Mahesh Chauhan, vice-president, Rediffusion | DYR, who is currently in charge of the agency's Bangalore operations, has been formally appointed as president of Everest Integrated Communications. He succeeds Prabhakar Mundkur, who, as reported by agencyfaqs! early yesterday afternoon, has put in his papers at the agency. Chauhan, who will be assuming office at Everest on April 12, is scheduled to leave Rediff in a couple of weeks. "In these few months, Mahesh has done a sparkling job of building dynamic team spirit among his people, and at the same time, has raised the creative standards dramatically," says Ram Sehgal, managing director, Everest Integrated Communications, in a prepared statement announcing Chauhan's appointment. "His track record, both within Ogilvy and Rediffusion | DYR, was excellent."
Chauhan, who moved to Rediffusion roughly a year-and-a-half ago (from O&M India), is clearly excited about his new assignment at Everest. "It is a lovely opportunity that has come my way, and I am looking forward to taking charge at Everest," he said, speaking to agencyfaqs! late last evening. "The assignment also brings me back to Mumbai, which is also a good thing," he adds. Speaking about his mandate at Everest, Chauhan says, "Everest has had a great history, but has lagged a bit in the last few years. The mandate I have received is to turn the place around, and bring Everest back to the position it once enjoyed in Indian advertising."
In response to a question on whether the agency can be pull off a 180-degree turn in fortunes, Chauhan replies, "Why not? Both Rediffusion and Everest have a great comparative advantage over any agency in the BAV (Brand Asset Valuator, Y&R's global planning tool). And based on the BAV, we can always come out with fantastic creative ideas that can make all the difference to the brands we handle. I also believe the agency has people brimming with ideas, so it really shouldn't be difficult turning the agency around."
Chauhan is not prepared to speak about his plans for the agency at this stage. "These are very early days for anyone to say much," he says. "I need to get into the agency and take stock of everything before arriving at a definitive course of action." What he does, however, want to do is create an agency brand out of Everest. "Although agencies advise clients on how to build brands out of their products and companies, very few agencies are focused on creating their own agency brands," he says. "I would want to create an agency brand that creates successful brands in the market. That is one objective I have set for myself. How I do it is something that I have to figure out, and will I succeed in doing it is something that remains to be seen." © 2004 agencyfaqs!