As the advertising fraternity trains its eyes on the Abby Awards that is to take place in Mumbai on Sunday, Leo Burnett, Mumbai, makes way for a new national director. M Venkataraman, who was earlier director, Euro RSCG, Chennai, has joined the agency as national director and board member, and has moved to Mumbai. He has been replaced by Kaustav Das, vice-president and branch manager, Euro RSCG, Chennai.
Confirming this development to agencyfaqs!, Venkat (as he is popularly known) said, "I joined Leo Burnett on March 3 as national director and board member." He, however, refused to talk about his new brief at Leo Burnett.
The appointment of Venkat comes close on the heels of the appointment of Jayshree Sundar in January this year. Sundar, who joined Leo Burnett's Delhi office as executive director, was earlier senior associate director (on the executive board) at Lowe. In a sense, she filled up the void left by Rahul Kansal, who quit Burnett (as deputy managing director) in October 2002, to join Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd as brand director, The Times of India.
Interestingly, both Venkat and Das have had very similar career graphs. The former had quit JWT (then HTA), Bangalore, after a seven-year tenure, to help start Euro RSCG's Chennai office in 1996. It has grown, according to him, to be among the Top 5 agencies in the city since then. Informed sources peg the billing of the agency branch to around Rs 20 crore.
While at JWT, Venkat had worked on various beverage brands of Hindustan Lever and had an 18-month secondment (a temporary posting with the company on the same brands) with HLL. During his advertising career he has worked on scores of other brands from companies such as SmithKline Beecham, McDowell's, Wipro and TTK.
Das, on the other hand, started his career with Sistas (now Saathi & Saatchi) in Kolkata. He then moved to O&M, Bangalore, before joining Lowe (then Lintas) in 1995. At Lowe, he worked on HLL brands such as Kissan and some of its oil brands. Like Venkat he did a secondment with HLL for a brief period. He shifted to Chennai in 2001 after joining Mudra, and then moved to RK Swamy/BBDO in September 2002 as general manager.
Last month he took charge of Euro RSCG's Chennai operations. The branch handles key accounts like HDFC Bank (credit card), CavinKare (Nyle, Chik and Meera soap), Hatsun Dairies (Komata milk), Parryware (new brand), and the Sumeet range of mixers and grinders. © 2003 agencyfaqs!