A model designer for clientele
He works nine hours a day despite his debility after the accident.
Photo: K.R. deepak.
Fighting against odds: Nagi Reddy at his studio.
An ad desginer cannot claim to be a true professional if he cannot visualise the needs of his client, does not give him/her advice on the best campaign strategy and fails to ensure that the message reaches the target audience." It is this philosophy that keeps Jonnala Nagi Reddy going, and today he is one of the most sought after designers in the city.
He was going great guns and was all set to change the face of advertising in the city when fate struck him in the form of a road accident paralysing both his legs. It was his sheer determination and courage that gave him his second life.
Nagi Reddy had his school education at Amalapuram in East Godavari district and did his Intermediate and degree in the city. His father worked for some time as a graphic artist for an advertisement agency before joining the Road Transport Corporation. Perhaps, that kindled his interest in art right from his childhood.
Nagi Reddy discontinued his degree in the final year and joined a Telugu newspaper as a layout artist (manual) in 1990. His interest in the subject can be gauged from the fact that he spent his pocket money to attend seminars on printing technology held in different parts of the country. In 1998, he attended a one-day seminar on printing technology conducted in Chennai paying Rs.3,000.
Subsequently, the UK-based Printing Industrial Research Organisation invited him to attend an international exhibition that was held in Germany. He was one among five Indians and the only one from AP to be invited for that expo. The month-long training programme gave him an opportunity to observe the latest developments in printing and design.
Reddy quit his job in the Telugu daily and started his own design studio, 'Designmouse', in Seethammadhara.
The innovative designs caught the fancy of clients, and the popularity of the studio grew in a short span of time. He designed advertisements for AP Tourism Corporation. The then District Collector, J.S.V. Prasad, asked him to design the concepts for Visakha Utsav that year.
The growing clientele prompted him to think of shifting to a spacious accommodation in the commercial hub - Dwarakanagar.
Reddy designed his office and planned a grand inauguration by inviting the elite of the city. He had also distributed invitation cards to his friends and acquaintances. After giving an invitation to the then District Collector, Sunil Sharma, he was pillion riding on his friend's bike to meet another VIP, when tragedy struck.
The bike was going down the Taj Residency road, when it hit the road divider and Reddy was thrown off the bike and fell on the concrete structure resulting in serious damage to the spinal chord.
He was rushed to a hospital. Doctors said that there was no chance of Reddy walking again. He was confined to bed for about a month. After two months, Reddy felt some movement in his legs, and hope sprang in his heart. He underwent physiotherapy for six months and his condition improved.
"I achieved my dream, though it was delayed by a year, despite the accident. Now I have emerged stronger. People who were close to me in my 'first life' (before the accident) moved away thinking that I was no longer useful to them. Those who had kept their distance before the accident, came closer and stood firmly behind me in the hour of crisis. I was able to distinguish who were my true friends," he says.
Today, he has about 50 regular clients, including a few Government agencies like the Municipal Corporation of Visakhapatnam and the Indian Navy.
"I am not interested in getting more and more clients but want to improve the quality of my services further," he says.
Reddy has started an Ad Club to share his skills with others and improve the overall quality of work being turned out by advertisement agencies in Vizag. The club would hone the skills of members in handling their clients through conduct of workshops.
"To develop four or five designers who can match my skills in technical aspects of advertising as well as advising the clients on the campaign strategy."
B. MADHU GOPAL
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