Prasoon Joshi

Prasoon Joshi (born 16 September 1971) is an Indian lyricist, screenwriter, poet and marketer. He is the CEO of McCann World group India and Chairman (Asia Pacific), a subsidiary of the global marketing firm McCann Erickson. He was appointed as the Chairperson of the Central Board of Film Certification on 11 August 2017.

Prasoon Joshi
Prasoon Joshi in 2014
Background information
Born (1971-09-16) 16 September 1971
Almora, Uttarakhand, India
Occupation(s)poet, advertiser
Years active1992–present

Prasoon has received the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award three times, in 2007 and 2008 and again in 2014 for the Hindi movie Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. He has also received the National Film Award for Best Lyrics twice, for his work in Taare Zameen Par (2007), and Chittagong (2013).[1] He was awarded Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2015, for his contributions towards the field of Arts, Literature and Advertising.[2] He is one of the trustees of IGNCA, a member of Nehru Memorial Museum & Library Society Panel and is among the select 120 members of the National Committee for Commemoration of 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.[3][4][5]

Early life and education

Prasoon Joshi spent his earliest years in Almora, in the north Indian state of Uttarakhand (then part of Uttar Pradesh). His father, D.K. Joshi, served as a PCS officer with the Civil Service of the State Government and later became the Additional Director of the state's Education Service. These early years all across the northern India – and spending time in places like Almora, Nainital (where his extended family and relatives still live), Tehri, Chamoli Gopeshwar, and later Rampur, Meerut and Dehradun[6][7] – gave Prasoon a remarkable feel for the real Indian pulse that he is now celebrated for in his lyrics and advertising. His mother, Sushma Joshi, a lecturer in political science, performed for the All India Radio for over three decades.[8] His parents are qualified classical vocalists and daily home life for the young Prasoon was marked with academic discipline, a rich vein of the artistic life and a strong sense of music and culture.[9]

He started writing early in life and published his first book at age 17, Main Aur Woh, a 'conversation with himself', inspired by Frederich Nietzsche's Thus Spake Zarathustra.[8] Two more books followed, establishing him as an author.

His latest book, Sunshine Lanes, a collection of his songs, was launched at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January 2013.

Prasoon did his BSc and post graduation in Physics, then elected to pursue an MBA from Institute Of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. During his MBA education he decided to fuse his love for culture and art and his faculty for the commercial dynamic and make his career in advertising.


Prasoon started his career with Ogilvy & Mather in Delhi. In just 10 years, he was appointed the Executive Creative Director of the Mumbai office. In early 2002, he joined McCann-Erickson as Executive Vice-President and National Creative Director. By 2006, he was the Regional Creative Director for South and South East Asia. In December 2006 he was promoted to Executive Chairman for McCann Worldgroup India and Regional Creative Director for Asia Pacific.[10]

Joshi created advertising campaigns for NDTV India (Sach dikhate hain hum), Saffola (Abhi to main jawan hoon) LG, Marico, Perfetti (Alpenliebe, Chlormint), and the Cannes-winning Thanda matlab Coca-Cola campaign with Aamir Khan. His Happydent television commercial was listed by Bob Garfield of AdvertisingAge as one of his personal choices for the Cannes Gold in 2007,[11] and it was chosen by a Gunn Report poll as one of the 20 best ads of the 21st century.[12][13]

He also wrote the lyrics for CNN IBN's advertising jingle "India Rising"[14] and Coke's Ummeed wali dhoop.[15]

Film career

Prasoon made his debut as a film lyricist with Rajkumar Santoshi's Lajja, a critical and commercial success, and this soon led to Yash Chopra's Hum Tum and a string of highly successful Bollywood films like Fanaa, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, Black and Delhi 6. With Rang De Basanti (2006), he also became a dialogue writer.[16]

He won the Filmfare Best Lyricist Award for "Chand Sifarish" from the film Fanaa in 2007 and for "Maa" from Taare Zameen Par in 2008. He has won the prestigious National Award twice. The first for his work in Taare Zameen Par and the second one in 2013 for Chittagong.

He had also written the script for the award-winning 2014 film Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

As a CBFC chairman he has maintained the fine balance between the filmmakers and societal sensitivites, instituted dialogue discussion instead of controversy and has played a big role in digitising CBFC functionality.[17]

Global and national recognition

In 2008, he was invited as the Cannes Jury chairman and in 2009, he was named among the exclusive 10-member Cannes Titanium and Integrated Jury at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.[18] In 2006, he was chosen a 'Young Global Leader 2006' by the Forum of Young Global Leaders, an affiliate of the World Economic Forum,[19] In 2007, he was asked to be a judge of the nationally popular reality singing competition Dhoom Macha De on NDTV Imagine.[20] Joshi was part of the select three-member Core Creative Advisory Committee for the Commonwealth Games 2010 opening and closing ceremonies, with Shyam Benegal and Javed Akhtar.

Social theme work

  • Tata Jagriti Anthem[21]
  • Dettol Swachh Bharat[22]
  • Poshan Anthem[23]


When Prasoon watched the film Sikander, he was inspired by it and wrote a song called "Dhoop ke sikke". Later, this song was incorporated in the film.[24]

Private albums

He has been the lyricist for several Indipop albums which have been hits:

Short films on malnutrition

Prasoon Joshi and Aamir Khan have decided to prepare 50 short films on malnutrition after being invited by the prime minister of India. According to Mr. Joshi, Aamir and himself did not get along well because they do not compromise their work.[25]


He was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.[26]

Year Nominated work Award Category Result
2003 Thanda Matlab Coca-Cola campaign Cannes Lion Award International Advertising Festival Won
2005 Hum Tum Star Screen Award Best Lyricist (for the song "'Saanson Ko Saanson'") Won
2007 Rang De Basanti Media magazine No. 1 Creative Director in Asia Pacific Won
Zee Cine Awards Best Lyricist (for the song " "Masti Ki Pathshala") Won
Global Indian Film Awards Best Lyricist Won
Filmfare Awards Best Dialogue Nominated
Best Lyricist (for the song "Roobaroo") Nominated
Fanaa Best Lyricist (for the song "Chand Sifarish") Won
International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Lyricist Won
Bollywood Movie Awards Best Lyricist Won
2008 Taare Zameen Par National Film Awards Best Lyricist (for the song "Maa") Won
Filmfare Awards Best Lyricist (for the song "Maa") Won
Zee Cine Awards Best Lyricist (for the song " "Maa") Won
Producers Guild Film Awards Best Lyricist (for the song " "Maa") Won
Star Screen Award Best Lyricist (for the song " "Maa") Won
2009 N/A NDTV Indian of the Year Special Award for Lyrics Won
Ghajini Filmfare Awards Best Lyricist (for the song "Guzarish") Nominated
2010 Delhi-6 Filmfare Awards Best Lyricist (for the song "Masakali") Nominated
Best Lyricist (for the song "Rehna Tu") Nominated
2nd Mirchi Music Awards[27] Album of The Year Won
Lyricist of The Year (for the song "Masakali") Won
2010 Break Ke Baad 3rd Mirchi Music Awards Album of The Year Nominated[28]
2011 Aarakshan 4th Mirchi Music Awards Upcoming Music Composer of The Year (for the song "Saans Albeli") Nominated[29]
2012 Chittagong National Film Awards Best Lyricist (for the song "Bolo Naa") Won
2014 Bhaag Milkha Bhaag Filmfare Awards Best Lyricist (for the song "Zinda") Won
International Indian Film Academy Awards Best Screenplay Won
Best Story Won
Best Dialogue Won
Producers Guild Film Awards Best Screenplay Won
Best Story Won
Mirchi Music Awards Lyricist of The Year (for the song "Maston Ka Jhund") Won[30]
2015 N/A Government of India Padma Shri (for contribution in Arts) Honorary

Personal life

Prasoon met his wife Aparna, also an advertising professional, while working at O&M Delhi. They have been married for over a decade and have a daughter named Aishaanya.


  1. Prasoon Joshi for Kamal Haasan's Viswaroopam 2 – Times Of India
  2. "Humbled, motivated: Prasoon Joshi on winning Padma Shri". 26 January 2015.
  3. "Prasoon Joshi, Chandra Prakash Dwivedi in Trust of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts". 17 December 2019.
  4. "Rajat Sharma, Prasoon in NMML society, Congmen out". 17 December 2019.
  5. "Kovind to preside over PM-headed panel on Gandhi 150th birth anniversary". 17 December 2019.
  6. Meet Prasoon Joshi, India's ad guru by Shyamal Majumdar., 19 October 2005.
  7. Prasoon Joshi Interview Archived 21 February 2010 at creativeuttarakhand (Myor Pahad).
  8. Breakfast With Prasoon Joshi, The Economic Times', 3 May 2008.
  9. "prasoon-joshi-bollywood-mann-ke-manjeere". The Economic Times. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  10. McCann top deck gets a new look The Economic Times, 16 December 2006.
  11. Will there be Happy sent smiles at Cannes? by Pritha Mitra Dasgupta., 16 June 2007.
  12. Dasgupta, Pritha Mitra (3 December 2015). "Prasoon Joshi's Happydent commercial among 20 best ads of 21st century". Economic Times. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  13. Sinha, Suveen (2 December 2015). "Happydent Palace ad is among 20 best this century". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  14. Prasoon Joshi. Rising Indian Business Line, The Hindu, 8 February 2007.
  15. Umeed Waali Dhoop by Prasoon Joshi Lyricstaal, 16 June 2014.
  16. Adman Prasoon Joshi has now turned dialogue-writer! The Times of India, 12 December 2005.
  17. "Prasoon Joshi: CBFC has to balance cinematic sensibilities and social sensitivities". 17 December 2019.
  18. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 23 February 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Prasoon Joshi on Cannes Titanium jury The Economic Times, 27 February 2009.
  19. Prasoon Joshi chosen Young Global Leader, 13 January 2006.
  20. NDTV ropes in Shankar Mahadevan and Prasoon Joshi Archived 13 July 2012 at Wednesday, 28 November 2007.
  24. Subhash K. Jha 17 March 2009 Prasoon Joshi gets inspired after watching Sikandar, pens down a poetry Bollywood Hungama, accessed on 10 April 2012
  25. IANS 7 May 2012 Aamir, Prasoon Joshi to make 50 short films on malnutrition (Accessed on 26 May 2012)
  26. "Padma Awards 2015". Press Information Bureau. Archived from the original on 28 January 2015. Retrieved 25 January 2015.
  27. "Mirchi Music Award 2009". Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  28. "Nominees - Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2010". 30 January 2011. Archived from the original on 30 January 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
  29. "Nominations - Mirchi Music Award Hindi 2011". 30 January 2013. Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 24 May 2018.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  30. Parande, Shweta (28 February 2014). "Mirchi Music Awards 2014 winners: Shahrukh Khan, Farhan Akhtar honoured; Aashiqui 2 wins 7 trophies". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
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