Obituary: R K Swamy BBDO's Fabian Gonsalves passes away

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 29, 2013
An advertising veteran of 25 years, Gonsalves spent the past two decades at R K Swamy BBDO. He is fondly remembered by his agency peers and clients as a committed professional and thorough gentleman.

Fabian Gonsalves, 50, partner, R K Swamy BBDO (Mumbai), is no more. He passed away on January 25 after a sudden illness. He is survived by his wife and two children, a son and a daughter.

Fabian Gonsalves

A client servicing professional, Gonsalves joined R K Swamy BBDO in 1991 and went on to spend over two decades at the agency. His professional 'sweet spot', as his colleagues put it, was banks and financial institutions; he handled accounts such as SBI, Union Bank, SIDBI, SEBI, NABARD, Dena Bank, RBI and IndusInd.

Speaking fondly of Gonsalves, Shekar Swamy, group chief executive officer, R K Swamy Hansa, says in an internal note that was circulated within the agency soon after the veteran's demise, "Never one to whine, he handled many complex and detailed projects for these (aforementioned) clients. He did the work with extreme calm, a ready smile and a funny quip at all times. We will miss a good friend, ever willing to help at any time, and a true 'R K Swamy-ite'. Fabian was R K Swamy and R K Swamy was Fabian. I will miss him."

When he started out at R K Swamy BBDO, Gonsalves worked at FinHans, the group's arm that handled public issues, where he spearheaded many IPOs.

Fondly recalling how good Gonsalves was at maintaining client relationships, Sangeetha Narasimhan, president (West) and executive creative director, R K Swamy BBDO, says, "Fabian was very soft spoken. He had a British gentlemanly way about him. I don't know anyone who ever got angry or upset with him. He was such a decent person."

Clients remember Gonsalves for his professionalism, innovative thinking and helpful nature. Speaking to afaqs!, Balakrishnan Mahadevan, chief operating officer, National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), says, "I've known Fabian for almost two years. He was a fine, focused professional who was always willing to listen. He was very open, always willing to experiment."

Mahadevan particularly recalls a project that Gonsalves' team carried out for the brand sometime back. "It was a tough deadline for a product launch. Fabian ensured it got done within the given time frame. This shows his commitment and level of professionalism. He always went the extra mile to meet customers' requirements. He had in abundance the very qualities that are fast disappearing in today's management boards," he reminisces.

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