Kunal Sinha is in charge of consumer insight & knowledge management function across all divisions of the company. He previously held the same responsibility in India.
He graduated in Physics (Hons) from Banaras Hindu University; followed by Post Graduation from Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi. He has spent almost 20 years in the advertising profession, mostly in the account planning and consumer insight functions, working in JWT & McCann-Erickson, besides Ogilvy. Ten of those years were spent in designing strategies for low-income communities. Kunal set up the consumer insight function at Ogilvy in India, pioneering the use of innovative methodologies such as media ethnography, semiotics and participant observation. His work encompasses trendspotting, cultural analysis and forecasting.
He is a six-time winner of the international WPP Atticus award for original thinking in the marketing services. He won the Grand Prix twice, in 1996 for his paper ‘Communication Effect – A Re-evaluation of Beliefs’, and in 2004 for ‘The Future of Technology and its Impact on our Lives’. In 2008, his book China’s Creative Imperative was a winner in the strategy category. He received Highly Commended certificates in 1997, for ‘Children as Communicators’ and 2003 for ‘Ogyani – Knowledge, Entertainment, Networking’. Kunal won the Best Paper at the Market Research Society of India conference in 2004 for his media ethnography work, and Best Paper for ‘New Trends and their impact on business and society’ at the 8th International Entrepreneurship Forum, organised by the University of Essex and Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad in 2008. He presented a paper on Marketing to India’s Underserved Consumers at Harvard Business School; the paper appears in the book, Business Solutions for the Global Poor, published by Jossey-Bass in 2007. Kunal wrote the afterword to Syracuse University professor Tej Bhatia’s book, Advertising & Marketing in Rural India. The chapter describes innovations in rural marketing in India.
He has been adjunct faculty at the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, AICAR Business School and National Institute of Advertising; and an invited speaker at London Business School, Kent State University, Johns Hopkins University, Mudra Institute of Communications, Peking University and Syracuse University. He has also conducted workshops on consumer insight at several graduate communication schools; as well as at Ogilvy. He was listed in the millennium edition of the Who’s Who in the World and has authored a large number of papers and articles in academic and business journals, and business newspapers across continents; he is an invited columnist for Advertising Age China. Kunal has spoken extensively at marketing and advertising events organised by WPP, Ogilvy, business schools and the media.
Kunal enjoys leading a double life – in his other one, he has published three books, ‘An Ordinary Traveller’, about travels in south Asia and ‘A Banarasi on Varanasi’, an insider’s perspective on the holy city, and ‘China’s Creative Imperative – How Creativity is Transforming Society and Business in China’. His photographs have appeared in Shots and Holiday Travel India.
Kunal lives in Shanghai with his wife and two children.