Bal Mundkur was a giant among ad men of his time. Not only did he start an agency with just a set of professionals [no account on the horizon], but he managed to find the right team to hand over the agency to.
I was fortunate to join the agency after he had identified Anil Kapoor as the person who will continue his vision for an agency that will be fearless, independent and capable of partnering clients in their adventures, not as a servile associate, but as a strategic partner.
I did not get to work closely with him and during the first five years of my life in Ulka, we operated 2,000 km apart. But Bal used to regale us with stories when we met up with him at our regular review meetings in Mumbai. One thing he insisted on was the need for agency leadership to stand tall in front of clients, not just by being tall height-wise [which incidentally he was], but by doing serious work on client’s business.
We will miss him, but hopefully we will continue to live his vision to make him proud that Ulka continues to shine on.
Bal Mundkur, the man who set up Ulka Advertising 50 years ago, passed away on the morning of January 7, 2012 at his residence in Goa following a heart attack.
(Ambi MG Parameswaran is Executive Director & CEO of Draftfcb Ulka)