Srinivasan K Swamy, popularly known as Sundar in the advertising fraternity, is well known for his philanthropy. He manages a hospital that caters to the economically underprivileged, runs educational institutions, apart from devoting time for his mainstay -- running a large communications business as chairman of the RK Swamy Hansa Group.
Come Wednesday, Sundar, who is also the global president of the International Advertising Association (IAA), will don a new attire. The tall advertising man will walk the ramp for the first ever time to promote a cause of saving the flood affected handloom workers in Kerala, at the 44th IAA World Congress in Kochi. India is hosting the global event for the first ever time.
Joining him in this endeavour are other advertising and media biggies from India and abroad. They include Nandini Dias, CEO, Lodestar Universal, Megha Tata, the managing director (designate) for Discovery communications, India and South Asia, Janak Sarda, managing director, Deshdoot, Abhishek Karnani, director, Free Press Journal and global IAA heavyweights like Beatrice Cox-Riesenfelder, managing director of ORF-Enterprise, the commercial arm of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF, Joel Edmund Nettey, the founder and CEO of Ghana-based The Ninani Group, Dagmara Szulce, MD, IAA Global among others.
This crew of senior executives are walking the ramp to send out one loud message to the industry and the world at large about #SaveTheLoom, a nonprofit community group to revive, restore, and restructure the handloom industry.
In August 2018, when the state of Kerala was hit by the worst floods in recent history, the waters completely ravaged the hamlet of Chendamangalam, known for its rich textile heritage.
The floods left over 350 weavers and allied workers unemployed and disheartened – their looms, yarn, material and stock were in a state beyond repair. Moreover, Chendamangalam, a traditional weaving centre with a geographical indication tag was among the few bastions that's keeping the rich tradition of Indian handlooms afloat.