Kaushik Mukherji quits Hungama to start Bhoomi Crop

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | March 19, 2009
The chief operating officer of Hungama quits the advertising world to launch his own brand, Bhoomi Crop

After spending 20 years in the advertising and communications industry, Kaushik Mukherji, chief operating officer, Hungama, has announced his decision to quit and start his own venture, Bhoomi Crop Private Limited.

He has worked for Hungama for the past five years and today will be his last day at the organisation. His venture, Bhoomi Crop, was incorporated a week ago and will be operating in the agriculture retail area. Mukherji has joined hands with some of his friends for the venture.

On the question of quitting the advertising world and starting a completely different venture, Mukherji says, "Starting my own business has been my dream for quite some time now and I was very clear that I wanted to do something that not only proves profitable but also engages the socio-economic aspect in some way.

Long ago, I had promised myself that I will retire by 40. I managed to do it 120 days earlier. The socio-economic aspect of participative farming and its tremendous economic value were the two reasons that pushed me into this."

His company, which Mukherji calls "the new face of West Bengal's entrepreneurship," has a three point business plan - participative farming involving land owning farmers, aggregation and distribution of crop for large format retail stores including private and government owned stores, and export of handpicked crop to neighbouring and far off markets.

The logo of Bhoomi Crop depicts a tree; the upper leafy part, made out in the form of a thumb print, depicts 'Manush' (man);the lower part (the trunk) depicts 'Prokriti' (nature). The brand identity, representing the confluence of 'Manush' and 'Prokriti', has been developed by designer and creative director Tridibesh Sanyal.

The investments in the project have been sourced from private investors and friends. The board of directors comprises eminent directors from agriculture, distribution experts, financial experts and private investors.

Mukherji says, "I find my inspiration in the Amul story. I've always been in love with the idea of organised farming but lacked the resources to kick it off. I think my experience of 20 years in building businesses and brands coupled with my organisational skills will come in very handy now."

On being asked if he feels any jitters on being on the verge of fulfilling his dream and quitting a business he has spent 20 years in, Mukherji signs off by saying, "I still find myself on afaqs! every morning and it will be difficult to get the advertising world out of me. However, I'll always be connected with the industry as a faculty. Advertising has been a deep love for me for the past 20 years and it always will be."

Over the last two decades, Mukherjee has worked across various agencies in India and overseas. He was with Contract Direct, McCann, HTA and Eventus in India and with Lowe Contexture overseas. He is the youngest member of the Globes MAA jury and the first Indian ever on its jury committee. He was the jury member of PMAA for three consecutive years in 2006, 2007 and 2008. He has won many awards such as the PMAA gold, silver, bronze and the Order of Merits.

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