afaqs!

Industry Reaction to Vikram Sakhuja joining Madison

By Ashwini Gangal & Prachi Srivastava , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Media Planning & Buying | April 21, 2015
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We spoke to a few media agency heads about the development. Here's what they said.

Yesterday, Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison World, made a big announcement: Vikram Sakhuja, group strategy officer of GroupM Worldwide, is all set to join the Madison Media Group as equity partner and group CEO . Madison's current CEO Gautam Kiyawat will relocate to Singapore.

The media fraternity is abuzz with comments and reactions to this news. We spoke to a few senior folk to get a sense of what the industry makes of this news.

Edited Excerpts.

Ashish Bhasin, CEO, Dentsu Aegis Network South Asia

Ashish Bhasin

I think Vikram is a thorough professional and this news is good for our industry. I am glad that he has come back to India and will be working for Madison. It will be good for Madison... he is super-professional and I like him a lot.

The way I see it, Vikram's previous and present roles are very different. When you are working for a global multinational organisation, and when you have a stand-alone independent agency to work on, the challenges are very different. No one job is easier or harder than the other.

I am sure he'll bring to this job a lot of his past learnings and the experience he gained in the WPP network. It's the experience that you gather over the years that helps you.

Sudha Natarajan, Partner, The Media Cafe

Sudha Natrajan

Vikram turning entrepreneur, and joining forces with Sam, is a wonderful and exciting development. Two big stalwarts, with their unique strengths, would make Madison a bigger and more formidable player in the market.

Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar UM

Nandini Dias

Welcome back to India. Vikram has been an important part of the Indian media industry and has been a think tank. He has added to the growth and evolution of the media industry here. We've missed him for the past year and a half. We are delighted to know of his return.

Sundeep Nagpal, founder-director, Stratagem Media

Sundeep Nagpal

I think it's a good move. Senior professionals, eventually, look forward to something like this. It's a good move from the point of view of what happens in the industry.

Sometime back, when Sam picked up share in Mediacom, it was a good thing - as an Indian agency was buying into a global entity. Now, an Indian is buying into an Indian entity itself, which is large enough.

Mallikarjun Das

This is something that happens regularly in the IT sector. Even e-shops are nothing but part ownership. I was looking forward to something like this happening in the media sector. I think this should be encouraged and heads of agencies should look into these things.

Being an employee of a global company may not be as great a feeling as owning a part of another company. Ownership has its own connotations, benefits and feelings... I say this as an entrepreneur myself.

Mallikarjun Das, CEO, Starcom MediaVest Group, India

As a media professional, all I'll say is... it's great to have someone like Vikram back in India to compete with. It'll be great. I look forward to competing with a professional like him. In our field - in media - that's the best part. So, I'd like to welcome him and wish him all the best.

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