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Retrospect 2003: About moves and countermoves

By , agencyfaqs! | In | January 05, 2004
What kept the advertising agencies and their media counterparts in the news throughout 2003 was not just the awards, innovations and breakthroughs. It was also its people


What kept the advertising agencies and their media counterparts in the news throughout 2003 was not just the awards, innovations and breakthroughs. It was also their people. To be precise, people movements.

Such movements, for the sake of convenience, can be grouped under three categories. People who quit for better prospects at other agencies, people who quit to set up their own agencies and people who quit to join a different industry.

Prominent among those who left an agency to join another was Preet Bedi, who quit TBWA to join Rediffusion DY&R as president in 2003. Months later Santosh Kumar Sood, executive vice-president, Lowe, joined Bedi at Rediff. Jayshree Sundar, who had quit Lowe, much before Sood did, joined Leo Burnett as Delhi head. Rajiv Agarwal, who had unexpectedly quit the post of national chief of rmg david, replaced Madhukar Kamath as head of Bates. On his part, Kamath returned to Mudra Communications as managing director and CEO as AG Krishnamurthy completed his tenure. Then 50-year-old Prabhakar Mundkur moved from Euro RSCG, where he was director, and took over as CEO, Everest. Alok Agrawal, who put in his papers as associate vice-president, Grey Worldwide, Delhi, joined Enterprise Nexus, Delhi, as branch head.

RKSwamy/BBDO made it to the headlines quite a few times in this respect. Chief operating officer Sunil Gupta quit the agency, followed some months later by executive national creative director, Deepa Kakkar. Pankaj Mridul, senior vice-president and executive national creative director, RKSwamy/BBDO, moved to Contract as Delhi chief and old advertising hand Tarun Ahuja made a comeback to the industry as vice-president, RKSwamy/BBDO.

Among the creative people who changed agencies were the two associate creative directors at O&M, Emmanuel Upputuru (copy) and Prasad Raghavan (art). They joined Saatchi & Saatchi, Delhi.

Media agencies too saw a flurry of movements. Initiative Media hand Partha Ghosh joined The Media Edge, and Andrey Purushottam left Starcom India in February 'to pursue other interests'. Anita Nayyar, who was vice-president, media, at Mudra Communications, took over as executive director, Starcom, north, bringing to an end the search for Ravi Kiran's (managing director, Starcom, west/south) counterpart in Delhi. Gita Ram replaced Mona Jain at Optimum Media Solutions (OMS). She joined OMS as head of Delhi operations. On his part, veteran media hand Satyajit Sen took a U-turn. He quit had MediaCom in 2002 to take up a senior position at Maximize, Delh. In 2003, he quit Maximize to return to MediaCom.

Others who made the headlines at the close of the year were CVL Srinivas who became managing director, Maximize India, a slot vacated by Bashab Sarkar recently. CVL Srinivas was earlier COO, north and south, Madison Media.

There were some who decided to explore their entrepreneurial side. Gullu Sen quit Rediffusion to start his own agency Blue Turtle. Ashok Jain (ex-CEO, Cadbury Schweppes) and Gangadharan Menon (better known as Ganga) launched Octane Communications. Shovon Chowdhury quit Bates and launched Street Life. Manas Chakravarty and K Ganesh, who were working at Bates before joining hands with Chowdhury, are the two co-founders of Street Life. Ex-Media Edge hand Sujit D'Souza launched LemonTree. Nikhil Nehru ex-president McCann-Erickson teamed up with Charu Bakshi and Indranil Chatterjee in their venture - INCommunications. V Sunil left O&M to launch A, a creative hotshop in Delhi. Meenakshi Madhvani, whose exit from Carat saw a slew of accounts pitching tents with rivals, launched media audit firm called Spatial Access.

A few advertising industry hands moved over to the 'other side' and to other sectors as well. Mohit Hira quit Contract, the agency he had worked at for as many as 16 years, to join The Times Of India. Charles Berley Jenarius quit Rediffusion, Delhi, to join Globacom, Nigeria. Sundeep Kumar, who was running the Delhi branch of Enterprise Nexus as director, went to Godfrey Philips India as director, corporate affairs. Kaushik Roy quit Mudra to join Reliance Infocomm as head of marketing and ex-Starcom hand Dupindera Sandhu joined Pantaloon Retail. Anand Bhardwaj, who had moved from Electrolux Kelvinator to Lowe in February, 2003, joined Hindustan Times and Mrinalini Gupta, who was vice-president, marketing, Hindustan Times, moved to Airtel.

The television industry made news towards the year-end. Aaj Tak's political editor Deepak Chaurasia joined pubcaster Doordarshan and rolled out a snazzier DD News in time for the Assembly polls. Tarun Katial, programming whiz at STAR, put in his papers. Industry speculation is that he is headed for rival Sony. Apurva Purohit resigned as president, ZEE TV, and was replaced by Sunil Khanna, who was earlier CEO, ZEE-Turner. ZEE honcho Subhash Chandra announced a restructuring across the board and gave key people additional responsibilities. Earlier, ex-ZEE hand Sandeep Goyal set up Dentsu Communications and Dentsu Marcom. Gullu Sen joined Dentsu Communications as executive vice-president and national creative director, while insisting that his own venture Blue Turtle will continue to run on its own steam. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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