Obituary: Rajan Raman

By Nagesh Alai , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 17, 2015
Nagesh Alai, group chairman, FCB Ulka Group, and former president, Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI), pens down an obituary for his colleague and friend Rajan Raman.

Rajan Raman, managing director of Dattaram Advertising, passed away on Friday, November 13, 2015, after a six-month-long, valiant battle against cancer of the oesophagus.

Rajan Raman

Poignantly, the day, which happened to be Bhau Beej (or Bhai Dhuj in the North), left Lalitha and Vimala bereft of their brother. Rajan was 64 and is survived by his wife Jayashree and two daughters, Aparna and Rohini.

Rajan hailed from Trichur and obtained his Bachelors Degree in Science from SIES College, Mumbai, and a diploma in marketing and advertising from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute. He joined Dattaram Advertising in 1971, when his father, TS Raman went on his final journey.

Few would know that Dattaram Advertising is one of the oldest - (if not the oldest) - advertising agencies in India. It was set up in 1905 by a certain Mr. Limaye, as 'Dattaram & Co.', which was later bought by TS Raman, in the 1950s.

Dattaram Advertising has been a member of the AAAI for as long as one can remember; it was one of the most ethically run businesses. Yes, as a small company, it faced significant challenges of existence in the wake of the breakdown of the 15 per cent norm, but survive it did.

Along with Rajan, his sister, Lalitha had been actively involved in running Dattaram Advertising, and she will continue to run it, though she will miss Rajan sorely. They have offices in Mumbai and Chennai. Among others, they have Nirali and Emerson Power as their clients.

Rajan was a genteel soul and an amiable person, whose focus was on running a tight ship, profitably and professionally. He used to be quite distressed about poor agency remuneration practices and was quite vocal about it in various forums.

In many of our interactions, as friends, his passion for the advertising profession came through distinctly, as did his pain, with regard to the increasing difficulty of running an ad agency business.

Testament to the fact that Rajan was supportive about raising professional standards is the annual AAAI Raman Memorial Scholarship, something he established in order to recognise meritorious students of advertising and marketing.

Rajan was socially conscious and was active in associations like Rotary Club, among others.

Rest in peace, my friend.

I will miss you.

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