Advertising virtuoso Ahmed Ibrahim passed away recently. He was Chairman, CEO & MD, Everest Advertising (1966-1992), Chairman, The Edge Communications (1985-1992), President, Advertising Agencies Association of India (1979-1980), Chairman, Audit Bureau of Circulations (1991-1992).
Paulomi Dhawan, Strategic Advisor and a protégé of Ahmed Ibrahim pays homage to one of the most respected leaders in the world of Indian advertising.
As told to exchange4media:
Just out of management school, I was privileged to be interviewed by an advertising doyen.
He wrote my career in media. He and his joint MD MC Nair were my mentors, my gurus. They saw before the media boom that this young girl would grow and enjoy the media world.
Everest in the 80s was the fifth largest agency in India.
Mr Ibrahim spotted an idea and allowed the team to germinate it; team spirit was truly practiced. There were always different disciplines working on one goal... building brands and delivering to clients.
The agency was always admired for its integrity, financial soundness, ethics, "no poaching policy" for business and talent .
Its clients (like Parle Products) stood by it like rocks even in bad times. Mr Ibrahim’s client relationships and media relationships were outstanding. The agency was always known to be financially sound and payments were always on time. It was an agency that was vibrant, buzzing with team spirit ...we were one family!
Even now an ex-Everesteer will swear by those days "nothing like Everest".... Facebook says" those were the days".
Everest was envied not only for its creative product but also for detailed implementation. Mr Ibrahim insisted on great photography, typography and practical design.
Everest handled or grew the client to the no 1 position...Parle Biscuits, Parle Melody, Swissair, Parle KrackJack, Elpar, Elecon, Bagpiper, Stanrose, Tortoise mosquito coils, Tips and Toes
In fact, Parle G was the big marketing breakthrough and not just an ad idea ! Media innovations were born then....
Behind all this was one man...
He recognized and groomed talent in every discipline. Some big names today have been associated with Everest at some point in their career.
By mid 80s, Everest reached global stature with Saatchi and Saatchi tie up. I remember giving the warm Indian welcome with tikka to David Miln!
“AMI”, as he was fondly referred to by his senior team, was a disciplinarian, a principled man with strong business ethics, an industry leader. And he enjoyed being with his team.
Impeccable manners and punctuality were his premier qualities. We all learnt a lot by just watching him.
Classy, impeccably dressed always, he was a style icon without a stylist.
Salute to a true Rotarian, a dear boss, an Everesteer, and a solid advertising doyen!
They don’t make gentlemen like him today…
Paulomi Dhawan joined as media planner and grew to be Media Director, National, Everest and The Edge Communications. (With inputs from Chandu Seth, former Creative Director, Everest Advertising)