We need to rediscover some of the values that R K Swamy, one of the’ Trimurthis’ of Indian advertising, brought to the table when it came to public sector advertising, said Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh, after releasing a biography written posthumously on the founder of RK Swamy BBDO.
“In many ways R K Swamy was unique in that he gave the public sector a great identity. He was a great champion of the public sector,” the Minister said, adding that there was a large unconquered frontier in PSU advertising today, and in a competitive environment, major PSU players should “make use of the edge that advertising has thrown to them”.
“A large number of public sector companies are in need of identity and professional assistance,” the Minister said, adding, “R K Swamy was very passionate about political advertising too, and believed strongly in the value of political advertising.”
N Murali, Managing Director, The Hindu, going down the memory lane, described R K Swamy as a legend in his lifetime. “When RK Swamy left us in June 2003, it not only marked the passing of a giant but more importantly, the end of a generation of stalwarts who laid a solid foundation for the growth and development of the advertising industry in India. His career coincided with the evolution of advertising in India. He was not only a part of that slice of history but also played a big part in shaping it,” Murali said.
Murali described R K Swamy as pioneer of public sector advertising at a time state-owned enterprises were not only occupying the “commanding heights of the economy’’ but were also so bureaucratically oriented that concepts like advertising were alien to them. He said, “Going by the flavour of the times, they considered advertising expenditure to be wasteful. But R K Swamy shattered this myth and mindset to become a path-breaker in public sector advertising.”
Swamy’s tenacity of purpose and dedication and commitment to whatever he took up has been an example worthy of emulation not only by advertising professionals but people in the other fields too, Murali said.
Srinivasan K Swamy, Chairman, RK Swamy BBDO, commented, “The book on R K Swamy is a reaffirmation that business can be guided by core values, even as the product and service offerings are modified to meet changing customer requirements. We have brought out the book as Swamy’s life is an inspiration to thousands of people whose lives he has touched positively. In addition to his life story, the book captures Swamy’s fundamental beliefs that helped him steer his organization to success. It contains numerous case studies of successful marketing communication campaigns run by this company over the years on behalf of leading corporates.”
V S Chakrapani, Swamy’s long-term associate and editor of the book, observed, “His was a full life, a reminder that a determined and selfless person can indeed contribute to society in multiple dimensions.’’
The first copies of the book were presented to S V S Raghavan, former Chairman, BHEL & MMTC, N Murali and Ram Santhanam, CMD, Wheels India Ltd of the TVS Group.