Campaign India Team
Sep 12, 2013

Increasing knowledge capital, giving back and engaging industry, improving processes on awards: Pratap Bose, president, The Ad Club, lists priorities

‘If clients are more involved, agencies will follow’, says Bose; takes over thanking Shashi Sinha for his immense contribution; new office bearers announced

Increasing knowledge capital, giving back and engaging industry, improving processes on awards: Pratap Bose, president, The Ad Club, lists priorities

The Ad Club has announced its new office bearers including its president for the next term, Pratap Bose, COO, DDB Mudra Group.

In conversation with Campaign India, Bose acknowledged the immense contribution made by past presidents Shashi Sinha of Lodestar UM and Dr Bhaskar Das of Zee Group (with BCCL when president of The Ad Club).

He said, “In the last six years, a lot has been done by the leadership of The Ad Club (then Advertising Club Bombay). I thank Shashi for driving the agenda for the last two years with his characteristic sense of maturity, his ability to handle situations with a lot of aplomb and complete transparency. People admire him for his stature and credibility. In his own way, he did whatever needed to be done without hogging the limelight. Shashi and Bhaskar(Das) before him have led like statesmen and set standards for the Club.”

He also acknowledged the backbone of the Club, the secretariat led by COO Bipin Pandit.

On the current set of office bearers and managing committee members, Bose added, “There is a lot of respect for each other among all the members of the group that will run The Ad Club - and that is when a lot of good work gets done.”

The team that took over beginning 10 September 2013 is as follows:

Office Bearers:

  • Pratap Bose, COO, DDB Mudra Group (president)
  • Ajay Kakar, CMO, Aditya Birla Group - Financial Services (vice president)
  • Raj Nayak, CEO, Colors (secretary)
  • Ajay Chandwani, director Percept Group (joint secretary)
  • Umesh Shrikande, CEO, Taproot India (treasurer)

Immediate past president:

  • Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar UM

Managing Committee:

  • Dr Bhaskar Das, CEO - news cluster, Essel Group
  • Harit Nagpal, MD and CEO, Tata Sky
  • Josy Paul, chairman and chief creative officer, BBDO India
  • Kunal Jeswani, chief digital officer, O&M
  • Punitha Arumugam, director - agency business, Google India
  • Ravi Rao, leader - South Asia, Mindshare
  • Rohit Ohri, chairman, Dentsu India Group

Co-opted members:

  • Prasanth Mohanachandran, founder and CEO, AgencyDigi
  • Sunil Lulla, CEO, Times Television Network

Q&A with Pratap Bose

‘The intent is to give back to advertising and marketing than we have ever done before’

Campaign India: List your top three priorities as president.

Bose: The Ad Club does a lot more than be the purveyor of Goafest, Abbys, Effies and Emvies, which is largely what it is perceived to be. The intent will be on giving back to the advertising and marketing fraternity more than we have ever done before. We have a wealth of information and The Ad Club has done a lot more than the prestigious awards it conducts.

We have to engage and give back – by that I mean create opportunities and bring back the concept of knowledge and learning. We have a wealth of information. It could be simple things like a compilation of case studies, symposiums, discussions on key subjects. Even 10 years ago, we used to do things like that. I do realise that it is a huge challenge given everyone’s professional commitments and the intent has always been there. We will attempt to raise the intellectual capital.

In terms of priorities, the first would be the Continuing Education Programmes – the intent clearly is to raise the bar on that.

Secondly, we have to create more opportunities for people to get involved – be it through conversations at forums of 20 people or 200. We have to spark off debates and conversations of relevance to the industry.

The third priority would be to improve the processes that exist for betterment, on properties like the awards. That is not to say that anything is flawed – but there is always scope for improvement.

I believe that the new committee has, between its members, the werewithal to do all of this.

On awards and processes: what will be the approach to ‘better’ them?

We have excellent processes in place for all the awards. You just witnessed the Emvies and the process is superb - having said that, there will always be some scope for improvement.

My view on any differences that exist on awards, is this: If you stick to processes that are clearly articulated upfront, with all stakeholders involved early, I don’t see any issue. The process needs to be (i) articulated (ii) appreciated (iii) understood and (iv) accepted by all stakeholders.

It seems easier said than done. And if there is a flaw in the process, there are bound to be issues. In my view, Goafest is fairly controllable.

So the attempt will obviously to be as inclusive with the awards as possible, including with the Abbys...

It has already been done by my predecessors. We will continue to make attempts in that direction. And the attempt will be made with all sincerity.

It is an agency’s right whether they wish to participate or not. My intent is to make it as fair and transparent and possible and get that message across; maybe the consultations will start a little earlier than it usually does.

The move from The Advertising Club Bombay to The Ad Club: Where do other Ad Clubs feature on the collaboration possibilities?

We respect the other Ad Clubs that exist and some of them are doing wonderful work. The intent is certainly to be inclusive. The idea is not to say that we are the master of all the clubs that exist – it is about collaborating with them to engage audiences across the country better. Collaboration is certainly the way forward. Going beyond Mumbai, we took one round of judging to Delhi for the Emvies this year. It's a start.

Can you elaborate on how you envisage the CEPs?

Anything that adds to the learning of the community is what we will look at. We have 1,800 active members. A number of organisations come to us. We have access and ability to create compelling content that can add to the learning of the community. And if you have good content, people will even pay to come in – making profit may not be the intent, but good content can generate funds to cover the cost. We must start making those things happen.

Are marketers engaged enough?

A lot of them are. Ajay Kakar is the vice president and Harit Nagpal is on the managing committee. But can we do more in terms of engaging marketers? I think we can. If the clients are involved, agencies will follow.

What about the Club’s digital presence?

We can’t just have a Website. We have to be seen as a Club with a point of view, individually and collectively. On digital, we should be up with the times. We should be on social; we should be on Twitter and wherever else matters. We have to be far more fraternity-friendly.

All the things I have said... it has been every president’s intent to make all these things happen. The intent was never lacking. We have to get around the problems to make all of it happen.

Campaign India

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