R.K.Swamy, hailed as a guru of advertising, came to be in the ad
field by sheer accident. After school he was doing odd jobs and landed at Ford
Motors. He had gained some experience in typing and short hand. In 1940, when
RK Swamy was barely 18, the Ford Co wound up its offices in Bombay. World war was on and jobs were
scarce. A desperate Swamy began making rounds of various offices only to be
told that there was no vacancy. At JW Thompson’s too he was told the same. But then
someone suddenly remembered that one of the language department staff was going
on a long leave. R.K.Swamy’s knowledge of Gujarati came in handy and he got a
temporary job of reading proofs and, when required, translating advertisements
from English to Gujarati and vice versa. Though appointed temporarily Swamy
worked with enthusiasm and cleared a big backlog. Seeing that he was finishing
a week’s job in a few days a senior colleague recommended and Edward J.
Fielden, head of JW Thompson, made Swamy a permanent employee.
Swamy did not look back. He had not only got a job but also a
profession. Not stopping at his translating and proof reading work, RK Swamy
began taking keen interest in other works. Whenever necessary he lent a helping
hand. He thus made his presence felt in the Billing section and soon became
popular. When Thompson’s Calcutta
office wanted someone for the media department RK Swamy was sent with a good
hike in salary. Another turning point came here. A non-smoker Swamy did a
market research on India’s
tobacco industry and won plaudits from JWT London and their client. He received
a promotion and was back in Bombay
in 1951 to earn name and ultimately be called the guru of advertising.