afaqs!

Pranesh Misra quits Lowe to float new research venture

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 09, 2008
Misra is preparing to start a new venture - a marketing consulting, data analytics and insight mining firm in partnership with technology entrepreneur Jerry Rao

Pranesh Misra, global & #BANNER1 & # director, marketing accountability, Lowe, has put in his papers and is serving his notice period. Misra is one of Lowe's oldest hands, having worked there in various capacities for 31 years.

Misra is preparing to start a new venture - a marketing consulting, data analytics and insight mining firm in partnership with technology entrepreneur Jerry Rao. The firm, called Brandscape Worldwide, will be based in Mumbai and later expand to Bangalore. Misra will be chairman and managing director of the company.

Pranesh Misra Misra tells afaqs!, "The MR research industry churns out a lot of data and reports, but not enough effort is put in to extract insights from that data." Further, clients tend to appoint more than one research firm and, often, brand managers are expected to consolidate the findings by different firms and extract meaningful information from them.

"Here, we step in and assimilate all the research data, manage it, analyse it and come up with useful insights," adds Misra.

Brandscape will seek clients in the consumer goods and services sector, particularly MNCs in the FMCG space. "In fact, we may even service the research needs of existing Lowe clients!" he says.

While the servicing will be based in Mumbai, Brandscape will open business generation offices abroad in cities such as New York and London.

On his decision to quit Lowe, Misra says, "While Lowe has been an extremely rewarding experience, I have had my share of the place."

In December 2007, it was announced that Lowe's chairmanship would go to the then national creative director, R Balakrishnan, while the then chairman, Prem Mehta, took on a more advisory role. Misra, who was then chief operating officer, was made global director, marketing accountability, while a new CEO, Charles Cadell, was brought in.

While most had clear-cut roles, one wondered where Mehta and Misra were heading. Soon thereafter, Mehta announced his decision to retire. So, in a sense, Misra's move was just waiting to happen. However, Misra asserts that his decision has nothing to do with his close colleague, Mehta, moving out.

A 1977 alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad, Misra joined Lintas through campus recruitment. Over the years, he has worked extensively on key clients, including Hindustan Unilever Ltd. Take away two stints - a research spell at Clarion and a brush on the client's side with Mashreq Bank in Dubai (then Bank of Oman) - and Misra has enjoyed a happy association with Lowe since the onset of his career. He has forged strong working relationships with Mehta, Balki, Stanley Pinto and Alyque Padamsee during his time at Lowe.