Sandip Chaudhury, till recently the Executive Vice-President of Lowe overseeing the agency’s Kolkata and Chennai operations, has decided to bid adieu to advertising after spending almost two decades in the industry.
He is set to join a Kolkata-based software firm, Ontrack Systems Ltd, as their Executive Vice-President, Marketing and Brand.
Ontrack is an ISO 9001:2000 certified publicly traded global IT and ITES company offering a wide array of software and networking services across industries, including portals like Tendertimes.com, a pioneering tender web daily, and IndiaOneStop.com, a business portal seeking to strengthen bilateral trade between India and leading global trading partners.
Speaking about Chaudhury’s appointment, B Hari, Managing Director, Ontrack, said, “We feel Sandip will contribute to building up our brand. After all, brand values are vital in a people’s business like ours in order to attract and retain talent, and particularly critical to Ontrack at this juncture in our evolution.”
Commenting on this shift from advertising to the software industry, Chaudhury said, “The advertising industry has lost its charm. While agencies were earlier treated as partners in business, unfortunately, now most ad agencies are treated as suppliers.”
“The fragmentation of the advertising business, particularly the delineation of the media aspect of the business and the involvement of specialists in every conceivable area, has detracted considerably from both the fulfillment and challenge that was there in the agency business in the earlier part of my career,” he added.
Chaudhury, who began his career in the mid-1980s, has worked with agencies like Grant Kenyon & Eckhardt, Ulka, Tara Sinha Associates, and Clarion before joining Lowe – then Lintas – as head of its Kolkata office in 1996.
His candid observations on the agency business today certainly raise certain disquieting questions, especially in smaller markets where agencies are invariably caught in the throes of a buyers’ market situation.