Sandeep Goyal describes the Dentsu India Group as "a child you have seen growing in front of your eyes". Having sold his 26 per cent stake in the company to joint venture partner, Dentsu Inc. of Japan (Goyal's Mogae Group, co-owned by wife Tanya Goyal, has been in a joint venture with Dentsu since October 2003), Goyal is all set to take a break. The non-compete clause he is bound by will not allow him to join another ad firm straightaway, but Goyal has other plans.
"I am going to concentrate on this food channel. I'm also contemplating foraying into broadcasting full time, but that is still some way off," says Goyal. On whether his stint in broadcasting will be an entrepreneurial venture, Goyal remarks, "There are offers I am contemplating in broadcasting. The phones are ringing, and I am also not ruling out any possibility of my own venture. But right now, I just want to take a deep breath."
Digital media continues to interest him, and he hopes to concentrate on the digital venture in association with Astro.
Goyal also plans to use the time off to author a book on his stint at Dentsu, as there was much he learnt there, which "needs to be shared." Says Goyal, "We started Dentsu from scratch and saw it grow to the size it is today. It's nice to exit when the going is good."
Some of Goyal's fondest memories during his seven years at Dentsu include working with his core team -- Gullu Sen, Ruchira Raina and Rajesh Aggarwal. "We never won businesses on a platter, contrary to what people assumed about us, with the Japanese connection and all. It was hard work all the way, and good fun," says he.
Among the projects close to his heart, Goyal recalls Aircel's Save the Tiger and the NDTV - Toyota Greenathon campaigns.
Having established 14 offices, housing nearly 500 employees across four agencies at Dentsu India, Goyal says the biggest satisfaction of entrepreneurship is "generating employment for so many people."
Goyal is also a pioneer of fantasy gaming with the launch of the Indian Fantasy League, a 50:50 JV with The Times of India Group. He is the chairman and 50 per cent owner of PR agencies, Torque Communications and Midori as well.
For the record, Goyal was group CEO at Zee Telefilms in 2001-02 and president at Rediffusion - Y&R (1997-2001), before he set up the Indian operations of Dentsu towards the end of 2003. According to company claims, Dentsu India's billings crossed Rs 1,200 crore in 2010.
From now, Tanya Goyal will function as principal advisor to Dentsu India. The Goyals' 51:49 JV with Dentsu in Dubai, Dentsu Marcom Middle East, will maintain status quo, with the management being in the hands of Mogae.