Rajesh Pant, ex-Sony Entertainment Television (SET), has joined Percept Advertising as chief executive officer. He will be based in Mumbai. While Pant confirmed the move, he said he was not ready to talk about the agency's immediate plans yet. All he would concede was, "We plan to grow madly."
Percept Advertising's incumbent CEO Navroze Dhondy was unavailable for comment on his new role under the new dispensation. Pant said Dhondy would "assume a more marketing related function" in the new scheme of things. Interestingly, during an informal conversation with agencyfaqs! last week Dhondy had indicated he would move on to a "bigger and more interesting role" within the group.
Rajesh Pant joins Percept Advertising from SET where he was chief operating officer and number two in the pecking order. Pant, who joined SET from Citicorp in Dubai (before that he was in Lintas, India, and based in Mumbai), was last year moved to take charge of the freshly formed SET Pictures division when the company decided to enter the field of film production and distribution aggressively. Pant's initial projects included international distribution of the film Mission Kashmir and Lagaan. When Pant announced his intention to quit SET a month back, he had said after the shutdown of SET's overseas film division, the rationale for staying on did not exist.
In fact, the last one year at SET had been turbulent, to say the least. Stiff competition drove revenues down and caused constant rethink in programming and organisational set-up at the company. But before Sony could set about putting the house in order came the news of some high profile departures. These were reportedly triggered off after the visit of Michael Grindon, chairman, Sony, to India in October last year, during which he reportedly unleashed a radical downsizing plan.
Rekha Nigam, senior vice-president (programming), was the first to announce her decision to quit. This was followed by the resignation of Kacon Sethi, who was executive vice-president in-charge of sales and marketing, as well as the head of Sony's Max channel. Pant was the last of the high-profile departures from the channel.
© 2002 agencyfaqs!