Campaign India Team
Dec 31, 2008

Who's doing what in 2009

The New Year brings with it new responsibilities, new business, new wines in new bottles and the inevitable New Year Resolutions. Campaign India spoke to decision makers from the advertising, marketing and media industry to find out what will be keeping them busy in the new year.Josy Paul, chairman and NCD, BBDO IndiaTo create an environment so fertile that even if you were to sow a seed of doubt, it would flower into something beautiful. 

Who's doing what in 2009

The New Year brings with it new responsibilities, new business, new wines in new bottles and the inevitable New Year Resolutions. Campaign India spoke to decision makers from the advertising, marketing and media industry to find out what will be keeping them busy in the new year.

Josy Paul, chairman and NCD, BBDO India

To create an environment so fertile that even if you were to sow a seed of doubt, it would flower into something beautiful. 

Niteen Bhagwat, CEO, Cogito Consulting

Given that most resolutions are broken, I had resolved not to make any in 2009. Until, I got a mail from Campaign asking me for resolutions. Aside from the irony of having to break a resolution to make one, I have a few simple resolutions. 26/11 has altered our world view. Relationships matter, happiness cannot be postponed and doing good for others is even more fundamental than it was before. Amen. 

Nirvik Singh, chairman and CEO, GREY group Asia Pacific

Grey is now a 360 degree communication agency with acquisition of G2 RAMS. Integrating better is the change we need to make in the agency.

In today’s economic slow down I believe being able to integrate the divisions to give our clients better value for their brands is what will matter.

S Yesudas, CEO, Media Direction

Teach students specializing in media to focus on deeper thinking rather than algorithm based media plans churned out by computers.

Invest in knowledge base, research and skill set in the area of Digital/Mobile/OOH  communication.  Get advertisers to recognize R K SWAMY Media Group as the ONLY one stop shop for tangible and measurable ROI based marketing solutions. Institute a media industry scholarship to aid higher education for 10 deserving students.

Prabhakar Mundkur, CEO, Percept/H

This year I resolve to: Learn what the hell ‘resolution’ means.

Drive closer to the speed limit.

To beat up all the guys who tell you advertising is dead and how SMS, gaming and internet has now overtaken mass media.

To find a more elegant sounding  acronym for ARPU as my lifetime  contribution to the telecom industry.

To walk out of a conversation where the guy tells you his salary and perks in the first five minutes.

Use my cycle more often in deference to the recession.

To always check for paper while entering the restroom.

To live prophylactically, sanely and sensibly hour after hour and day after day. 

Sam Balsara, chairman and MD, Madison World

My New Year resolution is to shut out all the news that we keep getting every day on slowdown and push for the all the things, entering 2009 as if we  were entering 2008.

I will also live by our New Year greeting “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” and  push for making 2009 our clients’ best year.

Aniruddha Banerjee, president and COO, Publicis Ambience

I will have a few new year resolutions for the first time in my life.

I will learn from client service the art of doing nothing while looking terribly overworked.

I will learn from creative the art of sleeping with my eyes open.

I will learn from planning the art of confusing everyone.

I will not tell the same story at every office party. Better still, I will not have an office party in ‘09.

I will take advantage of the recession to tighten the screws on every one.

I will learn to grovel better.

I will listen to my boss at least once a quarter.

I will not approve any plan that requires any spending of money.

I will keep at least one of the above. 

V Shantakumar, chairman, Saatchi & Saatchi

I would rather state an intention for the whole industry rather than a personal resolution.

What we are asking of our body politic is what we should do: Be Committed, Be Transparent and Be Accountable! Committed to brands not clients. Transparent about what we can do and can’t. Accountable for results and be rewarded accordingly!

Ravi Kiran, CEO, South East and South Asia, Starcom Mediavest Group

Mentor young professionals [not working in Starcom] and students;  Invest a minimum of 3% of time in direct social work; Focus on the agency product, get involved personally; Hand-write more, type less; Learn something new – Behavioural Finance, M&A, et al -- may even pick up another degree; Start two new blogs – barketing and fostalgia- and spend at least an hour every month with five people on my team, talking about work, life, present and future.

M.G.Parameswaran, executive director and CEO, Draftfcb+Ulka

The year 2009 will be a challenging one and will call for a lot of sound thinking and calm execution. The first resolution is to ensure that I stay focused on our client’s problems and concerns. The second resolution is to ensure that the team stays positively motivated and charged up. The third is to be more tolerant of performance, while attempting to raise the bar of delivery, both for self and for the team. 

Jasmin Sohrabji, MD, OMD

To ensure that our people, our clients, our media partners all stay happy and smiling through 2009.


Hemant Misra, president and COO, Publicis India

I won’t suffer idiots. When confronted I will either prevail or withdraw but no bearing up with. Progress from ‘I think’ to ‘I will’ i.e. plan less do more. Borrow more heavily from my sons’ iPods. No more investments, only holiday splurges. Exercise, walk, play… part with a large part of me. Produce and act in a new play this year.

Ravi Deshpande, chairman and NCD, Contract Advertising

Keep the passion burning for this wonderful business. Embrace the world of non-traditional and digital media more than ever before by giving it first priority during ideation.

More intensive practise of our theory of ‘Grow Young’ by creating ideas that make old brands seem fresh each time. In view of the times that we are going through, contribute to society by tying up with NGOs on a regular basis, not merely for awards. Emerge victorious despite the recession.

Priti Nair, managing partner,BBH India

For 2009, the whole year round, do ground breaking work and genuinely build big brands with great advertising. 

Prasoon Joshi, chairman, McCann Worldgroup

Investing in myself. The emphasis has been on output. It’s time to now absorb. To spend time experiencing more. Spending time in smaller towns not just visiting but staying there for a while, reading and listening varied things and letting them be assimilated. Enrich myself.  To Inhale.

Nitish Mukherjee, MD, Leo Burnett

Only one resolution. To use a significant portion of my time, influence and passion in making my country a safer, richer and more powerful nation. To ensure that my sense of pride in who I am comes not as a consequence of what India will be but because of what I helped it to become.

Sameer Satpathy, head marketing - consumer product business, Marico

The consumer is the raison d’etre of my existence as a marketer: to reaffirm the faith by spending more time with her, to understand her needs, and the role my brands play in her life better and to enable her so that she enables me. 

Vijay Singh, CEO, 141 Sercon

After all these years, I’ve never followed the resolution for more than 30 minutes, on January 1. Therefore, this year, my resolution is to be friends with my CFO, Sandeep Bhandari, which is next to impossible. This one should be easy to keep.

Lynn de Souza, chairman, LMG

Increased pressure can either bring out the best or the worst in people, depending on how you respond to it. My resolution would be to do everything in my power to bring out the best in myself and in all the people I come in contact with in the business and otherwise, no matter what the challenges.

Sandeep Pathak, CEO, Bates 141

For some reason last year I thought that building an agency and body building are mutually exclusive. The resolution, this year, is to find a balance between work and work-out.

Praveen Kenneth, founder and MD, Law & Kenneth

To laugh, much more than last year. To have fun, much more than last year. To be useful, much more than last year.  And to make all that infectious to as many people as possible in the New Year.

Deepti Dang, head-marketing, PSG commercial and SMB, HP

I spent last year moulding myself to suit the world. The resolution this year is to get back to being myself and let the world change accordingly.

Priti Chand, director – PR and communication, Phoenix Group Global

Contrary to popular tradition, I do not believe in waiting until the New Year to make a resolution. I firmly believe that the best time to make a resolution is NOW. Waiting until the new year begins will not serve the purpose at all.

Suman Srivastava, CEO, Euro RSCG India

I think organisations need to believe in themselves and need their leaders to believe in them too. Especially in these times.

Anisha Motwani, executive director, marketing, Max New York Life Insurance

To take life more ‘easy come, easy go’, and ensure that I find quality time for ‘me’: be it exercising, reading or leisure. 

This, I am sure, will reflect positively in my work-life too and aid in managing daily pressures with greater dexterity.

Amit Shahi, CEO, theIdeaWorks

My resolution is to achieve better work-life balance between a 20 year old marriage and a 13 year old daughter on one hand and a three year old enterprise on the other.

Anita Nayyar, CEO, MPG India

I will not participate and believe in any agency surveys, reckoners or report cards.

Prathap Suthan, NCD, Cheil Communications

To keep my team inspired and motivated. This is the best time for smarter and sharper ideas.

I need to keep my eyes and ears open wider. Keep my thinking less extravagant. 


Shubha George, MD, Mediaedge:cia

I don’t believe in making resolutions so don’t have any.

Campaign India