About

Career History

Ajab Samrai was first hired by Saatchi & Saatchi’s legendary Executive Creative Director, Paul Arden, joining the agency when it was at its zenith in 1987. Samrai was one of the first British-born Asians to successfully break into the advertising industry and he has broken boundaries ever since, becoming one of Saatchi & Saatchi’s youngest ever Creative Group Heads in the history of the company. Samrai has gone on to hold top positions in the industry, working with the world’s largest and best-known brands such as Coca Cola, Visa, Vodafone, Sony and British Airways.

Samrai is creative yet strategic, spending just as much time in the planning department as he does in the creative department. His mentor at Saatchi & Saatchi ingrained in Samrai an ability to lead by example, and always approach work from a creative and innovative perspective. Samrai’s skill set, as well as his determined work ethic, has given him a great nose for new business, which has seen him bring in over £200 million of accounts during his career.

In 2013, Samrai became the Chief Creative Officer of the Ogilvy Group in Japan, a tricky market that had previously been written off as an ‘adaption outpost’ for foreign agencies. At the helm of the $70 million financially struggling company – which had around 300 staff working across advertising, digital, PR, health, production, activation and media – Samrai began a transformation that took just 18 months. His bold work and creative vision turned the company around, gaining clients such as EA Games, Coca Cola, Citizen Watches, IBM and Kirin Beer.

Under Samrai’s leadership, Ogilvy Japan was the most awarded international agency in the country for 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The agency and Samrai himself have won a number of prestigious awards; Ogilvy Japan was the winner of the Campaign Asia, Japan Creative Agency of the Year 2017, and Samrai was named the Creative of the Year 2017. 2018 was an equally successful year for Ogilvy Japan, with the agency winning 20 Pencil awards at D&AD and One Show for its work for Uber, Sony Music and Sagawa Soy Sauce. This cemented Samrai as one of the most high-achieving and decorated creatives in the world in 2018.

In 2019, Samrai founded a brand new business with two partners called BLITZWORKS. A strategic consultancy offering its clients the fastest, most productive, collaborative and transparent creative process, BLITZWORKS can deliver new platforms (or work on existing platforms) in just three days instead of months – with additional development at speed if required.

Ajab Samrai

Awards

With more than 300 commendations and awards from industry shows such as:

  • D&AD
  • Clios
  • Cannes
  • Epica
  • Spikes
  • One Show