Deeply passionate about Advertising, Blackjack and Single Malts,
Sonal Dabral was born in India and studied Visual Communications at
India’s foremost design school, the National Institute of Design.
Instead of making him the next Paul Rand or Tibor Kalman, the universe
had other designs and threw him into a career in advertising.
Destiny knows best it seems since in 3 different markets across Asia he has led his agencies to the No.1 creative position.
First up, he joined Ogilvy Mumbai in 1991 and in partnership with
Piyush Pandey drove the agency from creative anonymity to India’s No.1
creative agency. Then came Ogilvy Kuala Lumpur in 1999 where within 3
years as the ECD Sonal helped the agency turn into the most awarded
agency in Malaysia and one of the top creative offices in Asia. Ogilvy
Singapore was next - Sonal led the team to become the No.1 creative
office in Asia, and the 3rd highest awarded office in the world at
Cannes 2007 – a first for an Asian agency.
In 1999 the Times Of India, a leading Indian newspaper had named Sonal
as one of the 50 young Indians who will lead India into the next
century. Perhaps to keep that promise Sonal returned to India in 2011
and started a new chapter in his career as the Chairman and Chief
Creative Officer of DDB Mudra Group based out of Mumbai.
A popular speaker, Sonal has spoken at major festivals like LIA,
Dubai Lynx, Spikes Asia Singapore, Cristal Advertising Festival, Turkey
besides numerous engagements across Asia. He successfully woke up a
sleepy audience in Taiwan by singing an impromptu Bollywood song during a
presentation sometime in 2005. Since then he has employed this trick to
great effect in many randomly selected presentations.
In an earlier avatar, Sonal has been a popular TV host on prime time
television, a Bollywood scriptwriter and has also been channeling his
passion for films into directing ad films. His future plans include
being a filmmaker on weekdays and a pro Blackjack player on weekends.
All along sipping his favourite single malts.