Rediffusion - Y&R began the year with a bang when it announced the appointment of Sam Ahmed as its Vice Chairman and Chief Creative Officer reporting to the company’s Chairman and Managing Director Arun Nanda. The development also came with the announcement of Rediffusion’s old hand D Rajappa exiting the company. In essence, Rediffusion - Y&R is beginning its New Year under a completely new leadership.
Ahmed, who has already moved base to Mumbai, took charge of the company earlier this week and for Diwan Arun Nanda, the appointment marks the next phase of growth for Rediffusion - Y&R.
In a conversation with exchange4media, Nanda said, “We had conducted a worldwide search to find the best quality international talent to take the agency’s creative mandate forward and we took a long time to complete this search. I believe we are very fortunate to finally find someone like Sam, who has now relocated to Mumbai.”
Ahmed, touted as one of the most awarded creative heads, has over 200 international creative awards that include the likes of Cannes Lions, Clios, New York Festival and various others to his credit.
The move also brings a creative head at the forefront for Rediffusion as is seen in companies such as Ogilvy and McCann Worldgroup. Rediffusion - Y&R has largely been led by CEOs and Presidents coming from the business/client servicing side prior to this.
However, Ahmed has never worked in India and the big question is whether he survives the India test that the likes of Adrian Miller (who had joined JWT India) and Pat Burns (who was leading BMB Madison) did not.
Nanda is quick to point out, “Sam Ahmed knows India. That said, creative people are first about ideas and ideas travel seamlessly across geographies. Great international commercials work in India too. And look at India’ diverse culture across states and regions. What works in Assam may not work in Tamil Nadu but we still make great national campaigns, most of which come from Mumbai and Delhi offices. Ideas transcend boundaries. And a good creative mind, will be good everywhere.”
Leadership with ideas as a key part of its arsenal is what will define Rediffusion - Y&R’s 2013. Creative genius is eventually about emotions and Rediffusion - Y&R, that had one of its most accomplished years, business-wise, in 2012, is looking to now play up its creative card to build on this foundation and all eyes are now on Sam Ahmed.
“I think Indian advertising is fortunate that talent such as Sam is looking to come and work in India. We should celebrate this and we are happy that this is the kind of leadership that will take Rediffusion - Y&R forward in 2013,” stated Nanda.