Ex-Madison Media hand CVL Srinivas will join Maximize India as managing director on January 2, 2004. Srinivas' appointment puts an end to the search for a successor to Bashab Sarkar, erstwhile MD of Maximize, who quit sometime ago. Speaking to agencyfaqs!, Srinivas, who was earlier COO, north and south at Madison Media, confirmed the news, saying, "I will continue to build the business of Maximize and GroupM by leveraging its strengths, which include its tools, processes, knowledge and people. My own strengths include handling large AORs and teams, which should aid in the process."
For the mechanical engineer from BITS, Pilani, who has a management degree from XLRI, Jamshedpur, the challenge of heading the agency, is huge considering that it has traditionally been in the shadow of big brother MindShare.
Formed in January 2002, the agency has over the last two years recorded media placements worth Rs 400 crore, emerging as a stable entity with an "identity" of its own. "Maximize was formed as an alternate agency to MindShare, but it needn't be a second rung agency," opines Srinivas. "It is as strong as the other agency and both can co-exist," he adds.
With brands such as Franklin Templeton, Himalaya, Hutch, Hero Honda, VIP Luggage, Allianz Bajaj and Seagram's among others, Srinivas' immediate priority will be to value add as far as the existing clients go. "My immediate priority will be to take a look at the existing clients and see how one can add value to them," he says.
Incidentally, Srinivas' ties with GroupM are historical considering that he was part of the start-up team that set up Fulcrum in 1995. Prior to his stint at Fulcrum, which extended for about four years, Srinivas spent a year at Lowe (then Lintas), working largely on brand Brooke Bond, which interestingly stayed with him during his tenure at Fulcrum as well. "I was also part of the team that did the media for HLL's Ponds brand," he had said in an earlier interview to agencyfaqs!.
At Madison, the agency he joined in mid-1998, Srinivas was first posted in Mumbai in charge of three main accounts - Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble and Godrej - which he handled for the first six months of his five-and-a-half-year-tenure at the agency. He was transferred to Delhi when Punitha Arumugam took charge of the Mumbai office in January 1999 with the brief of supervising the Coca-Cola account, which was then headquartered in the city, apart from "growing the Delhi and Bangalore branches".
During his tenure, the Delhi and Bangalore offices added prestigious clients including Perfetti, Domino's and ABN AMRO in the case of the former, while the latter picked up Nissin Foods, IFB and BPL.
"I place a high premium on the people I work with," he says about his decision to join GroupM and Maximize, in particular. "I am excited about the company as well as the people I will be working with and I am looking forward to the assignment," he adds. © 2003 agencyfaqs!