Recognising the elephants

By Rashmi Menon , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 23, 2012
Anant Rangaswami's maiden book discusses long present issues in the Indian advertising industry, with solutions for them.

Anant Rangaswami, consulting editor, First Post recently released his maiden book, 'The Elephants in the Room: The future of advertising in India, 2016,' based on the advertising industry in the country. However, unlike other books in the genre, the book is available only in digital format and can be freely downloaded online. Incidentally, the cover page of the book was designed by his daughter, Anya Rangaswamy, an NID graduate whom he has mentioned in the dedications. "I gave a brief to her and she delivered it to satisfaction," he proudly states.

The Elephants in the Room

Anant Rangaswami

Cashing on the popular metaphorical idiom, his maiden book discusses the persistent problems faced by the advertising industry in India and gives solutions to them. Written more in a blog style, the book's conversational tone highlights problems in talent, remuneration, future of the network agency, business viability, and so on. In short, it aims to provoke debate. In fact, the book began due to provocation.

"I am passionate about this subject and have written weekly and fortnightly columns on it. But the time span in reading a column is less and by the time a new one comes, people forget about the issues raised in the previous one. So, I thought if my concerns were real, they required deeper introspection. I wanted the book to enable people to speak about problems in their business," he adds.

So, how did the idea of authoring a book come about? The decision to write a book was not a long drawn out plan, rather an attempt to put his thoughts about the industry in some kind of order. Besides, life in an era made it easier, he adds. "I didn't have to worry about the publisher, as I thought I could publish it myself. That drove me to write the book," he reveals. That, and the realisation that most of the top ad agency stalwarts would be retired by 2016 (hence the mention in the title). "It would be interesting to see the impact when the next generation takes over. How will they deal with the change," states Rangaswami, who feels that the book has turned out as more or less what he set out to do.

Currently working with Firstpost, Rangaswami began working on the e-book in June, 2011. He says, "The book gives prescriptions to the problems suffered by the Indian ad industry. So, the book is relevant to the Indian market. The e-book is targeted at not only the people who work in the industry but also the users of the industry," he says. Speaking about his future plans, Rangaswami says he does not intend to write another book soon as he hasn't found the 'trigger' yet.

"I will spend the coming weekend proof reading the book,"

he says.

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