If sources in the know are to be believed, then Bates 141 is scaling down its operations in Bangalore. In fact, there has been a strong buzz in the ad fraternity that the agency for the time being is shutting shop in Bangalore. The 141 Sercon and 141 Wall Street teams are now said to be operating out of the Bates141 Bangalore office.
When contacted, Sandeep Pathak, CEO, Bates 141, clarified, “There is no truth in the fact that we are shutting down operations in Bangalore.” He, however, admitted, “It is known that the agency business has been hit across because of the economic slowdown, hence we, too, have scaled down our operations and have an adequate team that is capable of handling service out of the city.”
Vehemently denying the news, Manosh Mukherjee, COO, Bates141, affirmed, “We have spent a lot of time and resources in setting up our Bangalore branch, and we are not looking at shutting it or scaling down. We have clients, including Amante and Dell, out of our Bangalore and we are servicing them.”
But the fact is that senior level people have already moved out of the organisation, and it is learnt that Creative Director Niharika Ghosh has also followed suit. It may be recalled that Ashok Vidyasagar, Bangalore Branch Head and Senior VP, Bates141, had quit in May 2009, and since then the agency has not found his replacement. When asked about this, Mukherjee maintained, “We haven’t got a branch head on board as we are looking at getting the right person, hence the delay.”
Another high level exit was of Anand Narasimha, VP - Strategy and Knowledge, who had quit Bates141 in November 2008. Group Brand Director Renilson Joseph, too, had moved out of the organisation last year. Now, it is learnt that Vijay Jacob, Senior VP and Chennai Branch Head, who was looking after the Bangalore operations for a while, is moving out and joining Grey in Bangalore.