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IPOY 2015 promises to be a close race

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IPOY 2015 promises to be a close race

As the countdown begins for the time to declare the 11th IMPACT Person of the Year, we stop to find out what the industry is thinking about the race to the title. After all, when the nominees are stalwarts such as Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Industrial Policy and Promotion, Govt. of India, Arnab Goswami, President-News & Editor-in-Chief, Times NOW and ET NOW, Ashish Bhasin, Chairman & CEO South Asia, Dentsu Aegis Network, CVL Srinivas, CEO of GroupM, South Asia, Kunal Bahl, Co-founder and CEO, Snapdeal, Nikesh Arora, President & CEO, SoftBank Corp, Rana Kapoor, Co-founder, MD & CEO, Yes Bank and Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder & CEO, Paytm, can the race be anything but close? This year’s IMPACT Person of the Year nominees represent each and every facet of the advertising and marketing industry and are at the very top of their game.

We speak to four industry veterans to get their views on who they think is going to be the IMPACT Person of the Year, 2015. Our question: What do you think of the IPOY 2015 nominees and who should win the award this year?


Tough job to decide winner…

Suresh Balakrishna, CEO, Initiative & BPN: All the nominees for IPOY are powerful personalities in their own way. Yes Bank is one of the biggest success stories and Rana Kapoor has almost singularly been the architect behind that. Paytm came from nowhere in the last year-and-a-half and changed the way Indians transact in this country and a lot of credit for that goes to Vijay. Arnab Goswami has changed the way news television reportage takes place in this country and he’s been able to combine news and entertainment and still maintains the credibility of news. He’s created that genre and is definitely deserving of recognition. Ashish Bhasin has had a dream run over the last two to three years and he’s done a good job of putting together a composite group and won a lot of businesses and done extremely well for the Dentsu Aegis Network in India, largely because he is a sharp businessman. More than anything else, Ashish has got an eye for what works and what doesn’t and his gut instinct for business has worked very well for him. CVL is an unassuming, quiet leader. Not flamboyant but very, very focused and GroupM in the last three or four years under him has become an even more powerful group with 43% market-share according to RECMA. This has not happened at the cost of great work. He’s guided that ship very well to where it is now. So if you look at the overall set of people who have been shortlisted, it’s difficult to actually point out one person who deserves to win more than the other. It’s going to be a tough job, so all the best to IMPACT!

It would be Arnab Goswami…

Santosh Padhi, Co-founder & CCO, Dentsu Taproot: The shortlist itself has some really great kickass guys who have shaped this industry in many big ways. If I were to pick one, it would be Arnab Goswami because he has single-handedly been contributing to Times Now and he is the Times Now channel to me and he is my bet in this whole thing. There are chances that he will be the winner this year.

Contest between Nikesh and Ashish…

Agnello Dias, Co-Founder & CCO, Dentsu Taproot: Unlike the previous years, the nominees this year are a slightly mixed and complex kind of group. But from what I’ve seen, the contest would be between Nikesh and Ashish, but anything can happen. For me at least, Ashish is a strong contender because he has breathed new life into the traditional structured agency network narrative. And Nikesh is another contender because since he has joined, Softbank has made rapid strides in what is otherwise a much-debated category in India.

No surprise: Rooting for CVL Srinivas…

T Gangadhar, Managing Director, MEC: It should be no surprise that I’m rooting for CVL Srinivas and I think he’s done a fantastic job of really shepherding GroupM and making it even bigger. His focus on digital is absolutely great and he’s really taken charge of the whole digital agenda at GroupM and what he’s doing is quite commendable. To lead such a large organization as GroupM through change in these times is not an easy task and he’s done it remarkably well. 


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