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N Krishnan steps down as COO, TBWA India; Niraj Dadoo takes over

Dadoo comes in from McCann Worldgroup Indonesia, where he was working in a similar capacity

N Krishnan, shareholder, chief operating officer and chief financial officer, TBWA India, has decided to end his tenure at the agency. Niraj Dadoo has been roped in to take his place at the agency as COO and CFO. He will report to Shiv Sethuraman, chief executive officer, TBWA India Group and Darren Jackson, CFO, TBWA Asia Pacific.

It may be recalled that TBWA Worldwide acquired complete stake in TBWA Anthem, after which the local shareholders George John and Kurien Matthews moved out of the agency last year. N Krishnan was the only partner remaining with the agency.

N Krishnan steps down as COO, TBWA India; Niraj Dadoo takes over
Dadoo comes in from McCann Worldgroup Indonesia, where he was involved in a similar capacity. He was with the agency for four years. A veteran in the financial space, he is a chartered accountant by profession and began his career in Mumbai about two decades ago as a consultant with banks such as Citibank and Grindlays.

He has worked with Euro RSCG, Mumbai as regional controller, IMEA (India, West Asia and Africa) for about two years. He has also been with Ducont, a software corporation specialising in mobile and Internet software. He was with Ducont for about five years and held the designation of executive director and CFO when he left the company.

Talking about balancing between hard core financials and advertising, Dadoo says that he finds the two quite similar. "The finance and advertising industries are both service industries, with the cost based on the effort of the people and the revenue based on serving the client. Considering the person that I am – interested in learning how various industries work – my career has lent me some good practical exposure."

In a press release to the media, Sethuraman says, "Krishnan does not need a certificate from me, or anyone else for that matter, for all the great work he has done for TBWA over the last 20 years. He is one of the pillars on which this agency was built and I wish him all the success moving forward.

"Dadoo has a fantastic track record, a great reputation and a deep desire to make things happen. This is an important phase in the journey of the organisation and I am certain he will play a vital role in taking us to the next level."

Jackson adds that Dadoo's experience in establishing McCann in an adverse climate in Indonesia will be a great advantage in the current environment and his insightful leadership will be a true benefit as the agency takes on the future challenges in India.

For the record, George John set up Anthem in 1988. The three partners at that time included George John (85 per cent stakeholder), Kurien Matthews (holding 10 per cent) and N Krishnan (holding 5 per cent). In 1998, TBWA Worldwide acquired 51 per cent stake in the agency from John to form TBWAAnthem, while Matthews and Krishnan held their respective 10 and 5 per cent.

In 2003, John took the decision to drop Anthem from the agency's name, and the agency came to be known as TBWA India. John, scheduled to retire from the agency in 2006, had to postpone his decision to 2008.

It was decided that all stakeholders would sell their stakes – John and Matthews were there till September 2008, after which John has served the agency in an advisory capacity. According to sources, Matthews, who has been in advertising for about 25 years, was supposed to take up a role for the Indian counterpart of Strawberry Frog, which is looking at stepping into India.

With the decision of all stakeholders to sell their stakes, Shiv Sethuraman was brought on board as chief executive officer in June 2008 to take charge of the agency. At that time, N Krishnan had continued as chief operating officer and chief financial officer.

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