Basir has been appointed the first ever group executive vice-president at Rediffusion DYR. Prior to this, he was the managing director of Red Lounge - a Coca-Cola venture created specially for the Beijing Olympic Games. In his new role, Basir will report directly to Mahesh Chauhan, group chief executive officer of Rediffusion DYR.
Basir had made China his home for the past eight years, working with Leo Burnett, then McCann Erickson and finally Red Lounge. But India was where his heart was; and it was then that Rediffusion made him an interesting offer.
Basir tells afaqs!, "I had some fabulous years in China. My career there took me through an intensive process of learning some things and unlearning others. In the meantime, India had developed into an exciting avenue, and coupled with my personal reasons, it was about time I returned to India."
Speaking on the appointment in an official communiqué, Chauhan says, "Bringing Wasim on board has been a conscious and strategic decision to strengthen a very strong leadership team at the organization. Wasim is a fantastic talent and an inspiring leader, who is one with us in our efforts to reinvent the industry. We are fine tuning the organization's capabilities and are now ready for more. Expect to hear more from us soon."
Talking about the new role specifically crafted for him, Basir remarks in an official communiqué, "I am happy that Rediffusion was keen to develop such a strategic and remarkable role for me. It shows their ability to think ahead of the curve. Reinvention is the future of our industry; the sooner everyone realises this, the better off they will be. I am keen to work in a place which is high on adrenaline, potent in creativity, abuzz with opportunities and brings me back to India."
Rediffusion wasn't the first offer for Basir from India. However, it was the one that did the trick for him. "It was a conscious decision from my side. Rediffusion has a vision for future and their vision matched mine. Also, I had worked with Mahesh earlier; so, there was that comfortable factor as well."
Chauhan and Basir had worked together for Coca-Cola while at Leo Burnett.
Speaking to afaqs!, Chauhan further remarks, "I needed someone who could assist me in developing capabilities of the agency. The newly crafted profile is a fairly senior position and quite a challenging assignment."
Though Red Lounge - consolidated internal Coca-Cola marketing teams with creative, interactive, activation, PR and media functions - was started for Beijing Olympics, it continues after the Games as Coca-Cola's agency in China. However, Coca-Cola is only licensed to sell its products in China and not to make advertisements. Therefore, Red Lounge, officially, forms a part of Leo Burnett's Chinese umbrella.
Basir began his career in the advertising industry in 1995 as an account executive with Chaitra Leo Burnett (now Leo Burnett), Mumbai. He moved on to Leo Burnett China in December 2000, as a group brand director for their Shanghai office. Post Leo Burnett, Wasim was group business director at McCann Erickson, Shanghai. Here, he strategically led Coca-Cola on a successful journey to achieve preference leadership in the category and also picking up many awards. Prominent among them are the consecutive Effie's for the work done in 2005 and 2006.