Senior execs quit Fountainhead, start Brand Portrait

By , agencyfaqs! | In | September 10, 2004
Raj Narain, Venu Gopal Nair and Subhash Bhokre leave Fountainhead

Chennai-based advertising agency Fountainhead Communications is passing through a bit of troubled times.

Late last week, some of the senior management executives of
the agency left to start a new advertising agency, Brand Portrait.

Members of the break-away group include Raj Narain, Fountainhead Chennai's former unit head; Venu Gopal Nair, VP Creative; Subhash Bhokre, associate creative director; and Taffline, account supervisor.

Narain has been with Fountainhead, Chennai for almost 9 years now and has
worked on brands like Fairever, Nyle shampoo, Ramco Systems, Aircel Cellular and Dishnet DSL among others. Prior to Fountainhead, Raj was with The Times of India group and also has had stints in sales at various FMCG and durable companies.

Venu Gopal Nair, a 20 year old veteran in the advertising business, has won several awards for his work at Saatchi, Mudra, RK Swamy and Fountainhead. Venu has worked on brands like TI Cycles, Color Plus, Trigger Jeans, Fairever, Nyle Shampoo, Ramco Systems and Dishnet DSL among others.

Subhash Bhokre, an art school graduate, started his career with RK Swamy and then moved to Clarion (now Bates). One of the founding members of Fountainhead, Subhash has created some of the most memorable work for Ramco Cement, Ramco Systems, Dishnet DSL, Nyle and Fairever. Taffline, a post graduate from the National Institute of Technology, has worked on Nyle, Dishnet DSL and Ramco Systems accounts.

Nair says, "Brand Portrait marks the beginning of an advertising agency that believes advertising needs reinvention. Clients have tried, without much success, to get agencies to move away from the press campaign, TV commercial, outdoor mindset that seems to pervade most agencies when asked for a communication solution.".

Joining Nair in the conversation, Raj Narain adds, "Brand Portrait is in the business for only one reason - to help its clients succeed. The agency will be successful only after that objective is achieved. This will translate into taking huge but calculated risks to break away from the straightjackets of convention."

Billed as an agency with a fresh point of view, Nair promises that "All conventions of an organization will be thrown out of the window at Brand Portrait. There will be no hierarchies, and no designations for anybody. There won't be any cabins as well to ensure that there's a free-flow of ideas."

Meanwhile, Suresh Pillai, managing director, Fountainhead, told agencyfaqs! that the agency was not a bit alarmed about the spate of resignations. "It's only four people out of the 85 employees that Fountainhead has. And, we haven't lost a single account because of this," he says.

Fountainhead's client list includes Madras Cements, Dishnet DSL, Aircel Cellular, Ramco Systems, Citifinancial, among others. The agency has billings of Rs 32 crore and has offices at Chennai, Bangalore and Coimbatore.

"It's a good thing that some of my erstwhile colleagues have decided to move on, and set up their own agency. I wish them well. If Fountainhead is known to be the birthplace of creativity, it will be great...," Pillai adds.

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