#BehindTheMask: Tilesh Bhaga, creative technologist at Grey Africa

Innovation is changing and as a result we are seeing the amalgamation of technology with creativity for the benefit of everyone. According to this article on Forbes, technology can help us understand what makes a creative concept resonate and deliver that story in a way that is meaningful and relevant to the audience. So there's no disagreeing with Tilesh Bhaga when he says "We live in the best possible time for what I love, it's crazy!"

I catch up with Tilesh to find out what goes on behind the scenes of a creative techie...

BizcommunityYou're a creative technologist at Grey. Could you briefly explain what your role entails?

The role of a creative technologist is to assist the business in all things tech. I am either researching up-and-coming tech innovations that we can use for our clients or I am being brought into briefings to see how best to execute an idea or elevate an idea through the use of technology.

BizcommunityWhat’s really behind your mask - literally and figuratively speaking?

Very literally, my mask will hold either a beard or an extreme baby face, depending on the day. Figuratively the mask is stuck onto an introverted yet explorative tech head who's very obsessed with dance and Harry Potter. I'm also a hopeless optimist and love all forms of creativity.

BizcommunityGrowing up, what did you want to be?

Well, initially my child-self had invented the role of "computerist", unfortunately the demand for the made up role was too small, so I moved on to wanting to become a 3D animator, as 3D design was my first love, starting at 10 years old.

BizcommunityHow did you end up working in the advertising industry?

During my studies of multimedia, I was offered a bursary by a company called Trudon, which had a small digital agency called Leads Machine. I was intending to work in the development field, but after getting a taste of advertising at a small agency, I made my way to TBWA and fell in love with it.

BizcommunityWhat excites you most about the industry
The most exciting thing I can see is that every company in the world is in one way or the other becoming a tech company.
This can be seen with the likes of Burger King. Our industry is thus being tasked with helping every single brand match the idea of servicing their offering, whilst being tech savvy and innovative.
Advertising is moving from being traditional advertising, to becoming a tech company/advertising hybrid. It’s an inventors playground!
BizcommunityWhat's a typical work day routine?

My day will start off with some coffee to remind me why I am alive. From there I make my way to my sectioned off home office and I check all my emails and plan what needs to get done for the day. I'll then quickly scroll through my various tech platforms to see if there's any exciting new tech or software we can use. After that it's usually just a mish-mash of meetings and me brainstorming solves for briefs I've been a part of. I also eat food at lunch time.

BizcommunityWhere are you based during lockdown?

I've been based in Johannesburg during lockdown.

BizcommunityWhen you're not busy working, what do you do? How do you socialise these days?

I have many hobbies in my life. I am either dancing which was one of the other careers I wanted to have, doing some 3D design, recording my podcast with my friends (It's called "Two Wrongs and a Writer", if I'm allowed to plug myself) or coding something for fun.
My favourite form of socialising is done through video calls on Discord as I am terrified of the virus and rather be safe than sorry.

BizcommunityWhat's your favourite meme/gif of all time?

My favourite all time meme is Nickelback's famed Chad Kroeger singing "Look at this Graph" and then staring at you blankly. It still kills me to this day!

BizcommunityAre you watching any series? Reading any books at the moment?

The series I am currently watching is The Good Doctor so I can cry all the time, and the book I am currently rereading is Kevin Hearts I Can't Make This Up: Life Lessons. One of my all-time favourites.

BizcommunityWhat is the first thing you plan to do - if and when the lockdown lifts?

So a bit unconventional I suppose, but I need to plan to go to Goldreef city. It's one of my happy places in the world.

Bizcommunity2021 has just begun. What's next for you?

2021 will be another year of trying new things. First thing is becoming more knowledgeable with the latest tech. Then I'm starting a tech based fashion company with a friend, I am pushing my podcast to become a paying job and I am going to try and make my 3D art another form of income.
I love pushing myself to try everything I've always wanted to.
Alongside that, I'm me getting married this year too!

About Evan-Lee Courie

Editor: Marketing & Media; Head of Content for Entrepreneurship



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