Santosh Desai is the Managing Director and CEO of Future Brands Ltd, a branding services company that creates and manages a portfolio of brands, and offers consulting services in the brand and consumer space. He is a culture, advertising and brand expert, a social media commentator, and a best-selling author.
Prior to joining Future Brands, Desai was the President of McCann-Erickson, one of India’s premier advertising agencies. A post-graduate from IIM Ahmedabad, he spent 21 years in advertising, and has been strategically involved in building key brands for a range of local and multinational clients.
Desai has the ability to explain the most complex concepts through the simplest, everyday references. Connecting culture and marketing, he is the very definition of ‘brand guru’. A lively speaker, he enjoys connecting and sharing ideas with a variety of audiences across a multitude of platforms. He has addressed several national and international seminars, and has been a keynote speaker at advertising forums in India, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo, Lebanon and Bali. He has also been a guest lecturer at various national & international universities and has addressed the global management boards of several multinationals including; Microsoft; Philips; Hershey's; Unilever; Coca Cola; and Reckitt Benckiser.
He writes regularly on contemporary Indian society and on subjects related to marketing. His popular, weekly column ‘City City Bang Bang’, published in The Times of India, looks at contemporary Indian society from an everyday vantage point. He also has columns in Mint, Media International & Tehelka.
In 2010 he published his book on India titled "Mother Pious Lady - Making Sense of Everyday India’. A review by Outlook magazine of this bestselling book, calls Desai, “the nearest thing we have to R K Laxman in prose”.
He is a member of the Advisory Council on Communication (ACSAC), a member of the NACO sub-committee on communications, and a trustee at the Centre for Media Advocacy. He is on the boards of ING Vysya Bank, Mumbai Business School and Future Consumer Products limited, and on the Governing Councils of Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad & Praxis Business School, Kolkata.