Jack of all trades: Prasoon Joshi

Aditi Saraswat

Prasoon Joshi: If you aim to be authentic, you have to borrow from your life

As the film industry and the rest of the country heaves a sigh of relief, welcoming the change with arms wide open, here’s all you need to know about the new CBCF Chief, Prasoon Joshi.

Prasoon Joshi born  on ,16 September 1971, is an Indian lyricist, screenwriter, poet and marketer. He is the CEO of McCann World group India and Chairman (Asia Pacific), a subsidiary of global marketing firm McCann Erickson. He has been appointed as the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification on 11 August 2017.

He spent his childhood years in Almora, in north Indian state of Uttarakhand . His father, D.K. Joshi, served as a PCS officer with the Civil Service of the state government and later became the additional director of the state's Education Service. Spending early years all across the northern India, and  in places like Almora, Nainital , Tehri, Chamoli Gopeshwar, and later Rampur, Meerut and Dehradun – gave Prasoon a remarkable feel for the real Indian pulse that he is now celebrated for in his lyrics and advertising. His mother, Sushma Joshi, a lecturer in political science, performed for the All India Radio for over three decades. His parents are qualified classical vocalists and daily home life for the young Prasoon was marked with academic discipline, a rich vein of the artistic life and a strong sense of music and culture.

He started writing early in life and published his first book when he was just 17, "Main Aur Woh, a conversation with himself", inspired by Frederich Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra. Two more books followed, establishing him as an author.

His latest book, Sunshine Lanes, a collection of his songs, was launched at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2013.

Prasoon did his BSc and post graduation in Physics, then elected to pursue an MBA from Institute Of Management Technology, Ghaziabad, During his MBA education he decided to fuse his love for culture and art and his faculty for the commercial dynamic and to make his career in advertising.

Prasoon has received the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award three times, in 2007 and 2008 and again in 2014 for the Hindi movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. He has also received the National Film Award for Best Lyrics twice, for his work in Taare Zameen Par (2007), and Chittagong (2013). He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2015, for his contributions towards the field of Arts, Literature and Advertising.

He started his career with Ogilvy & Mather in Delhi. He worked there for 10 years and eventually became the executive creative director of the Mumbai office. In early 2002, he joined McCann-Erickson as executive vice-president and national creative director. By 2006, he was regional creative director for South and South East Asia. In December 2006 he was promoted to executive chairman for McCann Worldgroup India and regional creative director for Asia Pacific.

Joshi created advertising campaigns for NDTV India (Sach dikhate hain hum), Saffola (Abhi to main jawan hoon) LG, Marico, Perfetti (Alpenliebe, Chlormint), and the Cannes-winning Thanda matlab Coca-Cola campaign with Aamir Khan. His Happydent television commercial was listed by Bob Garfield of AdvertisingAge as one of his personal choices for the Cannes Gold in 2007, and it was chosen by a Gunn Report poll as one of the 20 best ads of the 21st century.

He also wrote the lyrics for CNN IBN's advertising jingle "India Rising" and Coke's Ummeed wali dhoop.

Film career

Prasoon made his debut as film lyricist with Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja, a critical and commercial success, and this soon led to Yash Chopra's Hum Tum and a string of highly successful Bollywood films like Fanaa, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Black and Delhi 6. With Rang De Basanti (2006), he also became a dialogue writer.

He won the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award for "Chand Sifarish" from the film Fanaa in 2007 and for "Maa" from Taare Zameen Par in 2008 which marked his carrer as a dialogue writer. He has won the prestigious National Award twice. The first for his work in Taare Zameen Par and the second one in 2013 for Chittagong.He had also written the script for the award-winning 2014 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.
He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award by the Government of India in 2015, for his contributions in the field of arts, literature and advertising.
In 2006, he was chosen as a ‘Young Global Leader 2006’ by the Forum of Young Global Leaders, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum.
He was also a part of the select three-member Core Creative Advisory Committee for the Commonwealth Games 2010 opening and closing ceremonies, with Shyam Benegal and Javed Akhtar.
Prasoon has won more than 200 national and international awards including the 2002 ABBY for Best Copywriter and the Best Ad Campaign, 2003 Cannes Lion Award for Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola campaign and ‘No. 1 Creative Director in Asia Pacific 2007’ by Media magazine.

Global and national recognition
In 2008, he was invited as the Cannes Jury chairman and in 2009, he was named among the exclusive 10-member Cannes Titanium and Integrated Jury at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. In 2006, he was chosen a 'Young Global Leader 2006' by the Forum of Young Global Leaders, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum. In 2007, he was asked to be a judge of the nationally popular reality singing competition Dhoom Macha De on NDTV Imagine. Joshi was part of the select three-member Core Creative Advisory Committee for the Commonwealth Games 2010 opening and closing ceremonies, with Shyam Benegal and Javed Akhtar.

Here are the following films Prasoon has led his contribution to:

Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi (2018)
Neerja (2016)
Vishwaroop 2 (2014)
Satyagraha (2013)
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013)
Ishkq in Paris (2012)
Teri Meri Kahaani (2012)
Aarakshan (2011)
Break Ke Baad (2010)
Sikandar (2009)
London Dreams (2009)
Delhi 6 (2009)
Ghajini (2008)
Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic (2008)
Taare Zameen Par (2007)
Fanaa (2006)
Rang De Basanti (2006)
Black (2005)
Rok Sako To Rok Lo (2004)
Phir Milenge (2004)
Hum Tum (2004)
Aankhen (2002)
Kyon? (2003)
Love at Times Square (2003)
Lajja (2001)
Bhopal Express (1999)

For someone with so many years of experience across various creative fields and the overwhelming acclaim that has come with it, Joshi has somehow retained his child-like enthusiasm and sensitivity for even the minutest of things around him.

Happy Birthday To The Great Artist Of The Era....

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