Sumita Vaid

O&M, Delhi, in growth overdrive; picks N Ramesh as creative director

The agency has hired N Ramesh – ex-national creative resource, Lowe – as creative director, O&M, Delhi, and is targeting growth at four times the industry’s pace

The Delhi office of O&M India is buzzing with hive-like activity. Not at all surprising, considering the bureau has added some forty pairs of arms and legs, at various levels, in the last three months: thirty-three in the advertising business, and seven in other disciplines, to be precise. This sudden influx in human resource is easily accounted for - LG Electronics. The agency has dedicated considerable talent, both in account management and creative, to the prized Korean client, so 11 ad films for the brand within days of winning the business comes as no surprise.

O&M, it appears, is committed to giving LG the "true Ogilvy creative experience". And to help it on its way, the agency has hired N Ramesh - ex-national creative resource, Lowe - as creative director, O&M, Delhi. Speaking about Ramesh's appointment, Vibha Desai, executive director, O&M Delhi, animatedly says, "Ramesh is a great guy and a wonderful addition to O&M. O&M is known for its fabulous creative work, and we expect Ramesh to maintain that tradition." (Purely for the record, Ogilvy's Delhi office won 19 international awards last year, which, Desai feels, is probably more than those won by the next five Delhi agencies put together!)

A dropout of the Ken School of Arts, Bangalore, Ramesh started his advertising career at Everest Integrated Communications, Bangalore, in 1985. In 1989, he moved to Enterprise Nexus, where he spent eight years working his way up to creative director level. The brands and accounts that he worked on at Nexus include Standard Chartered, the Leela Group of Hotels, Britannia, Compaq, Van Heusen, Titan and Calida. He moved to Ambience Advertising, Mumbai, as creative director in 1998, where he led a 42-member creative team on brands such as TVS-Suzuki, Parle, Godrej, Marico Industries and Lakme.

Ramesh then moved to Kenya for a one-year project with Lowe, which involved launching Coca-Cola in East Africa and revamping the image of Tusker Beer. Upon his return to India, he was appointed as national creative resource at Lowe. A thoroughbred Bangalorean to the core, Ramesh may be finding it tough countering the harsh Delhi winter, but there's no doubting he is warming to the challenges in store for him at Ogilvy.

While Ramesh is rubbing his hands in anticipation of doing some good work, the Delhi office is anticipating substantial growth this calendar year (Jan-Dec 2004), especially in light of the two big wins last year - LG and the Rs 20-crore advertising duties of Hindustan Times. Staying true to the WPP diktat of keeping financials under the lid, Desai merely gives an idea of the projected rate of growth. "What I can say is that we are targeting growth at a pace three to four times greater than that at which the advertising industry is growing." The latter, according to market estimates, is between 7 to 8 per cent.

It's not just the advertising business that has brought cheer to O&M, Delhi. Desai reveals there has been healthy growth in the other disciplines as well. Ogilvy Interactive, OgilvyOne, Ogilvy Signscapes (the new division that straddles retail advertising, merchandising and signage solutions) and Ogilvy Healthcare have all contributed considerably to the agency's growth, she says. And the focus for 2004 will be tourism, the government sector, social and healthcare. And consolidation of the LG business, of course. © 2004 agencyfaqs!

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