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The buck officially stops at me now: Balki and the new Lowe India

13-December-2007
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The buck officially stops at me now: Balki and the new Lowe India

The decision to elevate R Balki as Chairman and CCO of Lowe India and to bring in Charles Cadell as CEO of the agency has triggered a series of changes at Lowe India. Lowe Worldwide spokesperson informed that Balki would now be heading Lowe India, and the leadership team of the agency that comprised Balki and Cadell would report to Lowe Worldwide.

Pranesh Misra gets into a global role now as Global Director, Marketing Accounting. But he continues to be associated with Lowe India as an ex-officio member and would be supporting Balki. Balki said, “I keep telling him that he is my Vice Chairman! I have requested that of him.”

Balki’s core team also includes Brent Gosling as Chief Strategy Officer and an appointment would soon be made in Human Resources. The new Chairman and CCO also informed that an HR unit would be created under Fali Vakeel, who has recently been designated as Chief Talent Officer.

Does the new role bring any change for Balki? “The buck officially stops at me now, but I have always thought it did, so in that sense not much of a change. I would also be looking after SSC&B Lintas now though,” he added.

With the change in Bhasin’s role, who was so far heading SSC&B Lintas, Balki informed that the search for a new head for the agency was on. He said, “We are planning how to position the agency now, what the new people would do and other such details. Pranesh Misra is already into it. That said, while I have to be involved in these initial stages of settling, it would be a different agency with its own team and operations.”

Balki already has many changes in store for the Lowe India people. One of the first key changes has been that of S Anand, who has been moved to look after the Delhi office from his role in Mumbai as a CD. There are similar changes in days to come. “People will have bigger responsibilities now. Many of our business heads from different parts of the country will grow further. Our CDs would be playing bigger roles,” said Balki. Some of the names that Balki enumerated included Madhu Noorani, Deepa Geethakrishnan, Aimer Jaleel, Vasudha Narayanan and Sharon Nayak, among others.

He also informed that some of the areas that would come further under focus now were digital creative area and the design cell.

While there really is a lot that Balki has planned for Lowe India, why did Lowe Worldwide not choose to appoint a CEO from India? The Lowe Worldwide spokesperson explained, “The appointment of Charles Cadell as CEO doesn’t in any way reflect that there is lack of talent in India. India has growing importance for the network. It’s not unusual for Lowe Worldwide to have people of different cultures working together – it’s newer in India, since we were a minority partner before this. Clients, too, have cross-cultural teams today, and Charles’ appointment is in line with that way of thinking.”

The spokesperson further elaborated, “Simply put, the DNA of Lowe Worldwide is to be cross-cultural and put together the best people from everywhere. We have multinational clients, so why not have multinationals that together best serve the client. This is really bringing Lowe India in the Lowe Worldwide structure. Charles Cadell has immense experience of the region, and he brings a different perspective that would allow a different kind of thinking. He is a great asset.”

For the record, under Lowe Worldwide, there are nine hub agencies, including Lowe India. All hub agencies have management teams that report to Lowe Worldwide. Lowe India, too, would follow this structure now.

Also see:

Changes at Lowe: Balki becomes Chairman & CCO; Charles Cadell new man in as CEO; Pranesh Misra elevated to Global Director-Marketing Accounting

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