Newsmakers of 2014: Voices In The News

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 20, 2015
Some of the most quotable quotes of 2014.

"Will I ever accept the position of chairman at any other WPP company? No way. I have never given a damn about regional jobs. They are 'distant' and 'administrative'." - Piyush Pandey, executive chairman and creative director, South Asia, Ogilvy & Mather

Piyush Pandey

Priya Nair

Context: When Ogilvy's NCD, and Pandey's nephew, Abhijit Avasthi decided to move on from Ogilvy, the question on everyone's mind was: 'What if he joins a rival network?' While Avasthi said he wouldn't do so, skeptics wondered about the possible lure of a regional post. When asked about the possibility, Pandey likened taking up a regional job to becoming 'non-playing captain' of one's team, something he is confident his "boys" - Avasthi and Rajiv Rao - are not interested in. He has, he says, taught them better than to long for creatively dry regional positions.

"I met this young girl in Bihar who went to the nearest mobile recharge shop and downloaded 100 songs on her phone. People from these regions are willing to pay for entertainment. The idea for Kan Khajura Tesan kept building from there." - Priya Nair, executive director, home care, Hindustan Unilever

Context: HUL created waves with Kan Khajura Tesan, an on-demand, entertainment channel on the mobile platform. After the innovation fetched accolades - three Gold and one Bronze - at Cannes Lions 2014, we interviewed HUL's Nair to find out how the idea germinated. She explained that rural consumers have far fewer entertainment choices compared to their urban counterparts, and are hence, more than willing to avail the kind of content offered on KKT.

"Organisations come and organisations go, but people matter the most. On your deathbed, you're not going to think, 'Did I win a Cannes Gold?' or 'Did I become CEO of Mudra?'" - Pratap Bose, former COO, DDB Mudra Group, and former CEO, Mudra Max

Pratap Bose

Partho Dasgupta

Context: In April 2014, Bose resigned from DDB Mudra. He didn't land the CEO's job at the agency as was expected, because Madhukar Kamath, group CEO and managing director, DDB Mudra Group, was given a four-year extension. Bose was faced with two options at the time: to wait another four years for the top job or move on. He chose the latter. When we interviewed him in the wake of his decision, he gave a rather existential spin to the whole deal by saying it's more about the lives one has touched than about fancy job titles.

"We are called a research company, but BARC is a technology-enabled company." - Partho Dasgupta, CEO, Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India

Context: BARC is touted as the next big thing in Indian television. And Dasgupta is the man at the helm of affairs. When we spoke to him for a recent cover story, he told us that stakeholders in the industry were not happy with the existing data, in terms of its transparency, sample size and most importantly, investment in technology. The backbone of BARC's system, he said, is technology. In fact, 76 per cent of BARC's initial investment has been earmarked for technology alone.

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