Alyque Padamsee: The man who wore several hats

Alyque Padamsee: The man who wore several hats

He is undoubtedly the father of India's advertising

From creating and boosting 100-plus daily use brands to directing and producing over 70 plays, ad-man and theatre personality, Alyque Padamsee, wore several hats. 

He is undoubtedly the father of India's advertising. A veteran of several fields, he had a great sense of humour and never shied away from calling a spade a spade.

A common man in India would best remember him for essaying the role of Pakistan's founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah in Sir Richard Attenborough's Gandhi. Playing opposite Ben Kingsley who portrayed the role of Mahatma Gandhi and Roshan Seth who played Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, it was not an easy job.

The legendary man, who passed away in Mumbai, aged 90, had penned his autobiography, A Double Life, which gives an insight into his eventful life. 

Creating superbrands

As an ad man, Padamsee created the iconic Lalitaji for Surf, the MRF muscle man, Cherry Charlie for Cherry Blossom shoe polish, the Liril girl in the waterfall, Hamara Bajaj, Kamasutra couple, Fair & Handsome and so on. 

For 14 years, he was chief executive who built Lintas India and went on to become Regional Coordinator of Lintas South Asia. He is the only Indian to be voted into the International Clio Hall of Fame, considered the Oscars of world advertising.

He also founded the AP Advertising Pvt Ltd and was its chief executive officer. 

Leading the theatre world

Padamsee was also known as the man who led the  English theatre production. Some of the famous productions are Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tuglaq and Broken Images. He was conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award for Theatre by Sangeet Natak Akademi.

Humble beginnings

Padamsee was born in a Khoja Muslim family which had its roots in Kutch region of Gujarat.  His ancestors belong to charan caste of bards and court musicians. The family settled in the Kathiawar region. His father Jaffarseth Padamsee owned glassware and furniture business and mother Kulsumbai was a homemaker.  He has seven siblings one of them being famous painter Akbar Padamsee. He studied in St Xavier's College of Mumbai. He was raised in a traditional environment but later he described himself as agnostic.

Marriages, relationship & kids 

He married thrice - actress and stage artist Pearl Padamsee, newscaster and TV personality  Dolly Thakore and singer Sharon Prabhakar. 
With Pearl,  he has a daughter Reall Padamsee and son Rahul Padamsee,  with Dolly he has a son Quasar Padamsee and with Sharon,  a daughter Shazahn Padamsee. 

Awards and Honours 

In his career spanning seven decades, he has been honoured with several awards including Padma Shree instituted by Government of India. He was named as Advertising Man of the Century by The Advertising Club.

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