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2010 onwards Explosion

2001-10 The decade of tra nsformation

1991-2000 The decade of growth

1980-90 The decade of birth

30 YEARS & GROWING

Campaign India - Commemorative I1 1

2/14/11 12:33:58 PM

campaign india Mudra supplement 3

When there might have been none. Mudra might never have been born had an agency not resigned the Vimal account because of conflict with another in the roster.
First, turn to the back cover of this issue...

Its not 30, its 1057 reasons to celebrate


CONTENTS
Ready for explosive growth Thats a confident statement made by Madhukar Kamath, Group CEO and MD, Mudra Group; rooted in the knowledge that Mudra is reaping the benefits of investments Four pillars of Mudra group Once upon a time, 30 years ago, Mudra transformed from a marketing department in Reliance to an advertising agency. As they kept adding specialisations, Mudra was transformed from an agency to a group. Heres a snapshot of who does what. View from the outside What do Mudras partners, captains of industry, Mudras competitors and CEOs of media houses think of Mudra? Mudra works for them What do those who work with Mudra for their brand-building and communication needs think of their contribution? They helped build Mudra Mudra has been a stepping stone for a number of great Indian adlanders, all with great memories of their stints there and what they gained from Mudra The Mudra India A team An organisation is only as good as its people, more so in the communications area. Heres Mudra Indias A team The best of Mudra India Creatives that made a difference DDB Mudra The very best of Mudra meets the best of DDB to create magic Mudra Max Pratap Bose joining the agency has brought in a new dynamism Ignite Mudra In an age of clutter, Ignite Mudra found the required differentiator Milestones in the life of Mudra Key dates in the journey of Mudra MICA: Going beyond business Mudras commitment to the communications arena is best proven by their investment in MICA 04

Anant Rangaswami

What youve seen is the real reason for this special issue. Its not about 30 years of Mudra, though the date certainly coincides. Its about what Mudra has become. Its become a communications conglomerate with 1057 professionals as of today. Its become a communications powerhouse as opposed to being an advertising agency. And, funnily, the advertising agency that it once was might never have been. In a fantastic necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention story, Mudra was born because the agency that handled Vimal chose to discontinue the relationship because they wanted to work for a conflicting brand. So the in-house department FOUR PILLARS OF MUDRA GROUP at Reliance that addressed, largely, the BTL needs of Vimal, decided to become the solution provider for the ATL needs as well. Then they decided that they were good enough to provide solutions for non-Reliance brands too; after all, they were doing a good, even great, job with Vimal. So they created the iconic Rasna communication (and brand) for their first external account. And when necessity dictated that they had to expand, they did. They expanded geographically, to where they needed to be, to service their growing client roster. And their growing ambitions. They expanded into areas of expertise that their clients required. And they went on and on. Their furious expansion caused us at Campaign India to break from the norm and do a double spread simplifying Mudra. Thirty years after their birth, theyre the largest home-grown agency in the country, nipping at the heels of the international brands that entered India almost 100 years ago. And now theyre ready to shift gears. The agencies ahead of them need to keep an eye on the rear view mirror. The agency that they see is closer than it appears.
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And three other pillars, the national resources of Mudra

Once upon a time, 30 years ago, Mudra transformed from a marketing department in Reliance to an advertising agency. As they kept adding specialisations, Mudra was transformed from an agency to a group. Heres a snapshot of who does what.

Mudra India

DDB Mudra

Mudra MAX

Ignite Mudra

Vij is the DDB Mudra, headed by SandeepGroup. It advertising second agency under the Mudra Mudra The Mudra Group has its core India. This Units DDB Mudra, DDB consists of advertising agency business, housed under Mudra agency; Tribal DDB, Rapp India, new media Units Mudra India, Advertising, the interactive and consists of Mudra, the advertising DDB/Mudra Health marketing Water, Maatra and unit Tribal DDB, the relationship Water, the strategy and design and Lifestyle lifestyle Tantr Films and division Rapp and a health and consultancy; Maatra, the localisation Health and Key people Films, a Key people Jude marketing unit, DDB/Mudra pre-media services and Tantr Sandeep Vij (CEO), Fernandes (CEO), Lifestyle. content creation unit. is Max Hegerman India says, Ashish Mishra (chief Vij says, Today the agency modelDDB Jude Fernandes, CEO, Mudra (president - Tribal this entire strategist and head, under transformation. Fortunately, of Whats most significant is cusp DDB), Venkat Mallik Water Consulting), Mudra is being sculpted at the that truly shift from being just an advertising (president - Rapp planning Arijit Ray (president, change. We are building a culture agency. There is much larger India), Rajiv Sabnis senior Mudra West), KB inspires the internal culture of focus and weve got a huge the (president - DDB around making Vinod (creative head, collaboration. It is being built planning team across the countrysame set India), Mike Follett clients the Mudra West), Aditya idea of open collaboration.Today, sure everyones working with (SVP - strategy and problems. creative Kanthy (VP - planning, want integrated teams to solve of tools. Plus, weve got strong we have where planning, DDB Mudra), Mudra West), Ranji So Vij says theyve created a structure heads in all our three offices. out the Rajeev Raja (national Cherian (president, carry each unit is separated by semi-permeable complete solutions and we creative director - DDB flow of ideas, Mudra South), Ajay membranes allowing the free entire execution. Mudra), Soumitra Sen which gives Naqvi (EVP and head, have large processes yet retaining that He adds,In every office we (president - DDB agency Mudra North and to grow with the cell its DNA. Last year, the businesses which continue Health and Lifestyle) level East), Nirmal Pulickal have all infused fresh talent at the leadership Raja us. Most of our relationships Rajeev (ECD, Mudra North Key accounts when it hired Mike Follett and started with a small beginning. in Creative and East) Volkswagen, to run One Voice Planning and It is this beginning that started iconic ensuring Neutrogena, Henkel, create Key accounts respectively across the Group Ahmedabad and went on to creative Lipton, Wrigleys, (then) Godrej Group, Future fluidity in thinking and truly holistic campaigns for little known brands Hair Novartis, Philips, Powder Group, LIC, Union business solutions. such as Vimal, Rasna, Godrej Johnson & Johnson, on from India Bank of India, HCC, In essence we have moved Dhara Sunflower Oil, Reliance Dye, Reliance Mutual Fund a team of Lavasa Future Cities, being disparate agencies to Mobile. to idea with us Femina, Filmfare, experts, from being discipline There are clients whove been Lonely Planet, The oriented, from consecutive production the last few years as theyve over Economic Times, thinking to a concurrent collaborative expanded their retail network.Currently, open, he United Spirits, Dabur, Godrej Group, production, from separate to we have clients such as the mould an and HBO, TTK, Aditya Birla says. Vij is currently trying to Group, LIC, Union Bank, HCC Future internal Nuvo which internal culture that truly inspiresand the Lavasa Future Cities campaign The build collaboration enabling us to has got everyone talking. Similarly, are energy. harness our collective creative India and Worldwide Media Times of business. Client partners in India include & small but they are adding on Clean he Volkswagen, Neutrogena and We have understood the client, have Henkel, Lipton, is we Clear (Johnson & Johnson), says. Whats more important Wrigley, Idea, Advertising Reliance Mutual Fund, RBS, understood the clients needs. The Times of India, Philips, Novartis, Tata works because its an investment. AIG, HP, Schering Plough, HDFC, Tata Communications and Unicef.

The lowdown

The lowdown

under the Mudra Max is the third agency houses the Mudra Group umbrella, that units. Units RADAR, media buying and various specialist and Connext, Prime Group MAX, therefore, houses Connext RADAR units. (OOH, retail and RADAR, the two media buying brands. navigation solutions is exclusively for handling Reliance specialist Primesite, Prime This division also has various design and Retail, Prime units catering to OOH, retail and Wayfinding, Prime visual merchandising, navigation promotions, Consult, Prime Green), marketing solutions for trade, Kidstuff (promotional rural, events and sports. marketing), Street Bose, CEO, Mudra Max and COO, Pratap Smart (interactive still some Mudra Group says, There is OOH), Multiplier (trade of more units unfinished business in terms marketing), Terra (rural What we would like to do to be launched. marketing), Videotec , next next would be to get into the 10 Integrated (sports could be generation forms of media which of marketing), Celsius mobile marketing, word getting into (events marketing), mouth among others. Portland Mudra, Clear Max, Bose says that thanks to Mudra Channel Mudra LLP combination of an experiential clients get a agency. Key people Pratap plus communications planning find the to Bose (CEO), Anurag He says, The way forward is Gupta (chief strategy for each of these best in class partner, Last officer, Mudra Max), units to grow them substantially. JV an OOH Aneil Deepak (SVP year, Mudra Max announced strategy & planning), prior to which there with Clear Channel, entered Sanjay Kacker (SVP, was Portland Mudra. It recently Celsius), Mandeep into a partnership with Concrea Malhotra (presidentyouth marketing. Communications for OOH), Sanjeev Hajela grow these Going forward, Bose wants to (president - retail & specialised units into their core way finding), Sameer to position Mudra competencies. We want Mehta (VP, head, group Max as a specialist communications Multiplier) stand now, within the agency. Where we a year Key accounts and where we would be standing different, Aircel, Shell from now on, is going to be very Foundation, TVS he says. Today, the one differentiating the largest Motors, ITC, Pepsi, factor would be that we are real specialist Wrigleys communications group with skills across all consumer touchpoints. ability to Thats our biggest USP and the advertising integrate all these units with will also be our biggest strength.

The lowdown

of the Ignite Mudra is the fourth agencyin 2009 Mudra Group that was launched Key people that and is positioned as an agency agency Chandan Nath The partners Indian entrepreneurs. in trying (president and head), works closely with entrepreneurs in brand only Key accounts to understand their needs, not through them Paras Pharma, building but also supporting in Electrotherm, Zydus a consortium that provides services Cadilla corporate law, funding, organisational distribution development and sales and with a expertise provided in conjunction consortium of domain experts. head, Chandan Nath, president and with Ignite Mudra says that working entrepreneurs needs an understanding the ideas, mindset. Youve got to respect dreams and vision of the entrepreneur. rather than Theyll look for relationships are more business. I think entrepreneurs doing into relationships than simply if you have business with agencies. And which is very been there, they respect that, rare for other clients. as Nath lists brands which he describes Mudra Group classics from Ahmedabad. to Vimal created and added fashion in edible oils. fabrics. Dhara redefined purity of air Symphony launched the category of coolers. Ajanta was the revolution Paras at musical quartz wall clocks. Look - Moov, Krack, Livon, DermiCool, brands that Ive Itchguard, Recova, each name success, it is mentioned is not only a brand creator. I mean there was also a category Itchguard no itch relieving cream before was launched. Another new entrant, 25 more than Nutralite today has acquired plus percent share of the market. Nath emphasizes that the consortium from gets together leading professionals they which the industry offering skillsets growth of an believe will contribute to the entrepreneur.

The lowdown

Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra Group What provoked me to join Mudra the was the sheer challenge that opportunity offered. To turn around, or even manouver, a ship of this doing size is worth the coming. So, than that was far more challenging joining a smaller shop, which as would be easier but not quite challenging...

Ajit Menon, executive director, organisation development, Mudra Group Mudra is an entrepreneurial agency that gives marketing first solutions. So when we hire, the quality we need is the entrepreneurial quality - you should you have a good business team and and should be a person who is living That breathing a creative product. a doesnt mean you simply go to pitch, win it and come back. You should have a certain business a running sense and say that youre business, not just a creative shop.

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Jude Fernandes CEO, Mudra India

We are aware of our clients needs. When we go into the market, when we are talking to a potential client, we are not talking only advertising.

Ashish Mishra chief strategist and head, Water Consulting

We can dream freely, in a real, achievable way and more often than not, whosoever wants to take the initiative is allowed to do so.

director, Each unit Mudra in DDB Today, Mudra is Mudra as a Group is separated by rock solid. We are not semi-permeable paying mere lip membranes allowing service to the term flow of ideas full service agency. the free and processes, yet that which retaining gives the cell its DNA.

Sandeep Vij CEO, DDB Mudra

Rajeev Raja national creative DDB

Pratap Bose CEO, Mudra Max, COO, Mudra Group

Anurag Gupta chief strategy officer, Mudra Max

Chandan Nath president and head, Ignite Mudra

Mudra is a place where we are not mavericks, we are not militants, we dont hire and fire its an agency built on certain principles.

Were an agency of very apolitical, very entrepreneurial, very independent people and from a culture point of view, were malleable.

As a Group, today we have the expertise of a variety of skill sets, which according to me are not offered by many advertising agencies.

Dilip Upadhyaya, chief financial officer, Mudra Group flow We have to manage the cash our in a meaningful manner allowing operating team to remain focused on the key business. The finance function ensures that the management is free to focus on growth, while we work to ensure financial health and stability.

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Editorial team Bindu Nair Maitra, Gunjan Prasad,Arcopol Chaudhuri Design team Sachin Rajwadkar, Kaushal Gandhi, Sujit Mandvikar. Cover design Anya Rangaswami Photography Pawan Manglani and Mohammed Shafiq Printed by Andrew James, published by Andrew James on behalf of Haymarket Media India Private Limited and printed at Kalajyothi Process Pvt. Ltd., Plot No: W-17&18, M.I.D.C. Industrial Area, Taloja, Dist Raigad, Navi Mumbai 410206 and published at Victor House, 3rd floor 142/C N.M Joshi Road, Lower Parel, Mumbai 400013. Editor Anant Rangaswami. campaign is a registered UK trade mark of Haymarket Business Publications Ltd, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP. No part of this publication may be produced without permission of the publishers. This supplement contains 32 pages including covers.

campaign india Mudra supplement

campaign india Mudra supplement 5

READY FOR EXPLOSIVE GROWTH


The confident statement made by Madhukar Kamath, Group CEO and MD, Mudra Group; rooted in the knowledge that Mudra is reaping the benefits of investments
ll of a sudden, the Mudra Group is monolithic; numerous strategic business units straddle all conceivable needs of a brand to communicate a message. A closer look reveals that nothing is sudden; that the Group has been growing steadily, with a sprint in the last decade,the last of the first three decades that Mudra has seen. Madhukar Kamath, Group CEO and MD, Mudra Group, describes each decade: There are essentially three decades in the history of Mudra. Decade one was that of birth and innovation; the birth of an agency which rewrote the rules and which didnt conform to what was stated in the commandments in the advertising industry. Thou shalt be based in Bombay or Madras or Delhi, Thou shalt be international, andThou shalt be a whole lot of things. That was the decade of birth, then came the decade of growth, as this was the time when Mudra expanded with several offices across the country and added more people to its fold. 2001-10 has been the decade of transformation, Mudra evolved from an agency to a marketing communications group. Thats easy to say. Which

advertising agency is not attempting to shed itself of the agency tag? In Mudras case, the changes that Kamath speaks of, are changes that their clients seem to be seeing, experiencing and benefiting from.Theres no greater testament to the fact than Adi Godrejs views. Mudra has worked with various Godrej brands for 25 years, almost the age of the agency itself. We have a very close relationship with Mudra for about 25 years, says Godrej. They have handled a number of our brands and products over the years soaps and hair colour; they have handled Real Good Chicken, they have handled durables. So our relationship with Mudra has been long and diverse. The one thing I found about Mudra which is unique, to my mind, is that they go to consumers. I have seen them. They keep speaking to consumers and give us feedback and that I like. Advertising agencies generally believe that their job is only being creative whereas I have seen a lot of insight coming out of Mudra. I think they have taken the trouble to go to the market, to interact with consumers.. This is no accident.Its made mandatory that you have a certain number of days in the field. People forget that partnerships can only happen if you know what is happening in the market. No planner can sit without having x days each month, in the market.These are small steps that everybody needs to take. I cant talk about other agencies but we have felt the need, says Kamath.

No planner can sit without having x days each month with consumers, in the market

Godrejs views are endorsed by Narasimhan Tupil, marketing director, HP Technology services, APAC and Japan. He has had a long association with Mudra and is gratified that, with the changes in Mudra,their original values are still visible.There are two things which, in my view, differentiate Mudra from the many other agencies that I and some of my team members have worked with.The first differentiator is that theyre true business partners; they dont act like an agency, which is a real compliment to the way Dhirubhai Ambani and AG Krishnamurthy founded the company. The second one is responsiveness which purely from the time-tomarket issue is very important to us. On the first point, Ill give you an example. There are two ways of doing a brief. One is to listen to the client and then come back with a brief, confirming your interpretation of what the client has said. The second one, when you actually act as a true business partner is when you question the assumptions. Mudra takes keen interest to understand the business market were operating in, what are our main concerns, what are our pressures and our objectives. That happens when you question the assumptions or you want to know more about the product or the service you are communicating for. This is what I always find people in Mudra doing. Godrej and Narasimhan have seen Mudra from the time it was a purely Indian agency. For Lutz Kothe of Volkswagen, Mudra was an agency,

Indian or international, that he wanted to work with.When it came to deciding on agencies here, it was very important for us to find an agency which clearly understood what our brands stood for. Based on the brand strategy we developed and the understanding that various agencies demonstrated, we decided on DDB Mudra, which was an additional advantage for us because it belongs to the DDB network. If it were not a network agency, would Volkswagen still have decided on Mudra? Yes, is his definitive answer. To other clients, too, Mudra being Indian or part of a network is not a matter of significance; the value that they get from Mudra is. Raghunandan, MD and CEO, Paras Pharmaceuticals says he sees a lot of value.In the last 18 months, we have come to expect more work out of Mudra than in the past and they have been able to measure up to these new expectations. More importantly, we are delighted by their going beyond the brief.A new product that we are going to launch in the coming months is a brainchild of Mudra.The concept was theirs; they have been able to flesh out the category and they have been able to convince us that this was a good opportunity for us to get in. Thats indeed going beyond the brief. Vivek Sharma, chief marketing officer,Philips India sees the global link to DDB combined with the Indian roots as an advantage. They bring a lot of value in getting the global learning from DDB into India and yet, retain the Indian relevance and Indian sensibilities. And they do stand up to their beliefs and thoughts about what the brand should be in India and thats what I really admire in them. They demonstrate a greater understanding of the business and our situ-

ations, and have often supported us in times of difficulty, especially when we didnt have time to execute campaigns, when situations changed, when businesses changed.They have bent backwards and put in all their resources to bail us out in situations, and thats what we appreciate. We never hear or feel, from their body language, that they ever say no, and there is a very positive and open attitude of can do, which is what we love in DDB Mudra. Sharmas views are ratified by Mudra alumnus Santosh Desai.The good thing about Mudra is that theyre involved, in business terms. I think that it is one of the few organizations in this sector that is genuinely more than just advertising. Client delight with an area that Mudra has focused on must please Kamath immensely. The Mudra team headed by Jude Fernandes has always worked seamlessly with our teams on all projects, often carrying out services which were not necessarily within the scope of work defined. Its always like one big Godrej team, says Tanya Dubash, executive director and president (marketing), Godrej Industries. Products and services need to be tested and certified in the market. Who better to judge the performance of a communication company than someone who needs the communication to work every single day? Mudra represents the values we represent, says Kishore Biyani. founder and CEO, Future Group, There is a good cultural fit between the Future Group and Mudrathey understand us and our needs. More importantly, they understand our core consumer and know how to talk to them. Most agencies come with a different mindset, they try to please

Mudra is a no-nonsense agency and focuses on the brands and business interests
Kishore Biyani, Future Group

the client. Mudra is a no-nonsense agency and focuses on brands and business interests.We have grown together over these eight years. Our relationship started when we had just 10 stores. Today we have 150 and this journey has been marked by some valuable contributions by Mudra. Theyve helped make Big Bazaar a part of Indias life and culture. What comes through is that there is something that Mudra is doing right when it comes to defining their own role and culture, and a lot of that has to do with people. Thats an area of concern and focus for Kamath. We are handling people on two fronts one, internal and the other, external. Internally, we are focussed on hiring for aptitude, not just skills because those can be built on and developed subsequently. At the same time,we are focusing on providing developmental inputs, exposure and experience to existing people, primarily to help them change orbits. Externally, we will need to step up on going out aggressively and talking about the numerous opportunities in the Group, in as many fora as possible. We have to stress on the fact that there is a wider spread of opportunities in our communications group opportunities aimed at building brands.Weve got to start looking at it as not just a career in advertising but a career in communications. If Biyanis was the ultimate accolade, theres more. DDBs John Zeigler wishes that they had a bigger piece of Mudra but is still happy in

We are focussed on hiring for aptitude, not just skills as those can be built on and developed

the relationship that DDB and Mudra share. Its like a wife who turns 40. At times you feel that you are actually locked into a marriage and then as you turn 40, you realizeah, the marriage can actually be what you want it to be; you dont have to be focused on the fact that you are married. And in that middle era of maturity, I think both of the partners start to flourish together. We are learning a lot from Mudra and Mudra is, under Madhukars leadership, learning a lot and connecting more with DDB than it ever has. I can see that relationship flourishing and maturing to the benefit of both. I would love to have much greater ownership equity but our relationship is such that our ownership equity is less and less impacting the working and strategic relationship that we have. Satisfied clients. Clients who admire them for their Indianness, clients who admire them for their international links. Clients who appreciate their going beyond the brief. Clients who have benefited from extraordinary commitment. Clients who see Mudra as a partner. Thats a long list of positives. Kamath sees the past three decades as the basis of their optimism.Were in this phase today because of the investments and the lifecycle stages of the various growth engines developed, because of the talent base we have, in terms of width and depth. I dont think we are going to have phases of ups or downs; now it has to keep skyrocketing. Were ready to explode.

Adi Godrej CMD, The Godrej Group

John Wren CEO, Omnicom Group

Our relationship with Mudra is long and diverse. One thing unique about Mudra is that they go to consumers. They take the trouble to move around, interact. Its impressive.

Im extremely impressed in the professionalism and team work that I saw. Mudra today is a world class agency with great creative product and Im very proud to be their partner..

Ranjan Kapoor country manager - India, WPP Group

Chuck Brymer president and CEO, DDB Worldwide

Kishore Biyani CEO and founder, Future Group

Colvyn Harris CEO, JWT and president, AAAI

Mudras got a strong advertising agency and today, there is an absolute revival and aggression in them that I have not seen before. Look at the way theyve hired at a time when nobody was hiring.

Mudra is growing capabilities in areas outside traditional advertising and this shift is similar to what DDB is doing globally. We are happy with our partnership.

Mudra has certainly helped make Big Bazaar a part of Indias life and culture. They understand our core consumer and know how to talk to them.

Mudra now holds the perception of being a full-service agency, a good one at that, having diversified into many specializations in the last one year and it continues to grow.

John Zeigler president and CEO, DDB Asia Pacific

Mudra has found resolve, they are on the road to leading creatively. They are out from the shadow of their past structure, theyre looking at opportunities to change everything they do.

Lutz Kothe chief GM marketing and PR, Volkswagen India

Sam Balsara CMD, Madison World

Santosh Desai MD and CEO, Future Brands

DDB Mudra has understood the VW brand in a very short period of time. Theyve adapted our brand guidelines to India and raised brand awareness by double digits.

Right from its launch, Mudra has come across as a no-nonsense, performance based agency. Today, Mudras story is much like the growth story of Indian entrepreneurs.

Today, Mudra is one of the few organisations that is genuinely more than just about advertising. Culturally, it may have matured and ripened, but it has not become something else.

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Once upon a time, 30 years ago, Mudra transformed from a marketing department in Reliance to an advertising agency. As they kept adding specialisations, Mudra was transformed from an agency to a group. Heres a snapshot of who does what.

FOUR PILLARS OF MUDRA GROUP


Mudra India DDB Mudra Mudra Max Ignite Mudra
The Mudra Group has its core advertising business, housed under Mudra India. This consists of Mudra, the advertising agency; Water, the strategy and design consultancy; Maatra, the localisation and pre-media services and Tantr Films, a content creation unit. Jude Fernandes, CEO, Mudra India says, Whats most significant is this entire shift from being just an advertising agency. There is much larger planning focus and weve got a huge senior planning team across the country making sure everyones working with the same set of tools. Plus, weve got strong creative heads in all our three offices. So we have complete solutions and we carry out the entire execution. He adds,In every office we have large businesses which continue to grow with us. Most of our relationships have all started with a small beginning. It is this beginning that started in Ahmedabad and went on to create iconic campaigns for little known brands (then) such as Vimal, Rasna, Godrej Powder Hair Dye, Dhara Sunflower Oil, Reliance India Mobile. There are clients whove been with us over the last few years as theyve expanded their retail network.Currently, we have clients such as the Godrej Group, Future Group, LIC, Union Bank, HCC and the Lavasa Future Cities campaign which has got everyone talking. Similarly, The Times of India and Worldwide Media are small but they are adding on business. We have understood the client, he says. Whats more important is we have understood the clients needs. Advertising works because its an investment.

And three other pillars, the national resources of Mudra

The lowdown
Units Mudra India, Water, Maatra and Tantr Films Key people Jude Fernandes (CEO), Ashish Mishra (chief strategist and head, Water Consulting), Arijit Ray (president, Mudra West), KB Vinod (creative head, Mudra West), Aditya Kanthy (VP - planning, Mudra West), Ranji Cherian (president, Mudra South), Ajay Naqvi (EVP and head, Mudra North and East), Nirmal Pulickal (ECD, Mudra North and East) Key accounts Godrej Group, Future Group, LIC, Union Bank of India, HCC, Lavasa Future Cities, Femina, Filmfare, Lonely Planet, The Economic Times, United Spirits, Dabur, HBO, TTK, Aditya Birla Nuvo

DDB Mudra, headed by Sandeep Vij is the second agency under the Mudra Group. It consists of advertising agency DDB Mudra Advertising, the interactive and new media unit Tribal DDB, the relationship marketing division Rapp and a health and lifestyle marketing unit, DDB/Mudra Health and Lifestyle. Vij says, Today the agency model is under transformation. Fortunately, DDB Mudra is being sculpted at the cusp of change. We are building a culture that truly inspires the internal culture of collaboration. It is being built around the idea of open collaboration.Today, clients want integrated teams to solve problems. Vij says theyve created a structure where each unit is separated by semi-permeable membranes allowing the free flow of ideas, processes yet retaining that which gives the cell its DNA. Last year, the agency infused fresh talent at the leadership level when it hired Mike Follett and Rajeev Raja to run One Voice Planning and Creative respectively across the Group ensuring fluidity in thinking and truly holistic creative business solutions. In essence we have moved on from being disparate agencies to a team of experts, from being discipline to idea oriented, from consecutive production thinking to a concurrent collaborative production, from separate to open, he says. Vij is currently trying to mould an internal culture that truly inspires internal collaboration enabling us to build and harness our collective creative energy. Client partners in India include Volkswagen, Neutrogena and Clean & Clear (Johnson & Johnson), Henkel, Lipton, Reliance Mutual Fund, RBS, Wrigley, Idea, The Times of India, Philips, Novartis, Schering Plough, HDFC, Tata AIG, HP, Tata Communications and Unicef.

The lowdown
Units DDB Mudra, Tribal DDB, Rapp India, DDB Health and Lifestyle Key people Sandeep Vij (CEO), Max Hegerman (president - Tribal DDB), Venkat Mallik (president - Rapp India), Rajiv Sabnis (president - DDB India), Mike Follett (SVP - strategy and planning, DDB Mudra), Rajeev Raja (national creative director - DDB Mudra), Soumitra Sen (president - DDB Health and Lifestyle) Key accounts Volkswagen, Neutrogena, Henkel, Lipton, Wrigleys, Novartis, Philips, Johnson & Johnson, Reliance Mutual Fund

Mudra Max is the third agency under the Mudra Group umbrella, that houses the media buying and various specialist units. MAX, therefore, houses Connext and RADAR, the two media buying units. RADAR is exclusively for handling Reliance brands. This division also has various specialist units catering to OOH, retail design and visual merchandising, navigation and marketing solutions for trade, promotions, rural, events and sports. Pratap Bose, CEO, Mudra Max and COO, Mudra Group says, There is still some unfinished business in terms of more units to be launched. What we would like to do next would be to get into the next generation forms of media which could be getting into mobile marketing, word of mouth among others. Bose says that thanks to Mudra Max, clients get a combination of an experiential plus communications planning agency. He says, The way forward is to find the best in class partner, for each of these units to grow them substantially. Last year, Mudra Max announced an OOH JV with Clear Channel, prior to which there was Portland Mudra. It recently entered into a partnership with Concrea Communications for youth marketing. Going forward, Bose wants to grow these specialised units into their core competencies. We want to position Mudra Max as a specialist communications group within the agency. Where we stand now, and where we would be standing a year from now on, is going to be very different, he says. Today, the one differentiating factor would be that we are the largest communications group with real specialist skills across all consumer touchpoints. Thats our biggest USP and the ability to integrate all these units with advertising will also be our biggest strength.

The lowdown
Units RADAR, Connext, Prime Group (OOH, retail and navigation solutions Primesite, Prime Retail, Prime Wayfinding, Prime Consult, Prime Green), Kidstuff (promotional marketing), Street Smart (interactive OOH), Multiplier (trade marketing), Terra (rural marketing), Videotec , 10 Integrated (sports marketing), Celsius (events marketing), Portland Mudra, Clear Channel Mudra LLP Key people Pratap Bose (CEO), Anurag Gupta (chief strategy officer, Mudra Max), Aneil Deepak (SVP strategy & planning), Sanjay Kacker (SVP, Celsius), Mandeep Malhotra (presidentOOH), Sanjeev Hajela (president - retail & way finding), Sameer Mehta (VP, head, Multiplier) Key accounts Aircel, Shell Foundation, TVS Motors, ITC, Pepsi, Wrigleys

Ignite Mudra is the fourth agency of the Mudra Group that was launched in 2009 and is positioned as an agency that partners Indian entrepreneurs. The agency works closely with entrepreneurs in trying to understand their needs, not only in brand building but also supporting them through a consortium that provides services in corporate law, funding, organisational development and sales and distribution expertise provided in conjunction with a consortium of domain experts. Chandan Nath, president and head, Ignite Mudra says that working with entrepreneurs needs an understanding mindset. Youve got to respect the ideas, dreams and vision of the entrepreneur. Theyll look for relationships rather than business. I think entrepreneurs are more into relationships than simply doing business with agencies. And if you have been there, they respect that, which is very rare for other clients. Nath lists brands which he describes as Mudra Group classics from Ahmedabad. Vimal created and added fashion to fabrics. Dhara redefined purity in edible oils. Symphony launched the category of air coolers. Ajanta was the revolution of musical quartz wall clocks. Look at Paras brands - Moov, Krack, Livon, DermiCool, Itchguard, Recova, each name that Ive mentioned is not only a brand success, it is also a category creator. I mean there was no itch relieving cream before Itchguard was launched. Another new entrant, Nutralite today has acquired more than 25 plus percent share of the market. Nath emphasizes that the consortium gets together leading professionals from the industry offering skillsets which they believe will contribute to the growth of an entrepreneur.

The lowdown
Key people Chandan Nath (president and head), Key accounts Paras Pharma, Electrotherm, Zydus Cadilla

Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra Group What provoked me to join Mudra was the sheer challenge that the opportunity offered. To turn around, or even manouver, a ship of this size is worth the coming. So, doing that was far more challenging than joining a smaller shop, which would be easier but not quite as challenging...

Ajit Menon, executive director, organisation development, Mudra Group Mudra is an entrepreneurial agency that gives marketing solutions. So when we hire, the first quality we need is the entrepreneurial quality - you should have a good business team and you should be a person who is living and breathing a creative product. That doesnt mean you simply go to a pitch, win it and come back. You should have a certain business sense and say that youre running a business, not just a creative shop.

Jude Fernandes CEO, Mudra India

We are aware of our clients needs. When we go into the market, when we are talking to a potential client, we are not talking only advertising.

Ashish Mishra chief strategist and head, Water Consulting

Sandeep Vij CEO, DDB Mudra

We can dream freely, in a real, achievable way and more often than not, whosoever wants to take the initiative is allowed to do so.

Each unit in DDB Mudra is separated by semi-permeable membranes allowing the free flow of ideas and processes, yet retaining that which gives the cell its DNA.

Rajeev Raja national creative director, DDB Mudra

Pratap Bose CEO, Mudra Max, COO, Mudra Group

Anurag Gupta chief strategy officer, Mudra Max

Today, Mudra as a Group is rock solid. We are not paying mere lip service to the term full service agency.

Mudra is a place where we are not mavericks, we are not militants, we dont hire and fire its an agency built on certain principles.

Were an agency of very apolitical, very entrepreneurial, very independent people and from a culture point of view, were malleable.

Chandan Nath president and head, Ignite Mudra

As a Group, today we have the expertise of a variety of skill sets, which according to me are not offered by many advertising agencies.

Dilip Upadhyaya, chief financial officer, Mudra Group We have to manage the cash flow in a meaningful manner allowing our operating team to remain focused on the key business. The finance function ensures that the management is free to focus on growth, while we work to ensure financial health and stability.

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What do Mudras partners, captains of industry, Mudras competitors and CEOs of media houses think of Mudra?
John Wren, CEO, Omnicom Group Bhaskar Das, executive president, BCCL John Zeigler, president and CEO,
DDB APAC & Japan, DDB Worldwide

VIEW FROM THE OUTSIDE


Shashi Sinha, CEO, Lodestar Universal
During my recent visit to Mumbai, I had the opportunity to meet the entire management team of the Mudra Group. Im extremely impressed in the level of professionalism and team work that I saw. Mudra today is a world class agency with a great creative product and Im very proud to be their partner. From an outside perspective, I feel Mudra works on an overarching belief of afuture backwards strategy. This implies that they constantly keep track of disruptions from multiple sources and the impact of consumer behaviour and industry sectors. The advantage of this approach has been their lack of complacency and the ability to renew themselves time and again to face challenges of the future and stay ahead of the change curve. The exponential growth happens because of the organisations ambition to grow inorganically and not be constrained by usual perceptions of roadblocks to growth. In one sentence I can capture Mudra as an incumbent organization with a start-up mentality that renews its corporate vision time and again and thrives. Id describe Mudra as the dancing princess of Asia about to bloom and impress us all. I think the reasons why I can make that statement is because the agency has a history of stability and understanding of the Indian market from a position of being focused and connected to big Indian companies. They had a wonderful sort of upbringing and a solid history, and now, I think under Madhukars leadership, creatively they have found resolve; they are on the road to leading creatively, in terms of their work. They are out from the shadow of their past structure and ownership and development, and theyre looking at opportunities to change everything about what they do, to really come into the new age of creativity, integrated solutions and doing that in a way that is amongst the best in India. So you could summarize all that in terms of their time is right. Weve had many discussions with Mudra. Its like a wife who turns 40. At different times, you feel that you are actually locked into a marriage and then as you turn 40, you realize- ah, the marriage can actually be what you want it to be; you dont have to be focused on the fact that you are married. And in that middle era of maturity, I think both of the partners start to flourish together. And we are learning a lot from Mudra and Mudra is, under Madhukars leadership, learning a lot and connecting much more with DDB than it ever has. I can see that relationship flourishing and maturing to the benefit of both parties. I think the good thing about Mudra is that theyve taken the fully integrated route and while other agencies talk about integrated solutions, a sizeable portion of Mudras revenue already comes from their marketing services units. Therefore, their larger 360 degree offering is very impressive and theyve always taken a holistic view of offering solutions to clients. So their growth story is interesting they started with a very entrepreneurial mindset, when advertising was dominated largely by people with upper middle class backgrounds. Moving on from there, theyve anticipated the changes in the market-place and diversified themselves accordingly, making the right investments. Their growth has been bottom-up and with a leader like Madhukar Kamath who, by the way, needs no introduction to collaboration. Madhukars a fine collaborator and hes made the Ad Club and AAAI come together for Goafest. So integration within the agency should come easy to him. Today, Mudra is well-poised. Globally, marketing services is becoming huge. At any time, if that happens in India - which I foresee happening in the future - Mudra will be at the forefront of dealing with the change.

Adi Godrej, chairman, The Godrej Group

Colvyn Harris, CEO, JWT India


Mudra holds the perception of being a full service agency, a good one at that, one thats very diversified into many specializations and it continues to grow. Madhukar is a good friend and he does well for the agency. This is Mudras 30th year and the agency is gearing up to do many things. Over the past one year, after Pratap joined, theres been a flurry of activity at the agency, several new businesses have been launched. I hope they become successful and I wish them well for the future.

Chuck Brymer, president and CEO, DDB Worldwide


Mudra is a leading communciations group in India as well as Asia. Its a strong organised group that has not only been doing great work over the years but is also very well positioned for the future. It is growing our capabilities in a number of different areas outside of the traditional advertising realm. We are doing a lot more work in digital communications, CRM, areas that are becoming more and more important to our clients. The shift that Mudra has made towards becoming a communications group is similar to the shift that DDB is making all over the world. Its making that shift from what has historically been an advertising agency to now a more integrated full service communications company that is delivering a wide range of ideas through multiple media and different platforms. The relationship between DDB and Mudra has been a great partnership, we have worked very well together and continue to do so. Mudra has a number of national clients along with a number of global DDB clients that it works together with, from Philips to Volkswagen to Johnson & Johnson to Wrigleys, Henkel, Unilever. We are happy with our partnership. We continue to work and develop that partnership for the future. I believe that we are going to continue to strengthen our ties together and build a broader set of resources for the future.

We have a very close relationship with Mudra for about 25 years. They have handled a number of our brands and products over the years soaps and hair colour; they have handled Real Good Chicken, they have handled durables. So our relationship with Mudra has been long and diverse. The one thing I found about Mudra which is unique, to my mind, is that they go to consumers. I have seen them. They keep speaking to

consumers and give us feedback -- and I like that. Advertising agencies generally believe that their job is only being creative whereas here I have seen a lot of insight coming out of Mudra. I think they have taken the trouble to go to the market, to interact with consumers. That I have always been very impressed with. I can tell you that some of our advertising has been really strong and successful.

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What do Mudras partners, captains of industry, Mudras competitors and CEOs of media houses think of Mudra?
Ranjan Kapoor, country manager, India - WPP
Ive seen Mudra from the day it started till today. In the initial years, the impression always was like, Hey, they are coming after us! Since we were No. 3 on the run, they were always watching our tail and they were very aggressive. They had found a place in the scheme of things. They were an Indian agency that was challenging these three nasty multinationals who had all the plum accounts and they had Rasna and Vimal. The Indian entrepreneurs were waking up and they were beginning to build brands. Mudra was an Indian agency for Indian clients a positioning which initially we sort of pooh-poohed. When I left in 1984. Mani Aiyer used to tell me that Mudras growing and while we were growing at a fairly steady pace, they were coming after us. The next thing I knew, before I returned, Mudra had actually overtaken us and they had become the No. 3 agency which was obviously very aggravating for O&M. Obviously they became a huge competitor to us and there was no doubt about it that they had found fabulous credibility with Indian clients and they continued to grow. I think Mani (of O&M) was very strong in financial management and Krishnamurthy was equally strong and thats where they had a tremendous advantage. Everyone was improving their margins and Mudra kept pace with that. When things started decelerating, we had the good sense to go on raising our margins and Mudra did the same thing. Im not sure whether other agencies looked at that aspect of the business. Mudra had an equally strong focus on the management of business to deliver profit from their office. Today, if I were to describe Mudra to say, somebody from America,Id say that they have got a strong advertising agency. Even in their first decade, you saw them as a strong advertising agency, which had advertising solutions. While some of us were diversifying, we didnt see them diversifying as much, then, but now I feel that its happening. Its like a revival. There was a bit of a plateau and then one sees it going up again. I see that there is an absolute revival and aggression in them that I have not seen before.Look at the hiring they have made at a time when nobody was hiring.

VIEW FROM THE OUTSIDE


Vikram Sakhuja, CEO - South Asia, GroupM R Gowthaman, leader, Mindshare, South Asia
I still vividly remember the first Mudra Videotec signature ages back and I believe now, as I believed then, that it was ahead of its time! That has been the hallmark of Mudra; the ability to anticipate the changes in the industry and environment. Mudra showed the way to this industry on how to diversify and provide wholesome communication solutions, not to forget the contribution in providing talent to this industry through MICA. Im certain that Mudra will continue to challenge the status quo in this industry and set new trends.

Seema Mohapatra, regional director ad sales, South


Asia, BBC Worldwide
The first time I heard of Mudra was in the late 80s or the early 90s, when they were in the top four or top five agencies in the country. Ive not interacted much with Mudra but Ive worked closely with Madhukar (Kamath) in various industry capacities and Pratap (Bose) when he was on the WPP side of things. In the 1970s and the 80s, network agencies werent such a big thing in India - quite unlike the scene today - so there was a culture of home grown agencies of not just Mudra, Chaitra, Trikaya, Lintas or even HTA for that matter. So I hadnt reacted much when they launched, but by the early 1990s, theyd grown to become a highly respected advertising agency. That perception continues to exist today. I really dont know much about their growth story, but I do know that as a group, theyre highly respected in the industry. I really admire Madhukar as a person. Unfortunately, Ive never had a chance to meet their very, very esteemed founder - AGK. But Ive seen Madhukar as president of AAAI and hes someone I truly respect. Indeed, Mudra has been instrumental in the launch of many enterprising brands coming out of Gujarat and thereafter spreading their network to the rest of India. The agency has also been fortunate to have the right clients to back their ideas, which is why you have brands like Dhara, Rasna, Vimal becoming homegrown successes. Ive seen some of the work thats been coming out of Mudra MAX. You know, I say this as a compliment here - when entering award shows, Ogilvy packages entries very well. One, through good work and the other, by ensuring that those entries are viewer friendly. But ever since Pratap (Bose) has joined Mudra, he has brought that Ogilvy touch to the Mudra Group. So for example, Mudra MAXs strengths are now in outdoor and activation. This year at the Media Abbys for example, Mudra MAX is way up there, in terms of the total shortlists. So in the future, I expect the good work to continue from the Mudra Group. Without a doubt it will, especially with the kind of leadership they have. I hope they can continue to give a credible face to Indian advertising.

Rajesh Kamat, COO, Viacom18


Mudra is Indias biggest source of pride when it comes to homegrown agencies. From a small entrepreneurial set-up in Ahmedabad, the agency has grown into a nationwide communications group. Its heartening to see their intent convert to action, as they diversify into specialised units in order to offer a variety of solutions to clients. What is even more interesting is that all their units are under one umbrella and with a new address on the cards, Mudra can really walk the talk when it comes to integrated communication solutions. With this, theyre creating a fine example of an agency that is future ready, considering the dynamic media landscape we operate in.

Mudra can be remembered for many different things. Brings back memories of I love you Rasna , Only Vimal, My daddy strongest and of course AGK for all of us in media. A truly Indian agency which has been standing tall with many firsts to its name. They have been pioneers on a lot of fronts, much ahead of others and never shying away from creating new business opportunities. Mudra Videotec with Buniyaad in the good old days or establishing MICA - a great contribution to the industry and many more. It has reinvented itself every few years and I am sure we will see much more in the coming years. The entrepreneurial spirit and passion reflects in everything they do. Wishing Madhukar and the team all the best in taking it to greater heights.

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What do those who work with Mudra for their brand-building and communication needs think of their contribution?
T Narsimhan, mktg head, Asia Pacific & Japan, HP Anand G Deo, MD, Zydus Wellness S Raghunandan, MD and CEO, Paras Pharmaceuticals Chandru Kalro, EVP, TTK Prestige

MUDRA WORKS FOR THEM


RAPP India is one of the big success stories in HP in Asia Pacific, its actually considered one of the best benchmarks of what you can do with an agency and its a source of great pride for us. My interaction with Mudra is more than 12-13 years and their biggest strength is the fact that they act as true business partners, theyre responsive and their time-to-market. In my industry, time-to-market is critical and also, you know, as opposed to some other industries, so Mudra is good with turnaround times which is something I appreciate in them. Our business is a complex one and they make a good job of understanding it. The very fact that weve been working for nine and half years speaks volumes about our association with Mudra. Mudra has taken through two of our brands - Sugar Free and Nutralite - through its formative years. Thats an important achievement in itself. When we select an agency for an upcoming brand, the geographic location becomes very important and as far as Ahmedabad is concerned, Mudra is one of best ones. Two examples stand out in Mudras contribution to the brand one was when 9/11 happened and we were on-air on all the news channels. The kind of coverage we got, was the building block or foundation for Sugar Free. Second was where Mudra helped Nutralite become a formidable brand in the retail segment. This has happened thanks only to a long association. It has been easy for me to come in and settle down because Mudras familiarity with the Paras brands has been for a fairly long time. It has been a fairly fruitful relationship over the last 18 months, where weve come to expect more out of Mudra and theyve been able to measure up to it. The activity levels on each of our brands has gone up considerably. The agency has succeeded in going beyond the brief - for example, one of the new products were going to to launch in the next few months, is a brainchild of Mudra. They have been able to flesh out the category and convince us that it is a good opportunity for us to get into. The agency has a very significant role to play in our growth. After Mudra came on-board as our agency, we actually had a change in direction and our communication platform. Its been a good journey so far; our association with them will almost complete ten years. They really understand continual client service. They are very warm people and unlike other agencies, they dont have an I-know-better attitude. They work with you. They dont work at you, which many agencies do. Their involvement is quite substantial in our business. If they dont know something, they are willing to listen to you. Which is why, we continued this relationship. They have a very good activation cell, which is of major interest to us and which we foresee using in the coming days for various marketing activities.

Vivek Sharma, CMO, Philips India

M V Nair, CMD, Union Bank of India


We have been associated with Mudra for four years now. Theyve been involved with the re-branding exercise the bank under went last year. It undoubtedly proved Mudras capability to execute mammoth 360 degree communications programme nationally. The intensity of their engagement with us and our other partners was noteworthy.What I like about Mudra is their understanding of the financial category, the knowledge of how a bank functions and their thoughtfulness of our communications needs - these are what make Mudra different! They have always explored multiple approaches before recommending the final creative solution. The internal communication campaign Mudra devised for our Nav-Nirman roll out was perhaps more challenging than the brand identity change campaign. Mudra treated the internal communication campaign with the same vigour and drive it put behind the multi-media campaign. When we ran our internal engagement program, which we had taken it to everywhere nationally, including smaller towns, it was Mudras specialists units which implemented it effectively and simultaneously across multiple locations.

D K Mehrotra, MD, LIC of India

Aloke Malik president, Peter England Fashion & Retail

DDB Mudra has found the right balance between the global positioning and Indian relevance. It has contributed significantly to building brand Philips in India by virtue of their sheer commitment, dedicated teams, senior level involvement and good, creative inputs. There is always a very positive and open attitude of can do, which is what my team in Philips loves about DDB Mudra. From being a transactional relationship three years ago, now we have a relationship which is built on trust, partnership, were comfortable with each other and allow each to make mistakes - were now long term partners. It is so good now that we often meet without any work and agenda - just to eat, drink and discuss.

LIC has shared a long and fruitful relationship with Mudra. As one of the key agencies working on our brand, they have produced the extremely memorable Zindagi ke saath bhi, Zindagi ke baad bhi to the latest Pension film Statue. It is with great pleasure that I extend my warmest congratulations to the entire team on the occasion of their completing 30 years and wish them the very best in their journey forward.

Mudra launched Peter England with The Honest Shirt campaign 12 years back. And that is when we started working together. The Honest Shirt, was a landmark campaign for Peter England. It created a mid-priced segment in the mens apparel category. People still fondly refer to Peter England as the honest shirt. The agency team made a significant contribution in leveraging our association with the Chennai Super Kings team and integrating this campaign with our brand positioning.The timelines were extremely tight, availability of players uncertain. Despite these challenges, the Mudra team came up with some fine work. Team Mudras passion to keep on improving the creative quotient stands out for special mention as does their energy and enthusiasm.

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What do those who work with Mudra for their brand-building and communication needs think of their contribution?
Lutz Kothe, chief GM - marketing, PR, Volkswagen India M Suku, head - media strategy and alliances, R-ADAG
In an industry in India overwhelmingly dominated by global communication networks, Mudra has stood out as an outstanding example of an Indian global communication network brand uniquely configured around the needs of Indian markets, marketers, consumers and media. Mudra will always be remembered by me for its visionary and early bird approach to sponsored programmes on TV (Buniyaad, Rajni etc), its Sports Management effort of World Cup Cricket in the mid-80s and the first ever branding attempt of IPOs (Reliance Khazana) among many other achievements. In a business where global communication networks paid lip service to talent, Mudra was the first to set up a focussed institution MICA to continously generate the much needed talent which the communication industry today sucks up entirely before even students pass out! In a high profile industry, Mudra has been consistently low profile and I hope that the celebrations around the 30 years of Mudra raises the profile and importance of a very unique, effective and Indian communications network.

MUDRA WORKS FOR THEM


Avinash Bhandari, group CEO, joint MD, Electrotherm S Ravichandran, MD, TTK Prestige
Our relationship with Mudra started around September 2005. The brand name Yo Bikes was coined by Mudra. It was important beginning for us, because we had never done consumer products before - weve been a B2B market player for many years. Therefore advertising and Mudra both were new things for us. Also, not being an auto player, we had to develop a comprehensive marketing strategy for our auto products. We chose Mudra because we went by the brand and reputation that the agency enjoyed in the market. They have done a very good job. Its a very strong relationship - weve worked very closely in the last five years. There was a lot of learning that came from Mudra, in terms of advertisements, brand promotions. Lot of things we hadnt known as a B2B company - so they not only performed their role as an advertising agency, there was also a lot of learning which came in through their ability to go beyond the brief. They are absolutely committed to our success. Theyre part of our team, we dont see them as Mudra anymore. So they certainly play an important role in the coming days for the growth of our brand and our products. With the kind of technological changes that were making in the product and our plans for the next two years, I think Mudras involvement will only increase. Mudra is a company with which we share a lot of values; their culture is very similar to ours, it is a very people-intensive business.Mudra, I think, is very down-to-earth and every person who has represented Mudra to us has brought in an enormous amount of value and personal relationships and a lot of friendship on the table, while being completely professional about whatever they have delivered. As a company, when we wanted to enter the second segment in pressure cookers, just the bigger segment so-to-speak after years of discussing, we decided to enter. When we designed the product, Mudra had come on board and we asked Mudra to do a workshop on what is product strategy, etc. The story is legend: at the end of a workshop on the presentation, this is something which changed the way we designed the product completely, we went into redesigning when they said, When you want to enter a battle, you must either choose the weapons or choose the battleground. You cannot leave both to your opponent. I think it was extremely significant because Hawkins was a very big market leader and they were very strong in the north and the east, where this product was selling. I think Mudra brought a confluence of ideas from some of the experiences in the other offices as well; we work with Bangalore but we know we actually have all the Mudra offices as resources at hand, when a push comes to a shove. This is something Mudra has brought to the table. Going forward as we expand into rural markets and gain the loyalty of the dealers by creating a point-of-sales communication which is very, very clear to the customers and to the dealers. Thats where I believe many of Mudras specialist units will come into play. I think, today, marketing is no more about advertising. Whenever a creative is being presented weve always insisted that Mudra present a broad media plan on how that creative will be taken forward and what itll mean in terms of the various time parameters that we want to evaluate together, so that we know exactly how we will look at it, not just necessarily from a creative perspective. Any of the presentations by them is an integrated presentation. I think that strength that Mudra brings to the table is invaluable. Im sure they believe that customers want such inputs and, therefore, they do that. I think Madhukar is absolutely right in pushing Mudra as a partner in business which is why theyre now becoming a knowledge partner. So Mudra just commissioned a research and had six workshops with us, run by an independent moderator who would pick up all the ideas and, you know, give a shape to the whole thing. Those six workshops culminated in deciding how we should approach the communication, and I think to that extent, its clearly their commitment to try and find a solution as a partner, rather than just to come up with a couple of catchy base-lines. It was solid research, solid process of understanding I think that singular thing that they did tells us how committed they are to working together. Mudra has done a wonderful job and Im sure, has positioned itself to a knowledge partner of the business. We look at Mudra as an agency which brings knowledge that combines together with ours. So thats one-plus-one making three.

Volkswagen operates all over the world and our brand guidelines, are very important for us. So it was very important for us to find an agency, which clearly understands our brands and how best they can be adapted locally and the agency would have to certainly lead the brand. Based on our brand strategy, weselected DDB Mudra. It was an additional advantage since it belongs to the DDB network worldwide and it would be fair to say that the intercommunication between the agencies is mature. They know the VW brand and where we are heading to. Having said that, if it were not a network agency, wed still have decided on Mudra. At the end of day, its also about performance and how do they understand how we want the brand to lead. Their responsiveness has been a critical factor. The time between Mudras appointment and the release of the communication was a very short span of time. So the relationship has been excellent. Its very good. In the beginning everybody has to learn. So DDB Mudra was appointed before I came into the market and within this very short period of time they adapted our brand guidelines to our Indian strategy. They came up with a lot of creative approaches and this worked very well. But its paying off. For example, what we are heading for is awareness. Our awareness in India last year was very low and with the first activities and the variety of campaigns, they used a 360-degree approach and raised our brand awareness in double digits. So it was a huge success for us. Additionally, what we also clearly see at the end of last year - because we launched on the 11th of November - our sales went up. After the announcement of Polo, we were number one on Google with more than one lakh clicks on our web page. After the Polo innovation in TOI, our showrooms were completely overcrowded. Everybody wanted to see the cars. Our dealers are happy. Motivation is very high and at the end of the day, we are selling cars. And when we look at our bookings, we know already for our cars it was a success. Out of all the work weve done - Ive loved the innovations weve done with media, as much as the brand commercials which ran from 11 November onwards. So, essentially weve adapted the brand in a very, very short period of time. Normally, more or less, you need half a year to do something like this if you have had the knowledge.The foundation of the Volkswagen brand has now been laid and the consumers now knows that were coming into the market with the New Beetle, Touareg and now, Polo. So, theyve realised that the brand really makes an effort in this market. So its not really advertising, but a commitment to the country. Thats why in our TOI innovation, we ended the last page with the headline, Here today and tomorrow and this is what customers understood, not in terms of terminology, but as a consumer.

Tanya Dubash , executive director, Godrej Group

Alpana K Titus, executive vice president,


marketing - flavors, PepsiCo India
Over many years of partnering with Mudra MAX as one of our solutions provider in the BTL communication space, weve seen Mudra MAX grow strength to strength. We at PepsiCo Flavors, look forward for doing much more constructive work with the group. Congratulations to each member of the team for achieving grand success.

We have been working with Mudra for around 25 years and the association is across several of our Group companies and brands. I think Mudras work with Godrej Powder Hair Dye, which now comes under the umbrella brand under Godrej Expert, has been invaluable. The Mudra team headed by Jude Fernandes has always worked seamlessly with our teams on projects, often carrying out services which were not necessarily within the scope of work required by them. Its always like one big Godrej team! Mudras efforts in No.1 have certainly helped us gain market share over competitors. We also benefited from Mudras specialist services including the rural arm, their digital arm and their point of purchase and activation services.

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Mudra has been a stepping stone for a number of great Indian adlanders, all with great memories of their stints there and what they gained from Mudra
A G Krishnamurthy, chairman, AGK Brand Consulting R Balki, chairman and chief creative officer, Lowe Lintas Santosh Desai, managing director and CEO, Future Brands Sonal Dabral, chairman and regional creative director, Bates141

THEY HELPED BUILD MUDRA


required. All that we did was to convert the studio into an agency. The brief was not to make profit. Dhirubhai Ambani just said, Make Vimals advertising the best advertising in the country. By 1982, we had started producing good work for Vimal, and started receiving calls from others asking if we would handle their communication needs. The first call that we received was from Nelco, which was headed by Ratan Tata in those days, and was a formidable brand. Mr. Venugopal, who was the marketing head at Nelco, called to say that they were very impressed by the Vimal work and asked if we would work with them. Dhirubhai suggested we wait for some time. The first external business we handled was a year later, when we took on the Rasna business. Then we began expanding nationally. The rest is history. My first memories of advertising are in Mudra. Thats where I started my career. In those days, the Mudra Videotec logo used to come at the end of many TV programmes. I was one of the first guinea pigs of what would eventually become MICA. We started in a small flat in Ahmedabad - Chaitanya Towers - with Rs 1000 as our starting salary. Mudra was always an emotional place, it always sold by emotion, not by rationale. I remember an ad for BPL, which AGK had completely trashed, but the client loved it, Alyque wrote a long mail to AGK saying it was a fantastic ad. AGK then sent me a letter, saying, I was wrong, you are right. So that was a learning experience - it was not about who you are, its about what it is. A lot of times, I feel Ive been away from that organisation, but Ive never been away from that culture. Me, Ramki, Prathap (Suthan) - all of us today have a very unsaid bond between us. At some point of time, we all felt we were useless. But there did come a time, when we thought we were useful, thanks to Mudra. Mudra was the agency which said, Who said we cant do it?. Mudra started out as an entrepreneur and now has turned into something of a successful businessman. The challenge for Mudra now is to keep the spirit of entrepreneurship alive. Its got a very rich foundation and I think the agency now needs to find a lot more hungry people. They dont need good old professionals whove worked in other agencies. They are an agency which has made ordinary people do extra ordinary things. And thats what makes people want to congregate. We never said, Hail Mudra! We always said Hail Us, because we felt great being together in the agency.

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I had just joined Reliance as an advertising manager, and Frank Simoes was our ad agency. The focus of our advertising, then, was on Vimal sarees. By 1979, Vimal Suitings had become a very big brand and this was a dilemma for Frank Simoes. They were handling Raymonds as well, and the brand was very close to Frank Simoes heart. They had to choose between the two and asked us if they could retain Vimal Sarees and choose Raymond ahead of Vimal Suitings. We didnt take this well; we thought all Vimal brands should be under one agency. We decided to sever ties with FS and start our own agency. We had already set up and had been running a studio to address the BTL needs of all brands anyway, we had the confidence to handle the brands on our own, even the ATL needs. We had the infrastructure in place and there were no great investments

J Ramachandran, professor - corporate strategy and policy, IIM-B


My initial exposure to Mudra was when they were handling Vimal. I was with Reliance at that point of time and I was assisting Mr Anil Ambani. They did some great work for Vimals TVC featuring Viv Richards. It was a wonderful piece of work. I also remember the conceptualisation of Mudra Videotec which was responsible for Buniyaad. Then as part of my group vocation, I spent two years in Mudra, as part of research development. Those two years were great, there was high energy at the agency. The industry saw us as upstarts. At that time, the industry was dominated by multinational affiliates from HTA to Lintas to Ogilvy Benson & Mather. But we were different. What was different about us was that we were not conventional advertising types. A lot of us in the senior management at that time didnt come from an advertising background. I wasnt from advertising myself. At Reliance, I was part of the group strategy team. Then I came to Mudra. If I remember right, the two years that I was there, we more than doubled the billing. Whats more, Mudra pioneered a few important things. One, account planning is something we drove very hard because a lot of our clients were were trying to compete against MNCs. In terms of creative, we had an interesting strategy. We had a great creative team in-house. A lot of our work used to be television based, we were one of the early pioneers of television. The original telecasting of cricket matches in the country was completely sponsored by Reliance. We had a strong strategy orientation and strong creative inputs. We also managed to tap into the creative genius of the filmmakers. Hence, a whole bunch of outstanding work came out of Mudra in those days. Also, one of the challenges that we saw at that time was the shortage of talent in the industry so thats how MICA was set up. Overall, those were exciting times

Sam Balsara, chairman and managing director, Madison World


agency. It was born from a Reliance culture where the baseline was Where Growth is Way of Life and with the Ambani credo of Every job has to be done in time, Nothing is impossible. Now, these were certainly not sentiments one could express with agencies of those days. I remember, even for me, working on a Saturday was a bit uncomfortable and quite often our meetings were held on Sundays. And its quite unthinkable for a corporate to have a meeting on Sunday. But at Mudra, it was perfectly normal. Today, Mudras growth is much like the story of Indian entrepreneurs. For its future, new businesses will come from Indian entrepreneurs - not MNCs who want to become future Ambanis. But any good growth oriented vision should consider how to make this industry grow from Rs 20,000 crores to Rs 2 lakh crores. Mudra must develop the necessary skillsets in anticipation of the clients needs, to acquire all those skill sets which will help sell more and more chocolates, more and more airtime, more and more soaps. Only once that goes up, will advertising grow.

When I joined Mudra in 1991, my biggest learning was without question, working with people, because it was the kind of place that fosters the whole idea of working together and we learnt the importance of working as a collective. It wasnt just about what you do whether youre good or bad at your work, but your ability to work along with other people. You know when organisations say were like a family, its the cliche of the worst kind. But Mudra was a true conception of the term family and it was brave enough to welcome all kinds of people. The agency also had the courage not to go down the beaten path - it did things things differently, by deriving strength from the average rather than from the best, that was the unique part about Mudra culture. So it wasnt just about what you do or how good or bad you were at your work, it

was largely about your ability to get along with other people. The sense of participation and sense of ownership towards the work was so strong, that people gave it more than 100 per cent. So the sense you get working in Mudra is something that cannot be replicated by any other agency. Today, the good thing about Mudra is that theyre one of the few organisations that is more involved in business terms with their clients and therefore they are genuinely more than just plain vanilla advertising. Culturally, Mudra may have matured, it may have ripened, but it has not become something else. Very often when you leave an agency and you look back, you feel like such a stranger. But with Mudra, I still consider it a place that I will understand and be able to relate to.

I joined Mudra in 1988, when it was a fairly young team. What struck me about Mudra was the fact that there was this spirit of trying to create something new. The energy was infectious; we were working like a closely knit team. Id studied at NID where you were encouraged to work together as a team and my similar

experience at Mudra confirmed the fact that creative ideas were a team effort, with people building on an idea and taking it forward. I worked there for about 8-9 months. Its very important early in your career to have happy memories of your chosen profession. My early days at Mudra were just that.

Rahul Kansal, chief marketing officer, BCCL

Prateek Srivastava, group president - South, O&M


I worked with Mudra in the early 90s, which was perhaps the formative years of the agency. Those were heady days. We were out to prove a point to the industry which looked at this Ahmedabad-based home grown agency with a great amount of skepticism. We believed we could achieve anything, and at the same time used to remind ourselves everyday that we were the underdogs. The energy levels were so high that one could almost touch and feel the heat. As AGK used to put it, we had fire in our bellies. I feel privileged to have worked with Mudra, under a great leader . Even after so many years, when I think of some of the things we did, my heart swells with pride. On its 30th anniversary, I salute Mudra. When I quit O&M as executive director, I saw in Mudra an opportunity to do a lot more building/creation than in my current job. When I eventually joined, my biggest learning at Mudra was that advertising neednt be a hip or cool profession that operates on the periphery of showbiz. I also learnt that only agencies capable of getting off their ivory tower and understanding the reality of Indian markets and consumers would survive and thrive in the future. What left a lasting impression on my work ethics was the importance given to substance over style - in an industry thickly populated with gas bags, I learnt the importance of talking the moti baat. I remember, when Dabur invited Mudra for a pitch for a new toothpaste brand, while most other agencies would have spent the limited time available in trying to put together a glitzy presentation, we at Mudra were so focused on trying to get the strategy right, we finally made the presentation on acetates with the presenter constructing the key charts right in front of the client, in an interactive way. The presentation worked like a dream, Mudra came on board and within the next one year had won some 50% of Daburs business including Chyawanprash, Vatika, LDM, Hajmola and Hajmola candy. This down-to-earth presentation (of an insightful/ sound strategy) underlined, to my mind is a major cultural trait of Mudra a belief in the supremacy of substance over style.

When it launched, Mudra came across as a performance based agency. During that time, advertising came across as a genteel profession. It was kind of an old boys club. Everybody sort of played by the rules. Everything took time. But Mudra came in as a no nonsense , hard working, willing-toroll-up-their-sleeves, working long hours, working on a Saturday...that kind of

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An organisation is only as good as its people, more so in the communications area. Heres Mudra Indias A team
Ashish Mishra, chief strategist
and head, Water

THE MUDRA INDIA A TEAM


Ranji Cherian, president, Mudra South
What attracted me to the prospect of joining Mudra was the challenge of heading a region. There was this very strong people side to Mudra which I havent seen in many agencies. Under Madhukars new team theres far more aggression. Mudra was willing to look at one as a person who came with a certain body of knowledge and experience and if you could bring something to the table which looked different, they were willing to buy it.
or United Spirits or Peter England, they define Mudra as being very entrepreneurial. We know how to sit together with the client to understand challenges, do things for clients which go beyond advertising in terms of understanding insights and unlocking the market opportunities. So Mudra has gone beyond pure communication. The emphasis on account planning has increased as well, says Aditya Kanthy, who heads planning for Mudra West. In a part of the fresh new creative leadership for the agency. Vinod is currently not worried about industry perception of the agency. We want to excel. Creativity is what works in this business and we want to be known to be the most creative place producing some of the best possible ideas which work for the clients that will eventually become advertising for ourselves. So after that happens, industry perceptions will take care of themselves. Agrees Joono Simon, creative head for Mudra South, for whom Bobbys joining the agency was a huge motivator besides being given the space for creative freedom. As a creative person, especially when you have reached a certain stage, you need that larger space to really perform and do things which you think are right, which are forward-looking and game changing. Mudra has that sense of nurturing this spirit. The launch of Water was an important development in helping brands go up the value chain through brand consultancy and design solutions.Ashish Mishra, who heads this unit started his career in Mudra and has been here ever since. He was instrumental in launching the strategic planning function at the agency as well. Another addition has been Maatra, which specialises in localisation and premedia services. During the relaunch of Union Bank of India, for example, Maatra helped change the look of 3,000 branches in 72 hours. Right from the beginning, Mudra has been doing pretty benchmark work which is very audacious, which has that can do spirit, very Indian, not snobbish.A lot of this value seemed very appealing, being brilliant without being all about projecting it or showing off, Mishra says.

Mudra Indias not just strong in planning and creative, but now also has the support of the Groups various units, says Jude Fernandes, CEO

udra India is the genesis of the larger Mudra Group one sees today. What started as an in-house creative team now serves as a mainline agency for some of Indias iconic brands and leading advertisers. The agency has gone on to build some iconic brands over the years - right from Vimal, Dhara, Rasna, Nestle Polo, Reliance Infocomm, Maxtouch, Samsung, McDonalds amongst several others. Now it stands tall within the Mudra Group that celebrates 30 years this year. Jude Fernandes, CEO, Mudra India said, Mudra India has a unique way of thinking and thats not going to change, because theres a certain way we look after our clients.So its a unique culture.What is going to change is the way we network within the Group and solve our clients problems. So if theres a digital solution that a Mudra India client needs, theres Tribal DDB that can be approached. If theres a rural opportunity, we will network with Mudra MAX. Therefore, today when I go into the market to talk to a potential client, I am not talking only advertising. The same sentiment is now being replicated across all of Mudra Indias offices in the north and south. Sanjay Sharma, president, Mudra North and East says, Mudra North has become a healthy and respectable agency in the last 2-3 years. We should be amongst the top three agencies in the next few years. What differentiates us from the others is that we walk the talk about integrated solutions. With all of us sitting in the same office, communication has become seamless. Ranji Cherian, president, Mudra South, states examples where Mudra has gone beyond the brief.If you look at TTK Prestige

Mudra was the place I began my career in and I have been with the agency for over 15 years. When I started, Mudra seemed like a place which was doing pretty benchmark work which was audacious, and had a can do and challenging spirit. It had more substance in an industry which is seen from the outside as a superficial, glamorous industry. It seemed like a place where that could be used for someone who had management proficiency and wanted to have greater satisfaction, wanted to make a difference in a variety of things. Mudras culture resonates very well in terms of making people feel important, making people feel very comfortable and valued. In fact, the place where a lot of ordinary people come together and get a feeling that they can do something extraordinary.

Ajay Naqvi, EVP and head, Mudra North and East


At Mudra North and East we are going back to the basic. Create a great place for people to think and nurture ideas and brands and consumers will be delighted. We want to be a place known for great set of people who are passionate about what they do. You would see in the coming months that we have turned a new leaf on creative solutions. We have some great campaigns lined up on our key busineses. We have engaged with very exciting new businesses. We have a rock solid creative, account management and planning team and we are just getting warmed up :)

Arijit Ray, president, Mudra West

Primarily, the responsibility of a large flagship operation attracted me. The mandate given to me by Jude and Madhukar was to take the agency to the next orbit in terms of revenue, profile and skills. There is some internal drive in the system. Were high on accountability. I think that drives people. Theres a high degree of collective spirit and integration which comes down from the top.

KB Vinod, creative head, Mudra West Nirmal Pulickal, ECD, Mudra North and East
Mudra has been a Top 5 agency for three decades. And they have big plans matched with the drive to make it happen. Throw in clients with a lot of creative potential like HBO, Wrigleys and Philips and you have a pretty good set-up for any creative guy to work off. But all this aside, a shop is just a shop and its the people who make the difference. In an industry filled with strange people, I was pleasantly surprised to find Ajay Naqvi and Bobby Pawar to be good guys, fun guys. You know, the sort you dont mind sitting and having a beer with. Moreover, I was lucky to have inherited a pretty decent crop of creatives like Raylin Valles, Neville Shah and Vandana Katoch. Experienced enough to fend for themselves and keen to make something of the place. I hope I can live up to their expectations and make this place into a shiny, happy and cutting edge creative agency that you feel happy to get up in the morning and drag yourself to.

Mudra India has a certain unique culture which wont change. What will change is the way it interacts with the rest of Mudra Group
strange way, Bobbys coming to the agency has also helped ensure that planning is taken more seriously because you cannot separate strategy. Therefore it has meant that our investments in planning have gone up dramatically, he says. Arijit Ray who heads Mudra West agrees and adds that Mudra is one place that really inspires you to like yourselfThere is . certainly some internal drive in the system. Its a system which is very high on accountability, collective spirit and integration. I think that drives people. KB Vinod, who joined last year from Leo Burnett to head creative for Mudra West is

I had been having chats with Bobby (Pawar) for several months before I actually joined Mudra. What made me join was probably the fact that the chemistry was right with the people involved. I related with the new thinking in place. Otherwise, Mudra is a large institution and place. I looked at it and I felt that I would be happy to be a part of it. We have a job to do, there are a lot of clients, and there are a lot of brands which need attention. Each one has their own problems but we are trying to create solutions, we want to excel. Creativity is what works in this business and we want to be known as the most creative place producing some of the best possible ideas which work for the clients and become advertising for ourselves. My experience has always been doing work on the brands and making a difference to clients. That comes definitely as priority number one.

Aditya Kanthy,
VP - planning, Mudra West
I have spent seven years here for very good reasons. I wanted to do advertising. I wanted to be in Bombay, and the first opportunity that seemed substantial and interesting was at Mudra and I was part of the Reliance Infocomm launch, the biggest brand launch in advertising history. Its been a great experience -working on the launch and now with Madhukar.

Vipul Thakkar, ECD, Mudra South


The thing that impresses me most about Mudra is the consistency with which it has been creating innovative and effective advertising in the recent years. Obviously this has been possible because Mudra, unlike any other agency, creates truly integrated communication solutions for its brands. Also what is heartening to know is that its actual brand work that is picking up so many metals, both at home and abroad. As for Mudra south, I am looking forward to some exceptional work coming out of the Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai offices.

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THE BEST OF MUDRA INDIA

VIMAL 'Only Vimal' was the first of many memorable campaigns from Mudra

THE ECONOMIC TIMES The power of ideas RASNA The iconic 'I Love You Rasna' campaign LAVASA Futuristic township, future-ready positioning

JOCKEY Uninhibited, carefree, cheeky

RIM 'Kar lo duniya mutthi mein' went on to change the face of telecom in India

PETER ENGLAND Mudra positioned it as 'The Honest Shirt'

BIG BAZAAR The biggest retail brand

SIGNATURE Indian Derby

DHARA 'Dhara dhara, shudh dhara'

CYCLE AGARBATTI Almost divine, the campaign got Mudra its first Cannes Lion

BINNIES MCDONALD'S The India foray

POLO Fun with pun: Campaign of the year

UNION BANK OF INDIA Corporate rebranding

LIC Zindagi ke sath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi

SAMSUNG PLANO

LONELY PLANET India is only the second nation globally to see the mag's launch

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THE BEST OF MUDRA INDIA

ADASIA 2011 BRANDING

TERI Light a billion lives

THE ECONOMIC TIMES POWER OF IDEAS

AIR INDIA EXPRESS BRANDING

RELIANCE METRO BRANDING MCDOWELLS NO.1 PLATINUM

MCDOWELLS NO. 1 Deccan Chargers BIG BAZAAR Maha Bachat

L&T MUTUAL FUNDS Strong Foundations

OLIVE PAD

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THE BEST OF MUDRA INDIA

FEMINA For all the woman you are ELECTROLUX Thinking of you

THE ECONOMIC TIMES Breakfast with the FM

BANK OF BARODA Stick Man

LAVASA Future Cities

HBO Excuse Box

PETER ENGLAND Beginning of good things

VIMAL PAN MASALA Saffron Rain

JOCKEY Just Jockeying

THE WEEK Courage to go beyond

PHILIPS MRI SCAN

PHILIPS Energy efficient lighting

JOS ALUKKAS

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The very best of Mudra meets the best of DDB to create magic
THE MEN IN CHARGE
Rajiv Sabnis, president, DDB India

DDB MUDRA

THE BEST OF DDB MUDRA

Culturally, we do well because its a meeting of minds and not a personality driven organisation. There is so much action happening all around the Group. You can feel the energy and positive vibes of the group.
Rajeev Raja,national creative director, DDB Mudra

VOLKSWAGEN The auto majors first brand campaign

DDB Mudra is built around the idea of open collaboration, says Sandeep Vij
sk Sandeep Vij about collaboration and hell give you several examples, Wikipedia, Linux, the idea of cocreation, Hollywood and Bollywood are all built around this idea, he says.DDB Mudra is also built around the idea of open collaboration where we are moving from disparate agencies to a team of experts - from discipline to idea oriented, from consecutive production to concurrent collaborative production, from separate to open, he says. It is to support this spirit of collaboration that DDB Mudras leadership team is reasonably fresh. Theres Rajiv Sabnis who joined from M&C Saatchi to head DDB Mudra Advertising. Theres Rajeev Raja who joined from Bates141 last year as creative head, DDB Mudra, going on to become national creative director. Michael Follett, formerly of DDB London - considering the mother of all planning-led agencies and Tribal DDB New York, crossed over into India to run DDB Mudras One Voice Planning. Vij says, Michael now has a dozen planners under him who are being trained to be aperture agnostic and true solvers of business problems. Sabnis adds, How big you are globally doesnt matter to any one unless you can prove your talent to those in the local markets. So one has to grow by doing great work and through engagements with clients and prospects. We look for people who have an eye for detail. We look for people who respect cross systems, Sabnis says. Soumitra Sen who heads DDBHealth & Lifestyle is one of them. You know it when he tells you about their work on Wrigleys and Calcium Sandoz.I am a strategy consultant to Wrigleys and before Mumbai Smiles happened, they came to us saying that theyre excited about what we were trying to do to reach dentists. So how do we do a conference and do a world record of oral checkups? Kidstuff, Celsius, Tribal DDB and DDB Health & Life-

Young creatives can come to Mudra and work in extremely exciting and diverse teams

style put in a collaborative effort. We entered the Guinness Book of World Records. Which is why, you want to agree when Rajeev Raja says: Mudra is not paying merely lip service to the term, full service agency, but putting its money where its mouth is and has set up a diverse number of units to cater to different client requirements.As a Group, today Mudra is rock solid. We now need to win many more big brands and crack many more sparkling campaigns. We need to create some history. Follett who heads strategic planning, agrees.Ive always believed in collaboration, that none of us is as smart as all of us. Young creatives can come to Mudra and work in extremely exciting and diverse teams. People who think they are TV or print specialists have to work with digital and direct specialists and so on. This means that theyll get to produce inter-disciplinary, exciting work; but it also means that theyll get to learn from their new team mates. Everyone learns from each other, everyone wins. In fact, introduction of new joinees is something that Venkat Mallik, head of RAPP India finds very interesting. It is probably the only agency group which has a specific initiation process like that. So that helps you get a comfort level on a base within the first two weeks. So you know what is available and the people you can reach out to. Thats a fantastic way of knitting together, a very diverse company, he said. Max Hegerman, president, Tribal DDB Madhukar Kamath met him via LinkedIn says, If you look at the Mudra group, they have distinct businesses here itself which in most companies would be cutthroat competitive.Though we are a small unit of a very big enterprise, people are very much willing to help us succeed. People are passing leads, passing information, communicating on a regular basis, it is a family...really it certainly feels like it.

The vision of Madhukar and the Board is already bearing fruit. The creative leadership is firmly in place, and our young creative teams are very special to us. We nurture them, provide them a happy, fun environment to kindle their creativity and at the same time clearly communicate our very high expectations of them.
Michael Follett, Sr. VP - planning, DDB Mudra

VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE German curves for Indian roads CALCIUM SANDOZ The secret behind healthy bones WRIGLEY Boom boom boomer changed the dynamics of confectionery advertising

Ive always believed in collaboration, that none of us is as smart as all of us. I think that Mudra lives out that mantra each and every day. It starts with the way that the company is structured it really is a team of experts, who all have something to bring to the table, but all know how to play together. But it goes further. I see that spirit of collaboration and team work within each of the Mudra agencies.
Max Hegerman, president, Tribal DDB India

NEUTROGENA Beauty that lasts

Mudras got a responsibility for brands and for its people, besides its understanding of pure planning coupled with pure technology. Social media will be a big focus area for us over the next few years.
Venkat Mallik, president, RAPP India

We have a significantly sharper data-led way of approaching whatever we do, both from the point of view of insights, as well as from the point view of the results that come out of it. This genre of communication partner or marketing services partner is likely to have a great future in the next three-to-five years.
Soumitra Sen, president, DDB Health & Lifestyle

LIPTON Clearing the mind, one sip at a time

PHILIPS Sense and simplicity, with a human touch

The Mumbai Smiles project, which went into the Guinness Book is a fine example of collaborative work. Were very passionate about health and lifestyle segments that are not an easy game for mass media agencies to handle.

HENKO A new winner against dirt and stains

ORBIT The secret of actress Deepika Padukones smile

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THE BEST OF DDB MUDRA

HONDA Celebrating Nature MUDRA Mudra Group Corporate Website KIDBION IQ Start Smart

BANK OF BARODA Corporate Website

NASIVION Better Breathing. Better Living.

HP Troliant G6 Servers

WRIGLEY'S ORBIT Mumbai Smiles

UNICEF Water & Sanitation

VOLKSWAGEN Innovation For Everyone (Website)

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THE BEST OF DDB MUDRA

IDEA CELLULAR Use mobile save paper

VOLKSWAGEN Innovations for everyone

GRAN TURISMO Game 4 U

NEUTROGENA Deep Clean Range

IDBI FEDERAL Spelling BEE

VOLKSWAGEN VENTO Talking Newspaper

VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE Curves are back

H1N1FLU Stop the infection be the hero

NUVARING The ones - a - month contraceptive

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Pratap Bose joining the agency has brought in a new dynamism


The leadership team
Anurag Gupta, chief strategy officer, Mudra Max

MUDRA MAX

THE BEST OF MUDRA MAX

Culture wise, Mudra is hugely malleable. Its like a very malleable culture.We are eager to be the number one agency.The good thing is that, nothing is cast in stone. There is a vision that we need to take Mudra to a new level.
Sanjeev Hajela, president, Retail & Way Finding

SHELL FOUNDATION Khidki Amma fought kitchen smoke

MAX will probably be as big as No.5 or No.6 agency in a year,says Pratap Bose

The Prime Groups retail, outdoor, consultancy, waynding and Prime Green sub-units have been growing consistently and are ready to cater to the present and future needs of our clients.
Aneil Deepak, SVP - strategy and planning, Mudra Max

t wouldnt be wrong to say that Mudra Max has possibly seen the most amount of action over the last one year. It started with former CEO of O&M, Pratap Bose joining as COO of Mudra Group and CEO of Mudra Max. This was followed by the launch of specialist units all at a time when agencies were cutting down on hiring Mudra Max added more people, bullish on the feeling that marketing services as a business would continue to grow. So units like Terra, Celsius and Primesite continued to add more people. With this,you become partners to clients, says Bose. Typically in the nonadvertising business, whether it is promotion or designs, the revenue you earn is from the implementation of it.Going forward into this year, we will have become pretty big, not to disclose numbers but yes, Max will probably be as big as No. 5 or No. 6 agency and therefore well get the best-inclass partners through acquisitions, buyouts and strategic forays into the businesses that we are in and work with the best-in-class in the world where we are going to go.Even to the point of looking at boutique grade of agencies because it just complements what we do. I would say the next year those are the sort of three biggestthingsthatshouldbeonmychecklist, says Bose.

In the nonadvertising business, the revenue you earn is from the implementation

Aneil Deepak,seniorVP strategy and planning says, There is certainly something which Max is doing right because people are coming back to the agency. Maybe it is the culture. Somehow, everybody has come back to work with Mudra. Ihaveseenatleast15peopleleavewhove come back to Mudra within a year. Over the years, I think everone of the people that I wanted to work with,somehow they all joined Mudra. Mandeep Malhotra, president OOH, Mudra Max says that when Mudra Max is participating in a pitch, things change. The rates of competition drop, shoulders shrug and a lot of agencies shy away. All this is primarily due to the momentum that has come into the business with the restructuring. There is fresh blood, energy and an optimism that is a pleasure to watch. One is on a non-alcoholic high most of the times,he says. Anurag Gupta agrees,adding,An area where were doing differently from other agencies is the way were hiring people. From this year onwards we have said that we are not going to hire anybody from any activation agency or competition unless it is an optional job or a normal servicing job.We are looking at very, very different profiles...psychologists and those kinds of people. Weve got to make their jobs satisfactory.

DIET PEPSI John Abrahams youth connect was on-ground

WRIGLEY Guinness World Record Dental Check marathon AIRCEL Aircel did what Mumbais civic municipal body could not

To create Mudra Max, just people are not enough. People, ofces, body of work, execution - all that t perfectly well and we already have that platform.
Sameer Mehta, VP and head, Multiplier

Mudra Max is the only agency that gives result oriented solutions. Multiplier gives much more ownership to the brand.As against competition, we understand that being a facilitator within the trade funnel is how you truly build ownership.
Sanjay Kacker, SVP, Celsius

At Mudra Max, we have the unique advantage of cross-leveraging synergies and strengths across our group companies. Its an honor as well as a challenge to lead one of Indias premier experiential marketing company. I look forward to taking Celsius to the next level in the coming years and establishing it as a name that dominates the experiential marketing space both nationally and internationally.
Mandeep Malhotra, president, OOH, Mudra Max

TVS SCOOTY Scooty Training Institute empowered women

The team at Primesite has not lost a single business in the last two years and has won most pitches.The perception of the outside world has also changed and we are seen as a robust yet steady agency.
RELIANCE MOBILE Hrithik Roshan urged readers to call DELHI METRO Way Finding Solutions to navigate better

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THE BEST OF MUDRA MAX

VIACOM 18 COLORS BIGG BOSS Sample Flat

HINDUSTAN TIMES Todays front page as on your billboard

VOLKSWAGEN Billboard mural, not clautter

CARTOON NETWORK Ben 10 Launch DISNEY Art Attack

REEBOK Reezig Life - size Shoe

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLIND May I Help You

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In an age of clutter, Ignite Mudra found the required differentiator


THE MEN IN CHARGE

IGNITE MUDRA

THE BEST OF IGNITE MUDRA

Vinod Modha, consortium member

The kind of clients we work with have tremendous respect for what we bring to the table...

hen one walks into Ignite Mudras office in Ahmedabad, one is welcomed with a wall thats framed with an artists impression of a familiar basket of brands. The reaction to the wall decor is a mix of surprise and awe, simply because you realise that advertising for household names such as Moov, Recova, Itch Guard, Krack, Dermi Cool, Livon amongst many others was born within the walls of this agency. Once you get to know the agency better, you realise that owners of these brands have had a long, consistent relationship with the agency. So despite being a non-metro, clients in Ahmedabad have a nationwide set-up, which is why television advertising is important. From this city alone, Mudra delivers 30 TVCs in a year and that numbers expected to go higher. The relationships are firm and its not surprising when you see that the leadership has been consistent too. Chandan Nath, who heads the agency it was christened Ignite Mudra last year has been in the agency for 17 years. Today, says Nath, I think Mudra and I share almost similar values of transparency, honesty, integrity, having the right motives, thinking whats right for the brand, speaking your mind without fear, being allowed to make mistakes and still be welcome to explore and take risks. So the kind of clients we work with, have tremendous respect for what we bring to the table, Nath says. Take for example, the consortium created that entrepreneurial businesses can benefit from. The beautiful part about the consortium is that it includes leading professionals who offer skill-sets which entrepreneurs can benefit from say setting up a distribution network, to support

An entrepreneur might not have many chances, so youve got to make it work for him...

on copyright issues or requiring legal counsel.These are specialities that clients can opt for in case they require it. Its a simple thought if our skill sets are going to contribute to the growth of an entrepreneur, well support it and work together towards it, says Nath. Ashok Vithlani who is a consortium member of Mudra says, Entrepreneurs often think that Mudra will spin magic. The consortium helps him find counsel and advice on understanding the different aspects of his products, their destination, distribution, quality control, pricing and the entire value chain. Theres also pride in partnering entreprneurs in realising their ambitions. Its something clients endorse and acknowledge. Avinash Bhandari,group CEO and joint MD, Electrotherm, manufacturer of the electric Yo Bikes says,Mudra has not only performed their role as an agency, we also learnt a lot by their ability to go beyond the brief. They are absolutely committed to our success. Thats why, even though the product has struggled over the last two years, weve still continued with the relationship. The agencys ability to go beyond the brief is something which testify for. S Raghunandan, MD and CEO, Paras Pharma says, Mudra has a legacy of understanding our brands. Given the excellent feedback from Mudra and consistency in output, weve now come to expect more work out of Mudra over the last 18 months. What we now expect is a lot of free thinking on our brands. Anand Deo, MD, Zydus Wellness agrees. Both our brands, Nutralite and Sugar Free were led through their formative years by Mudra. Theyve made Nutralite into a formidable competitor to Amul.

The idea about a consortium of people from different faculty and providing services to a single client, is something that is a high-point of Mudra. It is unique and has been developed and in the last 3-4 months. Mudra has been able to retain most of its clients and that has happened only because theyve been able to provide good service over the years. So theres involvement with personal care. Most of the units have been started or they have been made operational as there was a need and the need was to service client more effectively. There have been cases where the client has parted with Mudra and subsequently they felt that the service which Mudra was providing in terms of involvement, is lacking with other agencies.

LIVON Ignite Mudra brought Dolls alive to strengthen Livons Let Your Hair Free positioning

NUTRALITE Substituting butter, one campaign at a time

YO BIKES Electric biking gets a stylish touch

Ashok Vithlani, consortium member

My relationship with Mudra began over 20 years ago and Ive been involved in corporate advisory, management structuring and during the time when DDB Needham invested in the agency. Over time, this relationship has only grown stronger. Mudra is one of the few companies that has a balanced entity to provide various comprehensive services to position your enterprise. That means going beyond giving publicity or product positioning or brand positioning. The consortium for example, helps them take a stand on long term corporate social responsibility and how theyre modelled, even if it is a small entrepreneur what steps could be taken with what objectives. It is Mudra which said, we are here to work out some relationship. We will provide you the inputs required. Which is why we decided to form a consortium, but its a very informal relationship.

DERMI COOL Summer relief now came with a cooling effect

MOOV A campaign that paid rich tributes to every woman

ITCH GUARD This brand created a category in itself

NILONS The long, oversized finger boosted brand recall

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THE BEST OF IGNITE

MOOV JANANI

RECOVA Anti-Ageing Cream

KRACK Soft and smooth heels

VINSURA Anyone can drink wine but not everyone can habit

DERMICOOL Gas Agency, Thanda Raho Thanda Socho

NUTRALITE Healthier Than Butter, Khane Main Kya Hai

GUJARAT TOURISM Experience Vibrant Gujarat

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1980

MILESTONES IN THE LIFE OF MUDRA


25th March - A G Krishnamurthy founded Mudra Mudra Ahmedabad was born with 15 employees, 500 sq.ft space, Rs 40,000 and Vimal as its rst client. 25th March is still celebrated across all Mudra ofces as MudraDay. Launch of Vimal (Only Vimal) This is the brand that launched Mudra in its tryst with destiny. What began with sarees, moved towards suitings, shirtings and dress materials. The advertising used Indias best known photographers and models and pioneered double spread colour ads. Cricketers such as Ravi Shastri, Allan Border and Vi Richards endorsedthebrands,leadingtothegenesisofcricketersendorsingbrands. Launch of Rasna (I love you Rasna campaign) Rasna launched a soft drink concentrate with a range of nine avours on a platform that offered both taste and economy. In 1986, Rasna became Indias largest selling soft drink concentrate. The year also marked the beginning of Mudras national growth beyond Ahmedabad. 1983 Launch of Videotec Mudra Videotec pioneered sponsored programmes on Doordarshan, well-known for co-producing Rajni, Buniyaad, Ek Do Teen Char, Panchee, Udaan, Quiztime, Mr Yogi, Bodyline, Grammys, Oscars, Living Legends, Live Aid, Spiderman, Miss Universe. Also produced Indias rst tele-lm, Janam, followed by Jeevan Sandhya, Swayam. Mudra launches Godrej Powder Hair Dye Godrej PowderHairDyewas launched as a safe and natural dye. In 2008, it was relaunched as a hair colourant and called Godrej Expert Powder Hair Dye. Mudra also handles others brands in the Godrej portfolio such as Godrej No.1 soaps and Godrej Ezee. In a span of just 10 years,GodrejNo.1 hasbecomethe3rdlargestin thesoapcategory.. 1980 1985 1984 1987 Reliance Khazana Reliance Khazana, was the rst ever branded public issue, which signaled the branding of pubicissues. The 1987 Cricket World Cup, Paras account win Handled the Reliance Cup, which was the 1987 Cricket World Cup. Mudras relationshipwithParasPharmaceuticalsbeganthis year, going on to build brands like Moov, Itchguard,Dermicool,LivonandRecova. Nationwide growth, collaboration with DDB Needham Worldwide Mudra spread its wings Delhi, Bangalore, ChennaiandHyderabadoperationscommence. In 1990, Nestle walked in as the rst MNC client. In 1990, Mudra signed a collaboration agreementwithDDBNeedhamWorldwide

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1991

Birth of Mudra Institute of Communications,Ahmedabad MICAistherstresidentialacademicinstitution intheAsia-Pacicregion,dedicatedtomeetthe needsoftheIntegratedMarketingCommunications industry. Since its inception, MICA has produced nearly 1000 professionals in the eld of advertising, communications & marketing and is the countrys best communications school.

2002

LaunchofDharaSunflowerOil(DharaDhara Shudh Dhara and My Daddy Strongest) Dhara Sunower oil was launched under the umbrella brandDharain1992.Positionedontheplatformofabsolute purity, the campaigns remain one of the most lovedinthehistoryofIndianadvertising.

Nestle Polo launched, relationship with Samsung and Dabur begins TheMintwiththeHolecampaignwasrecognisedasThe Brand Launch of the Year. This campaign was highly awarded across ad forums and categories like lm, press and outdoor. It won the Campaign of the Year award and was instrumental in Mudra winning the A&M Agency of the Year award. Mudras relationship with Samsung also begins this year, as does that of Dabur. In July, Mudras launches campaign for Maxtouch (The World in Your Pocket),whichexistsasVodafonetoday.

McDonalds enters the Indian market (McDonaldsmeinhaikuchbaat) From being perceived as a westernized place for the rich tonowbeingknownasafamilyrestaurantthatmakesyou smile,McDonaldshastakenabigleapintheconsumers mind. This change of perception was made possible through a carefully executed communication plan that also complemented the strategic changes in pricing and menu;leadingtoanalmostperfectexampleofasuccessfullyexecutedcampaign.

Positioning of Peter England as The Honest Shirt, LICs timeless baseline is born The honest shirt campaign helped Madura Garments attainsalesof2millionshirtsintheyear1998.Itachieved that gure within just 4 years and is the rst brand in the mid-segment category to cross Rs.100 crores in India. Further, the baseline for LIC, Zindagi ke saath bhi, zindagi ke baad bhi was coined this year, something whichcontinuestobeusedtilltoday.

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1995

1997

Launch of Reliance Infocomm (Reliance India-Mobile - Kar lo duniya muthi mein) Make a phone call cheaper than a postcard and you will usherinarevolutionarytransformation in the lives of millions of Indians. - Dhirubhai Ambani

1991

1992

1995
2008

1996
Launch of BIG TV (Ho toh BIG ho), Pratap Bose comes on-board Reliance ADAG made a big splash with the launch of its DTH offering - BIG TV. The creative concept is based on Lifeisntforlivingsmall. Within50daysofitscampaign launch,BIGTVreceivedanunprecedented500,000installation requests.This is the fastest half million in the historyoftheDTHindustryglobally. The same year, Mudra was instrumental in the rebranding of the Union Bank of India (Your dreams are not yours alone). This involved fundamental changes suchasthelogo,aswellthestructureandprocessesof theorganization.Mudrare-brandedUnionBankofIndia by It was positioning it as a partner in fullling their consumersdreams. 2008 was also in important year in attracting senior talent in the form of Pratap Bose (pictured, right), the former CEO of O&M India who joined the Mudra Group as its chief operating ofcer (COO). He also serves on the Groups executiveboard. TheyearalsosawMudra putupanimpressiveshow atCannesandGoafest.

1997
2009 2010 Launch of Ignite Mudra, Volkswagens brand campaign Mudra Group launched a specialist agency in Ahmedabad called Ignite Mudra, to cater to the brand building needs of entrepreneurs nationally and internationally. The same year, DDB Mudra also unveiled Volkswagens rst brand campaign. To kick-off VWs brand campaign, DDB Mudra created a never done before print roadblock. On November11th,2009,68.6lakhreaders*wereintroduced to Volkswagen. The Times of India, Indias largest selling English news daily, was blocked nationally by a single advertiser Volkswagen. Across16editionsofthepaper,rangingfrom16to 32 pages, over nine pages of each edition was dedicatedtoVolkswagen.

2002
Mudra House: MudraHouse,an8-storeybuildingishometoover 450 Mudraites in Mumbai, an exciting work-place bustling with warmth, creative energy and innovative ideas.Thoughamodernsophisticatedbuilding,the traditionalwarliartinfusesthespiritofcommunity through-out the building. The building also includes TT and Pool tables on alternate oors, a fully functional gymnasium, a library and acafeteria.Inadditiontothis,Mudra House has been awarded the Gold certicate by LEED, an initiative conceptualized and promoted byUnited States Green Building Council that provides a suite of standardsforenvironmentallysustainableconstruction. Mudra Re-branding: In keeping with the spirit of inventiveness, Mudra Groups corporate brand saw the historical symbol of Mudra, the hands, freed from the rigid roundel. Replacing the solid red circle is the fresh graphic device of the brush stroke. Denoting experimentation, energy and dynamism, the brush stroke signies the commonest human behaviorwhentryingsomethingnew-beitacrayon,apen or the artists brush. The brush stroke is also an integral part of the branding of the 4 agency networks. Each agency is now qualied by a unique symbol- the quote mark, a symbol of conversation for Mudra India; the degree symbol denoting inuence for DDB Mudra; the forward mark symbolizing maximalimpactforMudraMax;andtheonbuttonsymbolizingasparkofideasforIgniteMudra.

2003

AGK retires from the post of chairman and managing director of Mudra and Madhukar Kamath comes on board When Madhukar Kamath returned to take charge at Mudra after four years, there was a whiff of change in the air. Kamath, the new managing director and CEO, took over from founder A G Krishnamurthy (AGK) who had just retired. His rst day of rejoining Mudra was AGKs last. I had a half-hour conversation with AGK and he simply told me, You knowMudra,youveworkedhere.Allthebest,recallsKamath.

Mudra wins Big Bazaar (Is se sasta aur accha kahin nahin!) Mudra won the account for Future Groups hypermarket chain Big Bazaar. ThebiggestretailbrandofIndiaisalsothe fastest growing retailer of the world. Big Bazaar, a brand that celebrates Indianness in its own unique way, has revolutionized the way Indian consumers shop for daily needs. Over ve years we have partnered in the brands growth from 7 stores through to 150, and grown the businessfourtimesfromRs.1200crores to Rs 4800 crores. During this journey, Mudra created successful properties such as the Great Indian Shopping Festival which generated business worth $ 130 million and attracted over 20 million walk-ins.

2004

Madhukar Kamath elected as AAAI President, going on to become ASCI chairman in 2008; Bobby Pawar comes on board MadhukarKamathsucceededSrinivasanK Swamy,CEO,RKSwamyBBDO,asthe PresidentoftheAdvertisingAgencies AssociationofIndia(AAAI)andin 2008,heassumedchairmanship ofASCI.Further,BobbyPawar (pictured,right)comesaboard fromtheUS,asnationalcreative director.

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Mudras commitment to the communications arena is best proven by their investment in MICA

MICA: GOING BEYOND BUSINESS


Industry exposure and placement support

The MICA campus: state-of-the-art, where students are exposed to industry best practices and fundamentals with world-class faculty in attendance

he logos on the extreme right column tell a story all of their own: the respect and reputation gained by Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA). MICA was started in 1991, as an autonomous non-profit management education institution. In a statement of the vision behind MICA, it was the first residential academic institution in the country and perhaps in the Asia-Pacific region wholly dedicated to meeting the needs of the integrated marketing communications industry. MICA was designed to complement the role

The lowdown
1991 MICA was founded 1991-93 Short term courses in media planning & market research launched 1994 Flagship 2 year post graduate program in communications management started 2007 MICORE the centre for excellence in research founded
that management education plays in modernizing and professionalizing communicationsdriven businesses. Today, there are nearly 1,000 succesful MICA alumni employed in the industry, in marketing, advertising, media and media research functions in the leading companies of the country. In 2007, the Mudra Institute of Communication Research (MICORE) was established, focusing on fundamental research in the communications area, so as

to reinforce MICA as a centre for excellence. Courses at MICA are approved by the All India Council for Technical Education, another testament to the robustness of the curricula. MICA has benefited from the active involvement of such luminaries as S R Mani Aiyer, Nirmal Goswami, Atul Tandon, Anant Bobilli and N Vittal. The governing council includes Madhukar Kamath, Gerson Da Cunha, Pradip Khandwalla, Santosh Desai and Hema Vishwanathan, amongst others. Prof. Ashok Ranchhod is currently the director, MICA.

MICA through the rear view mirror


It is so difficult to get good people into advertising. Over two decades ago, someone decided to do something about it. AG Krishnamurthy (AGK) chief of Mudra, had the idea of MICA and began the process of creating an institution that would train people specifically for the communications industry. I recall industry leaders apart from AGK who brought their experience to bear on how MICA should be set up, how it should be run and what it should teach. I especially remember Bobby Sista, Mani Iyer, Gerson daCunha. And they brought in young professionals like me, who had a business management background, and a love for advertising to help design the curriculum. The term baby steps was not a cliche in those days; it was a reality, because MICA was an idea without a campus! What we began with were short term courses, taught - as I recall - in a set of Mudra flats near Ellis Bridge. There were enough of us who were happy to teach at these miniprogrammes. And a few intrepid (if uncertain) souls who were keen to embark on an adventure called advertising. Informal relations between the faculty and the students were also easy to establish, given that the classes were held in the living rooms seated on sofas and the odd chair! There was little infrastructure, but abundant passion. Meanwhile, we continued work on fleshing out the curriculum for the full two-year post graduate programme. We sought to bring in practical elements to give the students knowledge about how and what to do, along with a conceptual understanding of advertising to know why they were doing it. MICA has come a long way since those days. I see the distance travelled every time I go to the MICA campus as visiting faculty. I see it in the new dorm buildings, the new seminar rooms, the new open air cafe. And I am proud that I have been part of this journey of success and growth. But in its very success lie dangers. Of hubris on the part of MICA. And the danger of its reputation attracting complacent job-passport seekers as students. The true legacy of MICA will be proven if it attracts not just a new generation of students, but a new breed of adventurers. And I will be happy to contribute to a new curriculum for this new breed. Again.

Anand Halve, co-founder, Chlorophyll

RNI registration MAHENG/2007/22422 Postal Regn No. MH/MR/WEST/218/2009-2011 Posted at Mumbai Patrika Channel Sorting Ofce on every alternate Thursday
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