Meet Prahlad Kakkar
The idea of taking risks isn’t new for Prahlad. Whether it was diving with the sharks or making wine in a bathtub and selling it - Prahlad has done it all, and yet what strikes you the most is his boisterous, candid, and outspoken personality. Hailing from an Army background, Prahlad believes creativity came to him naturally. He is most famously known for his Pepsi ads and his production house Genesis Film Studio.
Prahlad Kakkar is a leading Indian ad film director, best known for his work on the famous Pepsi TV commercial with Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar. He is the founder and main director for Genesis Film Productions, one of India’s leading production houses, established in 1977. He is renowned for his candid and outspoken nature.
An avid scuba diver, in 1995 he set up 'Lacadives', a scuba-diving school, along with his wife Mitali Kakkar at Kadmat Island, in collaboration with the Govt. of Lakshadweep. He also runs a coffee shop, and Casa Amore, a wine bar and restaurant, set up in Mumbai in 2001.
Prahlad Kakkar grew up in Mumbai and his father was an army colonel based in Pakistan. His mother is half Burmese and half Marathi. He also did a part of his schooling from St. Joseph's Academy, Dehradun. In 1966, he passed out from Sainik School, Kunjpura, Karnal, and 1970, he graduated with Economics (Honors) from Fergusson College, Pune.
Prahlad Kakkar joined advertising in 1971, as an Accounts Executive at ASP (Delhi) and after a year, he was transferred to the company's Bombay office. In 1972, he joined the renowned feature director, Shyam Benegal, as an Asst. Director for films such as ‘Ankur’, ‘Manthan’, and 'Bhumika’.
After training under Shyam Benegal, Manjit Kakkar and Ravi Uppor, Prahlad Kakkar founded Genesis Film Productions in 1977. Today, Genesis Film Productions is considered to be one of the most highly regarded advertisement film making agencies in India. Genesis Film Productions is also known for the short film "Bali" made in affiliation with the channel Star One. Prahlad Kakkar is also known for his popular Kamasutra ads. After Genesis, Prahlad Kakkar started a restaurant at Prithvi Theatre with Jennifer Kendal.
Prahlad Kakkar is the co-founder of ReefWatch Marine Conservation, set up in 1994, which aims at creating marine-life awareness. He supports and plays an important role as the Chief Advisor & Trustee of Natura Outdoor Education Trust.
In 1999,He was one of the few Indian Directors to direct international commercials for clients like Uni Levers and Pepsico in Burma, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Asia Pacific Region. He also started the specialty Tea House in Bombay, the first of its kind in the country.
In 2000 he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from IAAFA for his contribution to Advertising and Film Art. Prahlad Kakkar founded Genesis Film Production Pvt. Ltd. in 1977 and virtually invented television advertising, after having assisted Shyam Benegal, one of India’s most renowned filmmakers.
“To tell a story in 30 secs in the most engaging way possible” remains Prahlad’s raison d’etre for remaining passionate about ad filmmaking even twenty-five years later. Genesis, as is common knowledge in the business, continues to train generations of dedicated filmmakers. Through the years, corporations like Nestle, PepsiCo, Britannia, Levers have continued to communicate their brand stories through Prahlad Kakkar. Making films that capture the dreams and aspirations of his vast target audience, Prahlad has ruled the ad film making business and has won several awards for technical excellence, Innovation and creativity in advertising over the years in India. Genesis won both gold and silver awards including campaign of the year for the Pepsi commercials at AAAI in 1996. The public films for Ceat won awards in the New York festival of Advertising. Commercials directed by Prahlad have also been nominated for Lions at Cannes.
Twenty five years down the line Prahlad Kakkar has earned himself a Lifetime Achievement Award by the IAAFA in the year 1999 and has got Genesis the top Production House for two years in a row for years 2003 and 2004 by the Brand Equity. Prahlad has a reputation for being irreverent and direct with clients and crew in the advertising world, and is more popularly known as the Enfant Terrible who never grew up. Prahlad’s passions include his diving school in the Lakshadweep islands and his own brand of gourmet cooking.
Prahlad Kakkar is married to Mitali Dutt Kakkar, the owner of the film companies Offspring and Offshoot. They have three sons Arnav, Varun and Anhjin. Prahlad Kakkar is Dyslexic and so is his son Arnav. He has a passion for scuba diving and in 2000 he became a CMAS 2 Star Scuba Diving Instructor. His other interests include Gourmet cooking, Reading, Swimming, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, Squash and Horse Riding.
Prahlad will be venturing into film directing with the upcoming film, Happy Anniversary starring Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan