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    When NIRVIK SINGH isn’t telling stories through ad campaigns, he’s thinking of ways to give back to the community, writes ​Lydianne Yap

    By Lydianne Yap | May 7, 2015

    IF ONE WERE to believe hit television series Mad Men, advertising professionals are all Don Drapers with sleek backcombs and sharp suits who knock back whiskeys in the office.

    But of course, the show was set in the 1960s, and much of it is fiction. Present day ad men like Chairman and CEO of Grey Group Asia Pacific Nirvik Singh, hardly lead Draper-esque lives, save for the suit. When Singh, 52, isn’t dreaming up “famously effective” campaigns — the firm’s benchmark of excellence, he says — at Grey’s Singapore office, he spends most of his time on aeroplanes, shuttling between cities for meetings and to give talks on everything from advertising to digital start-up businesses. In fact, when we meet on a Thursday afternoon, Singh is fresh off a flight from Tokyo. “What free time?” he jests, when I casually ask about his off-duty pursuits.

    The advertising business has changed over the years, perhaps more so than any other industry, Singh observes. He likens the role of early advertisers to “the voice of God beaming down to the world”, a one-way form of communication. Today, it’s more of a dialogue as consumers now have the ability to give feedback. “[The industry] will keep changing,” he says. “But change for the better is always good.”

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