girl half your age…

Now that I stand exposed of my crimes and partners. Amen.

4 thoughts on “Partnerships.

  1. “ Partnership is not about being 50:50, it’s to know when to be 30 and when to be 70.”

    “Partnerships are like friendships: “selfless” all the time, this allows you to accept any criticism or ideas with equal enthusiasm.”

    Awesome …thanks a tonne for sharing such wonderful thoughts 🙂

  2. At the reception after my wedding, an elderly retired brigadier came up and guffawed something on these lines in typical fauji-style:
    “Anyways since you are already married its too late for me to tell you what a big mistake you made! Hah, hah, ha… But, here is something to remember- there is no place for two fools under one roof”.
    So simple that it has become the bedrock of my relationship with Anitha. So, I really like your ‘Partnership is not about being 50:50, it’s to know when to be 30 and when to be 70’. Totally agree!

  3. A very good write-up. I really liked “Partnership is not about being 50:50, it’s to know when to be 30 and when to be 70.” good one sir.

  4. The 100/0 Principle
    by Al Ritter

    You take full responsibility (the 100) for the relationship, expecting nothing (the 0) in return.

    Here’s the paradox: When you take authentic responsibility for a relationship, more often than not the other person quickly chooses to take responsibility as well. Consequently, the 100/0 relationship quickly transforms into something approaching 100/100. When that occurs, true breakthroughs happen for the individuals involved, their teams, their organizations and their families..

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