Interview: Terence D’souza, Chief Creative Officer, Hotstuff Medialabs

Terence Dsouza Chief Creative Officer Hotstuff Medialabs

Interview with Terence D’souza, Chief Creative Officer, Hotstuff Medialabs

Mr. Terence D’souza, Chief Creative Officer, Hotstuff Medialabs who dons many hats. He was instrumental in introducing off-beat jingles and genres of communicating Financial Information through his campaigns.

He is a creative director, advertising professional, filmmaker, writer, brand strategist, and musician from Mumbai, India. He also specialized in Investor Education Drives, working very closely with the Mutual Fund Industry.

Terence was a Financial Analyst prior to working in the creative field, and this gives him an advantage to channel his financial acumen into transforming communication for most BFSI brands.

In an exclusive interview with Terence D’souza explains How he start his creative journey journey.

Tell us something about yourself  

Terence D’souza: Well, my name is Terence D’Souza. I studied Commerce at Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai and later pursued Chartered Accountancy with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

I switched to Media and Advertising in the Year 2012 after working a couple of years as an Analyst during my Audit Trainee days.

I hold close to 16 years of work experience ranging from my stints in the financial world to my time as a writer and then Creative Director in Advertising.

In addition I am also a Filmmaker and a Musician, having performed across India with my band Kehkasha.

Please tell us a little about your creative journey?

Terence D’souza: It all began in 2007 when I started working as a Copywriter for Purple Image Studios in Mumbai. Working in a Creative Studio that specialized in creation of all formats of media helped me gain proper execution knowledge.

I later had the chance to work at Brand Harvest before I quit to pursue my studies. I got back to Advertising post my CA Finals, joining Hotstuff Advertising in 2012 as a Copywriter.

Here, under the guidance of my CEO Arun Fernandes, I explored every aspect of the creative world. Since Music was a strong weapon, I used it in my films.

I directed music videos, ventured into big budget campaigns, films, and content creation of every kind. With our Digital and Events wings, I also had the opportunity to travel outside India on projects and events that I conceptualized and learnt much more in terms of production, management, show business, large scale content and live extravaganzas.

What is your role at Hotstuff Medialabs?

Terence D’souza: Currently I am the Chief Creative Office and Associate Partner at Hotstuff Medialabs. I overlook all the core Creative outputs from every vertical of our agency and align teams to brands, business objectives, and direct campaign creation myself.

I continue to write, especially, when the films or campaigns require my style of copy/ language and I work in tandem with our wide network of artists, film makers, musicians, producers and creators on content for our off-beat campaigns.

What made you join this type of profession?

Terence D’souza: I believe that we should spend a little time discovering our true purpose. At a very early stage in my career, had I the clarity, I would have switched to media much before.

It took me some time to realize my core skills, strengths, and discovering what I love doing. I believe I have a natural ability to bring best minds together and ensure collective outputs are optimized.

Using this skill in media, where the best campaigns stem from the best minds working together, seemed as an apt choice. Also, I love the challenge that each new brief presents. The tougher the job…the happier it makes me.

What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?

Terence D’souza: Working in advertising and films is like being on-track in a Nascar Race. Only, here there are no pitstops.

You cannot slow down. Ever. Taking a break may seem like an occupational privilege to some. I believe artists cannot pause.

I once let too many people take control of my campaigns because I wanted a break and I realized what it led to.

It took me a while to get back in the grind. But I understood the importance of never letting go and never losing focus.  

What was the inspiration behind turning a Chief Creative Officer?

Terence D’souza: My intent remains, as always, to give my best to my brands and be the first choice to my clients. Titles are a variable of what happened when the organization expanded with more clients coming on-board. However, being part of the Hotstuff team matters more than being a CCO at Hotstuff.

Your success mantra for young and aspiring people who are willing to make a profession in the creative field?

Terence D’souza: Take a chance. The easiest thing in the world is to be successful. It is even more easy to be famous and awarded.

It is extremely difficult to be happy. But if you take a minute to trade everything you have for something you want, you will find true happiness.

And that should be your profession. That should be the career path you choose. Earlier you decide…the better.


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