Ajit Shah, president, Everest Integrated Communication, has put in his papers. He moves on after 22 years in the agency where he joined as a management trainee in 1979. Shah confirmed his decision to move on but refused to talk about his next destination. "January 31 would be my last day in office. I have not decided what I would be doing next. All I would like to say at this point in time is I want to take it easy for a couple of months now," Shah told agencyfaqs!.
Shah joined Everest in 1979 after a brief stint at Hindustan Times, when the agency's Delhi branch was being set up. In 1991, Shah moved to take charge of the agency's Mumbai office when Munawar Sayeed (managing director) and Ali Merchant (deputy managing director) left the agency to form Triton Advertising. Interestingly, another Mumbai agency iB&W was also set up by an ex-Everest hand Mukesh Gupta.
After an eight-year stint at the agency's Mumbai branch, Shah returned to Delhi in 1999. Under him, Everest's Delhi office, which contributed around Rs 20 crore to the agency's billing in 1999, more than doubled its turnover to stand at around Rs 45 crore now. Among its major clients in Delhi are Honda two-wheelers and cars, Panasonic appliances, Godfrey Phillips India. The agency's big clients in Mumbai include Parle Biscuits, Parle Agro and Bombay Chemicals. Industry observers say that Everest has traditionally focused on building long-standing relationships with clients. Interestingly, Everest has held the Parle G account since 1946, the same year that both companies started.
Shah indicated while he was leaving the advertising agency he would like to remain part of the industry where he's put in 22 years of his career. "I am just trying to get out of the day-to-day management part of the agency business. Hopefully, in a month or two, I will come back into the core of the advertising and marketing business," he says.
When contacted agency insiders were quick to rule out the possibility of instability. They pointed out that Ram Sehgal, who joined the agency in October last year, continues to be a member of the board in his capacity as managing director. For the record, Everest's Delhi branch will continue to be managed by vice-president Navin Saraswat, who joined the agency around six months back. © 2002 agencyfaqs!