It's not all good news at HTA's Delhi office. Three senior executives put in their papers on Friday, May 10. They were Jishnu Sen, associate vice-president and client services director, Bindu Sethi, national planning director, and Ajit Kohli, vice-president and commercial director.
Confirming the development, Kamal Oberoi, president, HTA, told agencyfaqs!, "We parted company last Friday. While they were all very senior people, it does not affect the agency in any way. Replacements will be found in due course." Of the three, Sethi and Kohli were unavailable for comment. When Jishnu Sen was contacted, all he would say was, "Yes, I have put in my papers. No, we don't plan to start our own venture. All I would say is I have to move on. And I genuinely believe HTA is a fantastic agency. It has done a lot for my career - whatever I am today is because of HTA."
The news came as a bit of a shock in the capital's agency circle as all three have been at HTA for, as one Top 5 agency executive puts it, "donkey's years". While Sethi and Kohli have spent close to 15 years each at the agency, Sen has had two stints at HTA - the first one spanning nine years and another two years in his second stint.
Given that, it's not surprising the news has spread in most HTA offices across the country. Informal conversations we had with HTA's various offices seem to indicate the three resignations are not really three disparate events. A senior official at HTA's Delhi office had this to say, "They were planning to be together in a start-up whenever it took shape later this year. Well, that didn't make sense for us."
When pressed for details, he directed us to agency honcho Mike Khanna's office in Mumbai. Unfortunately, Khanna was not available for comment. But information gathered from senior sources in HTA, Mumbai, reveal the trio were found working with ex-HTA hand Sunil Gupta (who was senior vice-president and general manager, HTA, Mumbai, before he put in his papers December last) on his new outfit, which is to take off very soon. "This was unacceptable to the agency and things came to a head last weekend. They were let go with immediate effect," says our source.
When contacted in Delhi, Sunil Gupta refused to be drawn into the controversy. "I wouldn't like to say anything about this development as I don't know enough about it," was all he willing to proffer. © 2002 agencyfaqs!