A.G. Krishnamurthy, the founder of Mudra Communications Limited who passed away yesterday morning after a brief illness is being remembered for his immense contribution in the field of advertising.
The ad fraternity paid rich tribute to the founder Chairman and Managing Director of Mudra Communications.
Remembering Krishnamurthy’s iconic persona, Prathap Suthan, Managing Partner, Bang In The Middle said, “I worked with AGK closely for almost ten years. Whatever I am today is essentially based on what I learned during the time I spent with him. One incident that happened still stands out very clearly. And possibly changed the way I have always looked at awards. In 1991, my first ever film Ajanta Clocks picked up Commercial of the Year and Campaign of the Year at the CAG in Mumbai. I went down for the function, picked up the trophies and went back to Ahmedabad the next morning. I went to his office directly from the airport, and with a flourish I pulled out the trophies and told him that we had won the best two awards at the CAG. He simply looked at them, smiled, told me 'well done', asked me to keep them on his shelf, and went back to doing what he was doing. For a moment or two, I was taken aback. I mean there just was no thumping of my back, and overt celebration, and glee, and whatever else. It was just matter of fact. Maybe he did that to keep my head on my shoulders. Or maybe that was how he looked at awards. Just another day. Just another spot of brightness. Nothing earth shattering. Nothing to derail everyday focus. He looked at awards as plainly as that. That incident told me a lot and taught me a lot. That in the overall scheme of life and our business, awards are ephemeral. They come. They go. They cannot be the soul of being in this business. That's one lesson I have never forgotten.”
KV Sridhar, Chief Creative Officer, Sapient Nitro said, “I have never personally worked with AGK, around late 86 he offered me a job at Mudra, but at that point of time, I joined JWT Bangalore. I also got to know him a lot through Balki. About four months back, we had a long telephonic chat for an interview which I did with him for my book. The discussion was on all the iconic ads which were done in the early times at Mudra. He shared a lot of interesting anecdotes and was very enthusiastic to come for the book launch.”
Praising Krishnamurthy’s contribution, Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman, RK Swamy BBDO added, “We have enormous respect for AGK. He changed the rules of our business, managed to recruit some of the best minds, very successful, but was never known to throw his weight around. Post retirement he was guiding a few companies in Hyderabad with whom we had the privilege of working. His knowledge of marketing and his business acumen earned a lot of respect from our team there. I have met him on a few occasions too and we always shared a warm relationship. He will stay in our memories forever.”
Subhash Kamath, CEO & Managing Partner, BBH India said, “Indeed a sad day. May his soul rest in peace. Never worked with him myself, but have heard from those who did, that he was quite a man. Incredibly honest and straightforward and very very principled. Clients worshipped the ground he walked on, and so did many of his colleagues. I had the privilege of meeting him years after he'd retired from Mudra, when he was consulting with Reliance. I was with Bates at that time and he'd called me to pitch for Vimal. We eventually won that pitch and I remember being asked to fly down to Ahmedabad to meet him. What struck me was his incredible directness. Without wasting a moment, he said, "Kamath, you guys were easily the best, far above the other agencies. Before I award you the business, can you make me one promise? In Mudra, people used to call Vimal and Rasna as "AGK's accounts". Can you make Vimal "Kamath's account" at Bates? If so, you can take the business." But for now, let's silently salute a man who always stood his ground and refused to follow the fads and trends of the industry. Perhaps, in his own way, he was a blacksheep too. R.I.P., AGK.”
Even social media was abuzz with glowing tributes from industry. Here are some tweets from Sanjeev Kotnala, Naresh Gupta, CreativelandAsia, AmbiParameswaran, Ramakrishna Desiraju :
Born on the 28th of April, 1942 in Vinukonda, in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, Krishnamurthy graduated in History at the Andhra University. In 1968 he joined the Calico Mills, a big textile name in the 60s and 70s, to assist Smt. Giraben Sarabhai. In 1972, he moved to their Advertising Agency, Shilpi Advertising as an Account Executive and then joined Reliance Industries in 1976 as their Advertising Manager. Four years later, on the 25th of March, 1980, he founded Mudra Communications.
In March 1991, he set up Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA), the only advertising institute of its kind in Asia. MICA was set up to feed the growing Indian advertising industry with trained talent.
He retired from Mudra on 31st March, 2003, and was The Chairman of AGK Brand Consulting.