Erstwhile head of Ogilvy & Mather India, Ranjan Kapur, has been appointed as WPP country manager, India. The appointment is with immediate effect, and was communicated to all the WPP units in the country last evening. Kapur will act as group ambassador representing WPP interests in India to help facilitate business development, and orchestrate relevant cross-company activity between WPP companies. Kapur has confirmed the news of his new appointment to agencyfaqs!, saying, "It is a WPP ambassador's job, which will help me stay connected with the business, and keep me alive and kicking and in tune with the times and the industry."
The appointment, at this juncture, is non-executive in nature, which means Kapur has not been entrusted with any executive responsibilities involving any of WPP's units currently operational in the country. To quote Kapur, "It is not a front-end job. The brief is not to oversee operations, but to make sure there is a continuous cooperation between WPP units. The idea is to harness efficiencies of scale, and help in identifying new markets and business prospects for the group. I shall also be providing assistance and counsel to the various WPP companies as and when necessary, and more importantly, as and when I am asked for it. My role in my involvement with any of the WPP units will be more in the capacity of a consultant, if I may use that word."
For the record, the WPP companies that Kapur mentions include, JWT India, O&M India, MindShare, MediaEdge: CIA, Contract Advertising, Rediffusion | DYR, Everest Integrated Communications, Bates India, Equus Red Cell, IMRB, Quadra Advisory, Portland Outdoor, Sudler & Hennessey, 141 and Wunderman, among others.
Kapur, who succeeds the late Shunu Sen as WPP country manager, India, reveals that WPP's chief Sir Martin Sorrel had put forth the proposal some two months ago. "Martin offered me the responsibility the last time he was in India," says Kapur. "I liked it, but I wanted some time for myself immediately after my retirement, so we sat on it for a while. But over the last couple of weeks we have resolved what he felt about the responsibility, and what I wanted from the job." Kapur, who is also on Ogilvy's Asia-Pacific steering committee looking into the agency network's subsidiaries, adds that he will continue to be on the Ogilvy steering committee. "Martin, Miles Young (Ogilvy & Mather's Asia-Pacific chairman, who is also heading the Ogilvy steering committee) and I have discussed everything, and I shall stay on the Ogilvy committee, which is independent of the new WPP responsibility," he says.
Speaking about the country manager's role, Kapur says, "What is nice about it is that it is not a nine-to-five job. It is a part-time responsibility, which allows me to write, paint and enjoy my twilight zone. After calling it quits after forty years of hard work, the last thing I want to do is commit myself to work one hundred per cent," he laughs. "Yes, it is going to be a full-time thing mentally and I will be busy, but I will still have time for myself." © 2004 agencyfaqs!First Published : March 12, 2004