Tuesday, April 12, 2005

There lived this certain man... In Madurai long ago

An MBA degree from a little known The American College (Aut), Madurai and Rs. 2700 was all this young Turk had when he came to an unknown metropolis in his language, Chennai. Three teas down, fixed a job up for him without a pay. Prime Sites, didn’t take too much of a time to understand what outdoor is and what the value of money is. The quest to earn some money as he was learning about advertising got Flame into his life. A small agency, its landmark achievement being its fortunate presence next to the Kapalishwarar Temple in Mylapore. Flame taught this little man advertising the hard way. Overseeing a 4+1 colour printing the second day he joined, trying to pitch for businesses 2 months later didn’t baulk his confidence down, mad ad world was his enthusiastic reaction. Winning the World Gold Council “Gold mela” event account did lots to his confidence. He was slowly learning the nuances of advertising.

Head on collision – That’s what changed his life. An accident on the way to Madurai gave him 2 months, the time he took to think ahead in life. Challenging brands, more money, and visibility for himself – His priorities that time. He moved ahead… Moulis Euro RSCG happened as quick as his broken bones healed. Great opportunity, servicing public sector accounts and also handling a serial they were producing. Lucky him a friend of the agency produced a movie. Learned how tough it was producing a movie, from a hands distance. Six months the public sector clients weren’t quite a challenge, movies and TV weren’t quite impressive a career.

“Thompson doesn’t knock your door twice” – Thus spake a Sr. VP at JWT (HTA those days). He grabbed the opportunity with both his hands when it did knock – gaining a place at HTA – Chennai, loosing a month’s salary at his existing place. Enjoyed life at Thompson’s for a little below 2 years. Launching Sify.com, working on two fertilizer brands, a newspaper, Telecom Company, an AIDS awareness project and the tea board of India.

Was quite interesting and good till he heard that an agency handing a consumer durable account in Chennai was looking out for an Account Executive. Rediff, Chennai was a place he knew, he did his projects there. From Thompson’s he moved there to handle Thomson, the consumer electronics brand. Started growing in life to handle AirTel south, three circles quite a challenge to handle. This was when Drayton Bird flew thro his life, thanks to his website. Direct marketing attracted him and so did OgilvyOne, Chennai.

From AirTel to Hutch was how he saw his entry into Ogilvy. Near two years and telecom, financial products, industrial products and some retail clients. Acquisition to retention till win back was what his 2 years were. Moving on in life he completed a full circle to come back outdoor the place where he started – Ogilvy Activation. This time a more elaborate setup, an Out of Home setup – handling events, promotions, outdoor and signages. Continues handling Hutch, planning for the division in a small way and some new business acquisition.

It took all of 6 years to realize that life is a full circle.

Having played for his college and in the Madurai Cricket league’s I division are his boasting points. So, when not working he also tries playing some serious cricket for his office. Acting as if he is the wicket keeper for his team, diving after missed catches and falling down when he misses a stumping are his favourite pastime.

Ian Anderson, Jethro Tull influenced him learn to play the flute, which he tries to master.

God save his flute.

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