Prahlad Kakkar

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Prahlad Kakkar
Prahlad Kakkar speaking.jpg
Prahlad Kakkar speaking during The Himalayan Times Brandfest in Nepal
Born (1950-03-24) 24 March 1950 (age 67)
Nationality Indian
Occupation Advertising film maker
Spouse(s) Mitali Dutt
Children Arnav, Varun, Anhjin

Prahlad Kakkar (born 24 March 1950 in Mumbai) 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[1][2][3][4]

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 Kakar 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.[1][2][5]

Early life[edit]

Prahlad Kakar 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 his initial schooling from St. Joseph's Academy, Dehradun. In 1966, he passed out from Sainik School, Kunjpura, Karnal, Haryana and 1970, he graduated with Economics (Honors) from Fergusson College, Pune.[1][2]


Prahlad Kakar 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, Mandeep Kakkar and Ravi Uppor, Prahlad Kakar 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.[6]

Genesis Film Productions is also known for the short film "Bali" made in affiliation with the channel Star One.[7] Prahlad Kakar is also known for his popular Kamasutra ads. After Genesis, Prahlad Kakkar started a restaurant at Prithvi Theatre with Jennifer Kendal.[8]

Prahlad Kakar is the co-founder of ReefWatch Marine Conservation,[9] set up in 1994, which aims at creating marine-life awareness. Prahlad Kakar 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.[10] He also started the speciality Tea House in Bombay,[11] the first of its kind in the country. In 2000 he received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from IAAFA[12] for his contribution to Advertising and Film Art.

Prahlad Kakkar planning to dip his hands into Bollywood filmmaking, his upcoming film will also mark the comeback of the gorgeous diva Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. The film tentatively titled Happy Anniversary will be produced by Gaurang Doshi and will explore the anatomy of marriage. Ash's hubby Abhishek Bachchan will be playing the male lead and the two will be seen sharing the screen space after a span of 5 years since their last film Guru in 2007. Happy Anniversary will be shot in Africa and is slated to go floors in January 2014.Reports say thatthis movie marks the comeback of beautiful diva Sushmita Sen. Sushmita Sen and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan had been in a cold war long back and never seen together in movies.[13] It's a very surprising development since both Abhishek and Prahlad in 2010 had indulged in a war of words.

It all started at a forum at the MAMI film festival in Mumbai. Adman Prahlad Kakkar was one of the speakers discussing the way Bollywood works. Taking a pot shot at Abhishek Bachchan, Kakkar said, "Men stars in Bollywood are usually useless nephews and sons." Further taking a dig at the young Bachchan scion Kakkar said, "Abhishek Bachchan has 17 flops in a row and is still going strong. He is unique and should be in the Guinness Book of Records." His comment garnered an uproarious laughter from the audience, but Abhishek wasn't ready to take it lying low. In Defense Abhishek Bachchan took on to twitter and said this: On Thursday 28 October 2010, @juniorbachchan said: "I love Prahlad Kakkar, he should be a stand-up comic not an ad-filmmaker. Maybe then someone will take him seriously! This coming from a man who makes commercials with his own son. Hmmm. Oh ya, Prahlad, I'm already in the Guinness book of world records and a very proud son. I hope you give your sons an opportunity to say the same someday".

Genesis Film Production Pvt. Ltd.[edit]

Prahlad Kakar 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 Nestlé, PepsiCo, Brittania, Levers have continued to communicate their brand stories through Prahlad Kakar. 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 Kakar 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.[14]

Offspring and Offshoot[edit]

Genesis has given birth to Offspring and Offshoot, production companies that are owned by Mitali Dutt Kakar. Prahlad Kakar remains Principal Director for her production houses as well. Mitali Dutt Kakar’s vast production experience, production design detailing and aesthetic sense has made her one of the top producers in the country. Mitali has produced successful campaigns for Pepsi, Nestle, Cadbury Schweppes and Britannia (to name just a few) that have been successful both in national and international arenas. Offspring co-ordinates all of Prahlad’s Vietnam work, where he directs films for Levers and P&G.[14]


Lacadives, India’s Premier Sports Diving Organization was set up in 1995, by Prahlad and Mitali Kakar in Kadmat Island with the active collaboration of the administration of Lakshadweep. Lacadives has set standards, which are on par, if not better than any other in the world, for safety and committed teaching of students, Indians and Foreigners. To date Lacadives has certified over 450 Indian Divers. It is the only CMAS certified Dive Centre in India and is also the only establishment to have Six CMAS Instructors working with it on a full-time basis. In March 2000 Lacadives was invited by the Casino Group to run the Dive Centre at the exotic Bangaram Island Resort at Lakshadweep. The Instructor to Diver Ratio in Lacadives' operations in Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands is better than any that can be found elsewhere in the world. This is what makes it India's Premier Diving Institution. In addition to this, Lacadives is part of the Underwater Federation of India and has established the Indian Scuba Diving Association to ensure the adherence of safety norms in this industry. To further complement its activities Lacadives has set up an NGO called REEF WATCH, whose mission is to create awareness amongst children through workshops and practical training about the fragile Marine Environment. Lacadives is also the first Dive Centre to have its own Live Aboard, SEA URCHIN, a 55-foot vessel, 150 HP Scania Engine, with sleeping facilities for 8 passengers and four crew. A compressor, de-salination plant, centrally air conditioned, with a 10-foot RIB and a diving platform.[14]


Prahlad Kakar has also been involved in restaurant design. He took on the initiative of reviving the culture of tea in India with a touch of sophistication, a venture which culminated in the Tea Centre, a restaurant designed by him at Churchgate, in association with the Tea Board of India.

In 1985, he ran a Gourmet Restaurant at the Prithvi Theater, Bombay with Jennifer Kendal Kapoor. In 2001, he started Casa Amore, an exclusive wine bar and restaurant. Prahlad has also created Papa Pancho for designer Mamta Sekhri. It is one of the few places in Mumbai that offers traditional, home-cooked Punjabi food. “Sarson da Saaga", Bombay's first " Slow food, Punjabi- home style cooking" opened at IMAX in March 2002.[14]

Personal life[edit]

Prahlad Kakar is married to Mitali Dutt Kakar, the owner of the film companies Offspring and Offshoot.[15] They have three sons Arnav, Varun and Anhjin. Prahlad Kakkar is Dyslexic and so is his son Arnav.[8]

Prahlad Kakar 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.


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