Monday, April 21, 2014

How I met Ranjan Kapur, Country Manager of WPP?

Rarely do you come across a person whose individual profile itself reads like a Who's who, and that is exactly what I felt like when I met Ranjan Kapur at Mumbai Angels investor presentation for the first time in January, 2010.
I had recently joined Onida, and had read that there is an "advertising guru" who is on our board. In any company, Board of Directors are like the MPs in parliament - they make policies that others have to follow. So naturally, respect is something they get by default. But the moment I met him personally in that Mumbai Angels group, I had a new-found respect for this genius behind the marketing success of many brands. I had read case studies during my IIM days of many brands including Pidilite (Fevicol), Asian Paints, Onida, and now I could see the brain behind the brands. But more than the brands, it is his nurturing of people that has been his ace through out, as many people like Piyush Pandey who have worked with him may have known.

Ranjan has a keen interest in Indian advertising, entrepreneurship and startup eco-system. Being an angel investor himself, he was able to recognize the potential offered by companies like Inmobi, Apalya and many others. Whenever I got an investment proposal for Mumbai Angels, he would be the first person I would speak to or mail and take feedback on its marketing potential. Unlike many other big shots in advertising world, he has keen sense of new age marketing, digital, internet, mobile and out of home. Every other advertiser says, "lets do a TV ad", while Ranjan would point what is good for the consumer and the brand. When you are the person who runs the world's largest communications company in India, you really need to love the small things to foresee how big they will become in future.

For past few years, Onida's brand has taken a hit and at the same time we have witnessed the stupendous rise of MNC brands like LG and Samsung. Ranjan has been one of the most vocal and active person who believes Onida's brand is the biggest competitive advantage but it has to rejuvenated and invested in. However, what he did with Onida's brand over the years has helped it survive for last 30 years, else it could have been worse. Imagine - there were 500+ companies who got the license to start a TV business 30 years back, and hardly 1-2 survive today including Onida.

I also admire his work related to social and CSR, where his time and effort has been a big pull for others to follow. As they say, managers change businesses, leaders change industries! My personal salute to this great contributor!

If you wish to connect with Mr Ranjan Kapur or WPP team, I will be glad to make an email introduction.

I have met over 30000 people personally, and everyday I will tell a story about someone who has been a part of my life.

If you have a suggestion or feedback, feel free to connect with me on my social networks or mail me.

Till then, just be awesome!