afaqs!

Ex-MD of Synovate, Alok Shanker is no more

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | October 10, 2008
The market researcher had been battling with cerebral cancer for the past two years

Alok & #BANNER1 & # Shanker, ex- managing director of Synovate, passed away on October 6, 2008. Shanker was suffering from cerebral cancer for the past two years and succumbed to the disease. He was 51 years old.

Shanker was responsible for the phenomenal growth of Blackstone Market Facts, India (BMFI). Later, when Synovate acquired Blackstone Market Facts, Shanker was the managing director of Synovate until December 2007, when he stepped down due to his health.

At the time, Paru Minocha, who was director at Synovate stepped into Shanker's shoes. But she did not use the room that Shanker had occupied.

Alok Shanker
Shanker was expected to resume work in 2008. Talks about him resuming in April were on, but his health did not allow it.

Minocha, incidentally, has never had any boss apart from Shanker. She started her career as a trainee with ORG MARG in 1995, when Shanker hired her. From there, she moved to BMFI and then to Synovate when BMFI was taken over, as Shanker did. She has been in close association with the market researcher.

"His enthusiasm and ambition to succeed are the two most important things that I have learnt from Alok," says an understandably grieving Minocha. She attributes to him the foresight to see new and future trends that would soon affect the industry.

He was seen as someone who created an environment of growth for those who worked with him. Madhurima Bhatia, head marketing and communications for Synovate, India says that Shanker was a very humble person; and even returned every call that was made to him. He was also very easy to approach, and thus, drove growth in the organisation.

"He was a very jovial person, full of energy and always thinking about work," says Bhatia.

Apart from Synovate and Blackstone Market Facts, Shanker also held senior appointments with ACNielsen and IMRB. He started his career with Gallup in 1982.

Shanker is survived by his wife, who is a teacher and a homemaker, and his two college going children.

Pay your tributes to Alok Shanker.