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The Essential List: Talha Bin Hisaam

Advertising Agency
Singapore, Singapore
The managing director at BBDO Indonesia on savouring Pakistani cuisine, why he doesn’t need a camera anymore and what he always keeps on him to avoid feeling as though he’s forgotten his trousers at home
If you were to read a biography of Talha Bin Hisaam it would say he “loves to travel, gather wisdom and read people”. And it seems that his career has allowed him to take all of these elements and utilise the best of them. The now managing partner at BBDO Indonesia was born in Karachi, Pakistan but now calls Vancouver, Canada home. 

Talha describes himself a “rationalist at mind, evolutionary by nature and mountaineer by passion”. With an eclectic taste in music and movies, a penchant for the finer things and life and a very relevant bonus kit essential for 2020, Talha is as interesting as he is creative.

Get to know him better below.


o Place of birth: Karachi, Pakistan
o Hometown: Vancouver Island, BC

o Staycation: Canggu, Bali
o Vacation: Whistler Blackcomb, BC

o Pet: Dominantly or predominantly?
o Place of work: BBDO Indonesia
o Place of workout: Swimming pool or cycling around my neighbourhood after 11pm
o Side project: Mohib Mirza
o Transport: Vancouver Island - RR Evoque Convertible; Jakarta - Walk to work and Grab to meetings; Canggu - Yamaha NMax 155
o Bonus travel essential: Flask, Swiss Knife


o Artist: Neil Diamond
o Musician: Jim Steinman
o Commercials / music video director: Dougal Wilson / David Dobkin
o Film director: Christopher Nolan, Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino
o Actor: Al Pacino
o Photographer: Oliviero Toscani
o Film: Professor Marston and the Wonder Women, The Gentlemen, Ford V Ferrari

o Series: The Spy, True Detective 

o Commercial: Explore BC - Later, John Lewis - Always a Woman

o Music video: Meat Loaf - Anything for Love 
o Video game: Red Dead Redemption 2

o Board game: Chess
o Book: Art of War, Tao Te Ching
o Podcast: Audio is for music, unless it’s a podcast with Bob Hoffman. Otherwise, I read.
o Newspaper (off or online): Times Colonist (Vancouver Island), Dawn (Pakistan), Jakarta Post (Indonesia)
o Magazine: AdAge, National Geographic, AdWeek
o Bonus culture essential: Google News

Food and Drink

o Breakfast: Fruit platter, Granola bowl with soy milk, Americano
o Restaurant: Mauri (Seminyak, Bali), Tanarasa (Ubud, Bali), Glo Lounge (Victoria), Fez Kinara (Jakarta)

o Cheap bite: Fitbar
o Working lunch: Salad Stop
o Favourite dish: Impossible to pick one
o Signature dish: Black or yellow lentil soup, else a plain oatmeal
o Snack: Nuts (Peanuts, Almonds, Walnuts)
o Guilty pleasure: I never feel guilty for pleasure, existentially speaking
o Bar: La Vela (Canggu, Bali) Irish Times Pub (Victoria), Molly Malone’s Irish Pub (Jakarta)

o Booze: Grey Goose
o Not booze: Twinings Peppermint Tea with Lime.
o Bonus food: Pork ribs (occasional meat indulgence)
o Bonus beverage: Ginger Ale


o Phone: Samsung S20+
o Computer: Zenbook UX334FLC with Nvidia GeForce MX250
o TV: Never a smart one, but always a Samsung with Chromecast attached.
o Headphones: Sony NW-WS623
o Camera: Don’t need one, after S20+
o Soundsystem: Sony VHC 21D
o Pen / pencil: Cross
o Where you document an idea: Google Keep
o Casual clothing: Robe / Kimono at home, Roll-sleeved front open t-shirts and shorts outdoors
o Smart clothing: Linen shirts with cotton pants, or all denim
o Footwear: Canvas slip-ons (thin sole), Adidas Ultraboost or ankle boots
o Watch: Skagen Hagen (Slim Mother-of-Pearl)
o Collection: My aged music library, my Plex movie database and my WD photo cloud.
o App: YouTube Music, Google Maps
o Website: National Geographic
o Work program: That’d be a Masterplanner’s strategy software running in my head 
o Digital work tool: Excel, Word, Powerpoint, Linkedin, Outlook
o Analogue work tool: My Swiss knife, my notepad, my pen.
o Morning grooming / makeup essential: Argan Oil
o Bonus kit essential: In 2020, a face mask (the stares make you feel you missed wearing your pants if you walk out without it)

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