Wasim Basir, group executive vice-president, Rediffusion Y&R, will exit the agency by the end of September. Basir had joined the agency in July 2008 in Mumbai, and was responsible for key businesses, new initiatives and the various verticals of the agency. Four months earlier, Basir had shifted base to Rediff Delhi.
Prior to joining Rediffusion, he was based in China for eight years, and his last assignment there had been as managing director, Red Lounge - a Coca-Cola venture created especially for the Beijing Olympic Games.
On moving out of Rediffusion - and India - Basir remarks, "I am leaving India for personal reasons which are unavoidable, and like I told Mahesh (Chauhan) at Rediff, I am not quitting this job but being pulled away from it!"
Basir has about 15 years of experience, having started at Chaitra Leo Burnett (now Leo Burnett) in Mumbai in 1995 as an account executive. He also helped open up the Kolkata office of the agency, following which he handled the Coca-Cola account for the agency in Delhi. In 2000, Basir moved on to Leo Burnett China as group brand director for its Shanghai office.
Subsequently, he joined McCann Erickson, Shanghai as group business director. At McCann, he strategically led Coca-Cola on a successful journey to achieve preference leadership in the category and also picked up many awards, prominent among which are the consecutive Effies for the works done in 2005 and 2006.
The Red Lounge initiative for Coca-Cola soon followed, and Basir spent two years there, before heading back to India (and Rediffusion).
On the time spent at Rediff, Basir sums up, "Rediffusion has a deep sense of where the industry is headed and the agency is truly future-ready, with a strong set up and verticals in place. I will miss it."
For the record, less than a month ago, Rohit Misra, president, Rediffusion Y&R, had also moved out of the agency.