S Yesudas quits Media Direction

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | May 12, 2009
After spending 17 years in media, Yesudas has decided to move on, wishing to pursue things on his own

S Yesudas, chief executive officer, R K Swamy Media Group (Media Direction, Hansa Media Services, Digital Direction, Radio Direction and Hansa Outdoor) has put in his papers. He joined the company as chief operating officer in February 2006, and in the first year itself, rose to the position of chief executive officer.

Presently, his position lies vacant, though the agency has various regional heads. Yesudas did not comment on his next move, but says, "I'd like to pursue things on my own. I decided to move on purely out of personal reasons."

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Yesudas has spent over 17 years in media. He began his career in media in 1991, with daCunha Associates. His career also includes a stint at Trikaya Grey. His previous assignment was with Initiative, which he had joined in August 1995. He served the company in various capacities, before being chosen to launch Insight, a media agency from the group.

He ran Insight as its executive vice-president, in addition to launching a media consulting wing, Media Futures and a digital cell, Digital Initiatives. He also partnered with an OOH operator to launch a joint venture, Aaren Initiative. During his eight-year stint in India with the group, his work spanned various brands, ranging from FMCG to durables.

Then began his international stint in Nairobi, where he joined Initiative in the East African Region as its regional director. He was also given the responsibility for Draft Worldwide as its managing director. Yesudas brought in significant changes in the audience measurement system and developed alternative channels of communication in the region, which was well appreciated internally and externally. His contribution to the agency also included various new businesses, mainly Coca-Cola, in 14 more countries of Africa with the hub in Nairobi.

This was followed by an assignment in Indonesia as the business advisor (director) for Initiative. In this assignment, his tasks were to manage relationships with existing clients and grow the company's business. The relationship with Coke in Jakarta helped Initiative Jakarta get the business of Nestlé during his stint. Other businesses, such as Robina Corp (snacks), were also added during his leadership. In addition, he built a model of mutually beneficial relationships with media owners for providing them insightful analysis of research data. After successful accomplishment of the organisational objectives, he decided to move back to India.

In India, he joined Media Direction and was responsible for the relaunch of the company and helping the organisation get a place in the media specialists' map. His achievements include new business gains of close to US$ 80 million; the successful launch of the digital wing, Digital Direction; launch of Hansa Media Services (conflict brand) and Radio Direction (radio specialisation); talent induction/development and development of systems, tools and processes.

Apart from this, he was nominated as one of the three managers across Asia Pacific for Business Development Person of the year award by Media, HK, in 2003. He has been a jury member at the Indian Ad Club for the media effectiveness awards. He was also a jury member for the Outdoor Association's outdoor awards in 2005. Currently, he sits on the media committee of Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well the newly constituted media forum of AAAI.