R Balakrishnan (Balki) has decided to end his advertising career. He announced his exit from MullenLowe Lintas Group India, of which he is chairman, in a statement issued 9 August 2016.
He had joined Lintas (Bangalore) in 1994.
Alex Leikikh, global CEO – MullenLowe Group, said, “Balki has been the architect of the stellar agency we have in India today. He leaves behind an operation that’s successful and future-ready, a leadership team that’s perhaps the strongest of any agency in India, and a culture that he shaped along the way while himself leading by example. While we will miss his infectiously passionate presence, we wish him even greater success as a film-maker.”
Balki said, “We’ve been planning this for some time now. It’s been a long process of succession planning that concludes with my move. The agency is at its strongest today and I leave feeling satisfied, proud and excited. We have a fine leader in Joe and two world-class creative champions in Amer and Arun. The agency has given me more than 22 years’ worth in opportunities, growth, values and most of all, some friends-for-life. There is no bigger happiness than to see a thought actually work the way you had fantasised. Lowe was a thought I am proud of. Ok...next!”
Joseph George, group CEO, MullenLowe Lintas Group, said, “It is impossible and even foolish to try and replace someone like Balki; so we planned the transition differently. As early as July 2015, we put in place, a management structure that would help us move forward as an organisation, while also maximising the potential and aspirations of great individuals we have. Balki and I have tried to think this through every step of the way, and it’s reached a place where we feel the agency is ready for today, and tomorrow.”
Balki had started his career with Mudra before moving to Lintas.