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Subroto Sengupta, doyen of Indian advertising passes away

03-March-2004
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Subroto Sengupta, doyen of Indian advertising passes away

Subroto Sengupta, the doyen of Indian advertising, died in Kolkata on Monday. He was in his late seventies.

Sengupta joined the British agency D J Keymer along with stalwarts like Tara Sinha, film director Satyajit Ray and S N Banerji.

When Keymer’s shut shop, a handful of people including Sengupta set up Clarion Advertising, which has now morphed into Bates India.

“He was one of the intellects of the advertising business in a notoriously lightweight profession. He had an incisive mind wedded to a creative one, which made him priceless,” says Gerson daCunha, Sengupta’s contemporary.

According to him, it was Sengupta who brought positioning upfront in the industry. “Subroto did a systematic examination of positioning concepts and methodologies and applied it to the Indian situation. The Indian concern was only with pricing and distribution then,” he says.

He was a regular lecturer at the Indian Institutes of Management at both Ahmedabad and Calcutta. Students say that there was a rush to take Sengupta’s advertising course in IIM-A, where he got both daCunha and marketing stalwart Shunu Sen to teach advertising judgement.

Today, thanks to Sengupta, Hindustan Lever’s Pear’s soap is positioned as a transparent offering. He is also credited with Complan’s positioning of a complete family food with 23 vital ingredients.

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