Roughly a month after resigning from the post of president at WPP Group-agency Everest Integrated Communications, Prabhakar Mundkur has joined WPP's lead agency in the country, JWT India, as business development director and member of the executive committee of JWT India. Mundkur has confirmed his move to JWT, informing agencyfaqs! that the decision was taken "last week", and that he has assumed his new responsibility "since yesterday".
It may be recalled that in end-March, Mundkur put in his papers at Everest, concluding a year-long association with the agency. Prior to his stint with Everest, Mundkur had spent four-and-a-half years at Euro RSCG India (as director and head of Euro, Mumbai), before which he had been with J Walter Thompson (both in HTA and with the worldwide network) for 16 long years. So, in a sense, Mundkur's return to JWT India marks a full circle in his 26-year career in advertising. And the veteran planner admits that JWT has always held a special place in his heart, which made the decision of accepting JWT's offer that much easier.
"I had a few options before me, which included starting a new agency network in the country and heading a media agency," Mundkur informs. However, he says he gravitated towards JWT because of the familiarity it harboured. "I have always been in touch with JWT," he elaborates. "I looked at the options I had and saw that JWT's offer was the best. Also, I wanted to work with a good company which has good people, and JWT fitted both requirements very well."
Mundkur, who will be based out of Mumbai, informs that his role as business development director is an all-India responsibility. Interestingly, the all-India position that Mundkur has just filled is a newly created one at JWT India. "No, JWT India did not previously have such an office, but the role is present in quite a few other countries in which JWT has its operations," Mundkur explains. "The creation of a centralized business development function in India is in keeping with Thompson's growth plans in India." Speaking about his immediate responsibilities, he adds, "My first responsibility will be to draw up a national-level plan and programme for new business acquisitions."
When asked whether the new role would provide adequate opportunity for the use of his strategic planning talents, Mundkur replied, "Good planning certainly comes into play when exploring new business opportunities, as pitches do require vast amounts of strategic planning inputs." Mundkur is clearly anticipating having a good time at his new (or should we say, old) agency. "I am looking forward to working with people I know. The comfort levels are high, and there's an opportunity to do something new," he smiles. © 2004 agencyfaqs!