Amar Dixit: Building Brands in Australia’s Advertising Landscape

Written by: Ranjani Rajendra

Name: Amar Dixit | Designation: Partner | Company: Brand World Consultants | Place: Sydney

(July 21, 2023) Moving to a new country often brings its own share of challenges along with promises of new beginnings. If there are opportunities beckoning there are niggling teething troubles as well. Yet, Amar Dixit found a way to tide over it all in the last two decades to make Australia home. Currently a partner and head of creative commerce at his company Brand World Consultants, Amar has behind him nearly three decades of a strong marketing and advertising background.

Born in Bengaluru and raised in Hyderabad, Amar did his MBA in Marketing from the University of Poona before he began his career with Mudra (now DDB Mudra) in Hyderabad. “My formative years in the business were spent learning from my gurus here. Twenty five years on, I run my own brand and design agency and I owe my success in large to those early years. Mr Bal Deshpande was my first mentor and still amongst the most influential and unforgettable adman I have ever had the joy of working with,” he says.

Amar Dixit

Amar Dixit.

A couple of years later his first overseas job opportunity led him to Oman where he got his first experience working with international brands and colleagues at United Media. Soon he moved to Dubai with a rival agency where he got the opportunity to work client side and moved into a marketing role as a Brand Manager for companies such as Hertz, Toys R Us, and SuperMax.

It was in Dubai that he met his wife and the couple eventually decided to move to Australia. “I contacted an agency and they helped us make the move. Both Sheryl and I had marketing backgrounds. Additionally our foreign language skills added to the points tally to help us get a PR” says Amar, adding that he continued working in Dubai for a while to ensure they were financially sound for the move.

When he did move to Australia, he got a job with Ogilvy almost immediately, as a senior business manager in Sydney. Back then however, Australia was very different and Amar had to take a step down to get a foot in the door. The advertising industry in Australia was quite exclusive back then compared to today and Amar says having a sense of humour helped. “Of course you have to stand up for yourself, but also be able to laugh along when it’s harmless. We got an insight into life in Australia and the culture here, through our work, sport, friendships both at work and through our kids’ school friends, we acclimatised better. It’s important to do so, else you’ll always be an outsider,” he says, adding, “This is true with any country you move to. There will be a period of assimilation into the community which is necessary to feel like you belong. Especially in a field like advertising, it is very important to understand the local culture and what makes people tick.”

Putting your head down and working hard for the first few years is important. “You’ve got to leave your baggage behind, be prepared to start from scratch and build from there. You can’t come into a mature market like Australia and expect to take off from the same position you were in India or Dubai. One of the best ways to assimilate into the Australian way of life would be by starting young and studying at an Australian university to help prepare for a career here,” he says. “The biggest question an employer here has is if you are willing to fit in culturally and be a team player.”

Amar Dixit

Amar’s children.

In the last decade though, corporate Australia has become more diversified and inclusive. “However, Australia is not a major destination for a career in advertising and marketing. Destinations such as the US, UK, Singapore, and India are much bigger. Here opportunities are limited to Sydney and Melbourne, and there’s a lot of local talent that you will be competing against. That is something one might want to consider when they contemplate moving here today.”

On his part, Amar found ways to assimilate into Australian society by keeping an open mind and getting involved in local activities. “It helped that we moved to an area that was developing and our kids grew up together with other Australian kids as well as new immigrants. I would take my kids to games where I coached, umpired and ferried our boys to their club cricket and soccer games.”

After working for several years with various agencies in Sydney, Amar launched his own agency a few years ago along with a mate. “It was a side hustle during Covid that very quickly grew bigger than our day jobs. That’s when we decided to focus entirely on our company Brand World Consultants, a brand and design agency that is registered in Singapore. We have a team across the APAC region and we provide creative commerce, advertising, and social media solutions,” he says, adding that the agency largely focuses on beauty and health care categories, for global brands such as Olay, Head & Shoulders, Pantene, Old Spice, and Herbal Essences.

Amar, who manages everything from admin to advertising strategy, client engagement and business development finds himself working across different time zones juggling various aspects of a general management role to specialist advertising functions, when running one’s own company. “I also travel extensively across Asia every few months to continue growing the agency, renewing relationships and building new ones,” the Global Indian says.

When he isn’t working, Amar is passionate about motorbikes and is part of several groups that are involved in supporting men’s health through the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride. “I love to tinker with my bikes and enjoy being part of biking communities. We also work with the charity organisations to change the perception of bikers. Weekend coffee runs, as well as bigger monthly and annual events keep our biking communities closely knit.”

Amar Dixit

“Travel is a big part of our family life and we love to do road trips within Australia. We’ve  explored New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria  extensively in our Jeep. We’ve done farm stays, lived in a railway carriage converted into a house, and been down the Great Ocean Road a few times,” he says, adding that he also loves to spend time with his pet, a 3-year-old German Shepherd.

“I still visit India once every few years both for business and to meet family and friends. I need to have a pulse on the finger of the consumer in the region, of which India is one of the fastest growing markets,” he says, adding, “I have so many fond memories of growing up in India, doing my undergrad, and going to Business School there. It’s a good part of my life. You can take a man out of Hyderabad but not the Hyderabadi out of him, can you?”

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